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Wagner's sizzling five-for wraps up innings win for New Zealand
Match Report

Wagner's sizzling five-for wraps up innings win for New Zealand

Neil Wagner's fiery spell of pace bowling inspired New Zealand to a thumping innings and 65-run victory over England on the final day of the opening match of the two-Test series.

The Black Caps' dominant win has stretched their home streak to an extraordinary seven Test series without defeat.

Although the emphatic margin of victory might suggest otherwise, New Zealand were made to sweat for their hard-earned win courtesy of a thorny ninth-wicket stand between Sam Curran and Jofra Archer.

The two pacers offered timely resistance and batted out 16 overs trying to force a draw before Wagner returned for a late burst to snaffle the remaining two wickets in succession.

England began the fifth day's proceedings with their backs to the wall at 55-3, needing another 207 runs to avoid an innings defeat.

A gritty show of defiance from Ben Stokes and Joe Denly ignited hopes of salvaging a draw after skipper Joe Root disappointingly fell for 11 early in the morning session.

Root, fresh from a first-innings failure where he managed just two runs, guided the ball tamely to gully having been taken by surprise by a rising short ball from Colin de Grandhomme.

Stokes and Denly batted unperturbed, making progress at a snail's pace before the left-handed batsman chased a wide Tim Southee delivery only ending up dragging the ball back onto his stumps via an inside edge.

Stokes' departure provided an opening for Wagner as he unleashed his bumper barrage to put the tourists under pressure.

The left-arm fast bowler dismissed Denly, Ollie Pope and Jos Buttler in a jiffy to leave England reeling at 138-8 with a whole session left to survive for a draw.

Wagner cut short Denly's stoic 142-ball vigil with a terrific bouncer that was initially adjudged not out by the on-field umpire but the verdict was overturned on review.

Wagner was then aided by a stupendous grab from Mitchell Santner at short cover when Pope tried to drive a slower ball pitched outside off.

Instantly after opting for the new ball, the 33-year-old bamboozled Buttler for a duck as the red cherry tailed in late to clatter his stumps while the batter offered no shot.

Archer and Curran threatened to halt New Zealand's victory charge with restrained strokeplay contrary to their attacking style of cricket but Wagner eventually reigned supreme.

New Zealand's special triumph was earlier set up by the record-breaking partnership between BJ Watling, 205, and Santner, 126, despite being put on the back foot in the first two days.

The hosts will nevertheless be worrying over Trent Boult's fitness as the premier pacer bowled only a single over in the entire day and walked off the field due to a rib problem.