NZ beat SA with a record-huge margin despite absence of Williamson, Taylor and Boult

NZ beat SA with a record-huge margin despite absence of Williamson, Taylor and Boult

It’s the first time after 14 years that New Zealand played a Test match without Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Trent Boult. And yet they still managed to beat South Africa, by an astonishing margin of an innings and 276 runs, a performance that the stand-in captain Tom Latham was impressed with.

Along the way to their victory, the one stalwart that they did have, reached a memorable milestone. Tim Southee overtook Richard Hadlee as the highest New Zealand wicket-taker in New Zealand. There was delay in it being official though, with New Zealand needing to overturn a not-out lbw decision. But that also meant the 33-year-old had all his team-mates around him, eagerly waiting for the big moment.

It is not yet confirmed whether Boult, who is on paternity leave, will be back in time for the next match. Williamson is still recovering from a long-standing elbow injury. And Taylor has retired. So New Zealand may have to play in the second Test against South Africa starting on February 25 without any of them, again. But given they’ve just wrapped up their third-biggest win in the format, Latham feels it’s the kind of problem he will be able to deal with succesfully.

Tom Latham on the big win despite three big stalwarts being absent

“Yeah, it’s obviously great for the side,” he said. “It’s been documented it’s a long time ago since we haven’t seen any of those three names who are such a vital part of the side. I guess its testament to the depth that we’re creating to the depth in New Zealand cricket that guys who haven’t played a lot can step up and come up and perform straight away.”

‘I guess it’s a unique scenario but it’s also a situation we’re used to nowadays with the DRS. Obviously, [it’s] great for us all to be together and certainly regardless of how you get it, it’s certainly a great way [to break the record]. So yeah, it’s been a Test match that we’re very proud of and one we’ll celebrate tonight.”

“For me, it’s just about trying to fill this position as well I can. Certainly when Kane’s available, he’ll slip right back in. For me, it’s just about trying to continue what this group has been doing for such a long period of time. Got some great leaders amongst the group. Got some experience as well even, though we’ve lost some over the last couple of Test matches. But I guess trying to continue the formula that New Zealand cricket has produced over recent years and I guess I probably had my spin on things in terms of doing things slightly differently but I think as a whole it’s about continuing the blueprint as best I can. We’ve had some really good success recently and just trying to continue that.”

Avishkar Govardhane is a Sports Editor and enthusiast, working here at Clout News covering the latest Cricket News.

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