Trent Boult is "likely" to make a timely return for the Boxing Day Test after New Zealand were hammered by Australia at Perth Stadium.

Boult missed the start of the three-match series due to a side strain and could only watch on as Australia sealed a crushing 296-run victory on day four.

The left-arm paceman is set to feature in the second Test at the MCG as a replacement for Lockie Ferguson, who suffered a calf injury on day one of his Test debut in the day-night contest this week.

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson said: "His [Boult] fitness is looking likely. He was a close one for this so, hopefully, he will be fully fit for the next match."

There may be at least one further change to the side in Melbourne after struggling opening batsman Jeet Raval fell for only one in both innings.

"I suppose Jeet is like every other batsman in the world and that's that they want more and more runs and you always have good days and bad days," Williamson added.

"These are some hard lessons for him and great experiences as well. In terms of looking forward, just having finished this game, it's important we reflect on it and any selections will be based upon the surfaces and the squad that we have at the time."

Williamson refused to blame a lack of time to prepare for the pink-ball match as an excuse for a crushing loss in a match that came so soon after sealing 1-0 series win over England.

The skipper said: "It's hard to just blame preparation. It's always impossible to know what the perfect preparation is, but there are some parts to the pink-ball Test that are unique.

"We've just come off the back of a couple of Test matches against England and there's simply not enough time to achieve all of those things.

"It was important that we just tried to address a number of the parts that we had to adapt to, quickly as possible in training. By no means did we play our best cricket, but at the same time, Australia were outstanding throughout this game.

"Their cricket, but also their pink-ball tactics, were right on point and they basically led from start to finish in this game."

Steve Smith produced a stunning one-handed catch to remove Kane Williamson on the second day of Australia's first Test against New Zealand, though Mitchell Starc always expected his brilliant team-mate to take the chance.

Starc finished with 4-31 from 11 overs at stumps as the Black Caps were reduced to 109-5 in reply to Australia's first-innings total of 416.

While Ross Taylor will resume on 66 not out on Saturday, Australia have already got the key wicket of Williamson, who fell for 34 when Starc and Smith combined in spectacular fashion.

Former Australia captain Smith flung out his right hand to take a remarkable diving grab at second slip, not that the bowler of the delivery shared the crowd's amazement.

"Unfortunately for him, you sort of expect that from Steve," Starc explained to reporters.

"He's done that a few times. It was fantastic to create that buzz in the crowd and certainly out on the ground for us.

"The big wicket of Kane - being the captain as well - to hang onto him was a big moment in tonight's session.

"It was a fantastic catch, and it's always nice to see the boys hang on."

Starc added: "It happens pretty quick. It was a special grab.

"He's such a good player, whether it be with bat or in the field, you almost, unfortunately for him, expect that he's going to hold onto those nine times out of 10."

It was not all plain sailing for the hosts, who lost Josh Hazlewood to a suspected hamstring injury after he had bowled just eight balls - one of which clattered into opener Jeet Raval's stumps.

The extent of Hazlewood's problem is due to be confirmed on Saturday, with Starc already facing up to the possibility of Australia being one bowler down for at least the remainder of this Test.

"It's never nice seeing anyone go down, especially one of your best mates," Starc added.

"I'm not sure how those scans have come back, hopefully there's some positivity out of that. I guess it makes it tough now with a bowler down. It was for the Kiwis with [Lockie] Ferguson going down.

"The plus side is we've got them five down tonight and hopefully for Josh it's not too bad and, if it is going to keep him out for the rest of the week, it's not too big a break to get that hammy right."

Starc shone with the pink ball in the day-night Test, though admitted he still prefers all-day matches.

Asked whether he wanted all Tests to be day-night encounters given his performance, Starc replied: "Nope. Don't overdo it, I'd say.

"It's great for cricket but I'm still a traditionalist at heart. Don't take too many away from the red-ball game."

Mitchell Starc put Australia in command in the absence of Josh Hazlewood while Steve Smith took a sensational catch to leave New Zealand in big trouble on day two of the first Test.

Marnus Labuschagne fell for 143 after making his third consecutive Test century on the opening day at Perth Stadium, and Travis Head struck 56 in Australia's 416 all out.

Neil Wagner (4-92) and Tim Southee (4-93) stepped up again with Black Caps debutant Lockie Ferguson unable bowl due to a calf injury sustained on Thursday.

New Zealand lost both openers inside two overs of their reply, but their trans-Tasman rivals suffered a big blow when Hazlewood ambled off with a suspected hamstring injury after dismissing Jeet Raval. 

Starc came to the fore late in the day-night contest on Friday, Smith diving to remove Williamson (34) in spectacular fashion as the left-arm paceman took 4-31 to reduce the tourists to 109-5 at stumps.

Ross Taylor will resume on Saturday unbeaten on 66 with New Zealand trailing by 307 and BJ Watling yet to get off the mark.

Labuschagne put away a couple of glorious drives after Australia resumed on 248-4, but Wagner ended his fifth-wicket stand of 76 with Travis Head by bowling the in-form number three around his legs.

Head looked in great touch in a positive knock, finding the boundary frequently before driving Southee to Mitchell Santner in the covers.

The Black Caps bowled with discipline after lunch, and Raval, used more than he would have anticipated in the absence of Ferguson, dismissed Pat Cummins for 20.

Starc added a brisk 30, smashing Santner for six over long-on, and captain Tim Paine a patient 39 before both were dismissed by Southee, with Australia all out on the stroke of tea.

New Zealand got off to a nightmare start to their reply under the lights, Tom Latham caught and bowled by Starc without scoring in the first over and Hazlewood cleaning up Raval with only his fourth ball.

Taylor joined Williamson at the crease with the tourists in the mire on 1-2, and they would have been relieved to see Hazlewood walk off after pulling up in his second over.

The current and former captain had to contend with some hostile short stuff from Cummins and Starc, but they weathered the storm under pressure and Taylor struck Nathan Lyon for three boundaries in an over.

There was no review from Australia when Williamson appeared to feather Cummins behind, but Smith took off to his right to grab a stunning one-handed catch to remove the prolific skipper - ending a stand of 76.

Although Taylor brought up a hard-earned half-century, Starc strangled Henry Nicholls caught behind down the leg side and generated late swing to bowl nightwatchman Wagner first ball in a great spell to leave New Zealand on the ropes.

England captain Joe Root backed Jofra Archer to bounce back after the paceman struggled to have an impact in the 1-0 Test series loss to New Zealand.

Archer finished with just two wickets at an average of 104.50 as England lost the series after the second Test was drawn in Hamilton on Tuesday.

But Root backed the 24-year-old, who saw Joe Denly drop a simple chance to dismiss Kane Williamson off his bowling on day five, to respond.

"He's found out that Test cricket is hard. You sometimes don't get the rewards you deserve in Test cricket," he told Sky Sports.

"He is a fantastic talent and there's no doubt he's going to contribute to England in Test cricket.

"I expect him to bounce back quite quickly. He's a fast learner."

Williamson and Ross Taylor made unbeaten centuries at Seddon Park before the rain arrived, leading to a drawn second Test.

Root was unsurprisingly left disappointed after the series loss, saying: "It was a frustrating day.

"I thought we tried everything as a bowling group, a couple of chances didn't stick. I thought we were forcing the issue a lot of the time."

Black Caps captain Williamson praised his team after holding on for a draw on a flat pitch in the second Test.

"It was a great fighting effort over the last couple of weeks. We know how strong the England side is. To lose both tosses but to keep showing that fight was really pleasing to see," he said.

"The first match for us was a fantastic victory. To come here and back it up with another strong performance was really pleasing."

Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor scored centuries before the rain arrived as the second Test between New Zealand and England was drawn on Tuesday.

Williamson (104) and Taylor (105) were unbeaten when the weather stopped play in the second session on day five at Seddon Park in Hamilton.

The pair had put on 213 for the third wicket as the Black Caps got to 241-2 – a lead of 140 runs.

England had their chances – Joe Denly dropped a simple catch in the opening session – but fell to a 1-0 series defeat.

The flat Seddon Park pitch continued to offer little, but England did themselves no favours in their bid for an unlikely victory to begin day five.

Williamson was dropped on 39, Ollie Pope unable to hold onto a regulation catch down leg side off Ben Stokes (0-58).

Denly then put down an even easier chance when the New Zealand captain was on 62.

Jofra Archer (0-27) was already celebrating as Williamson poked a soft shot to Denly at midwicket, but the simple chance was dropped.

That was as close as England got to a wicket as Williamson reached his 21st Test century and Taylor his 19th after back-to-back sixes.

Taylor also went past 7,000 Test runs, becoming the second New Zealander – after Stephen Fleming – to reach the milestone.

Joe Root believes England can win the second Test against New Zealand if they can get on a "wicket train" early on the final day.

England captain Root reached 226 on day four – his first overseas double century and his longest innings at 10 hours, 36 minutes – at Seddon Park before falling to Mitchell Santner as the tourists lost their last five wickets for 21 runs.

New Zealand saw Jeet Raval fall to a second-ball duck and Tom Latham dismissed for 18 in the final session, but Kane Williamson (37 not out) and Ross Taylor (31no) guided the Black Caps to stumps.

A draw appears to be the most likely result as rain is forecast for much of Tuesday, but Root thinks England have a shot at securing a 1-1 series draw if they can get Williamson and Taylor out quickly.

"If we can make an early breakthrough, it could get us on a bit of a wicket train, because they're such key figures in their batting line-up," said Root.

"They've got huge amounts of experience and are class players, so it would give our guys a lot of confidence for sure.

"They're two experienced players who you expect a bit of rearguard from – they know how to play in those situations, and on a good surface you expect a bit of a fightback from the number two side in the world."

He added: "I wanted to try to get us in a position where we could force a result in this game. A good couple of wickets tonight, it would have been nice to get a couple more.

"But I still feel it we can sneak a couple tomorrow morning first thing – I know there's a bit of weather around but you just never know. There will be one big last push from everyone to try and come away with a levelled-up series.

"We'd have taken this position at the start of the day."

Neil Wagner sparked the decimation of England's tail by removing Ollie Pope and he went on to claim his fourth five-wicket haul in as many Tests, but the left-armer was modest when assessing his performance.

"I was a bit lucky to get the rewards. All the other bowlers bowled well, too, and grafted away," said Wagner.

"It just sort of came my way and I ended up getting a couple of wickets which is quite nice and pleasing and satisfying.

"But all the bowlers bowled well with not a lot of luck and reward. We hunt as a pack and bowl really well in partnerships and I was lucky it came my way."

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson will seek out Jofra Archer for a personal apology having said sorry on behalf of his country after the England bowler was racially abused by a fan.

An investigation was launched by New Zealand Cricket (NZC) after Archer said he was targeted during the first Test at Bay Oval.

The 24-year-old made 30 in England's second innings as Joe Root's team tried to salvage a draw, only for the Black Caps to claim an innings-and-65-run win in the final session of the last day.

After the match, Archer wrote on Twitter: "A bit disturbing hearing racial insults today whilst battling to help save my team, the crowd was been amazing this week except for that one guy."

NZC apologised to Archer and vowed to identify the spectator, and Williamson said he intends to speak with the bowler himself too.

"I will try, over the next few days if I can see him, definitely," he told stuff.co.nz.

"It's certainly against everything that we as Kiwis are about, and I certainly hope that nothing like that ever happens again.

"I can only apologise on behalf of Kiwis to Jofra, not only from our team and how we look to conduct ourselves, but what we expect of Kiwis in general."

Williamson went on to describe the abuse as "horrific".

Asked if he was shocked, he added: "Absolutely, 100 per cent.

"We were out there too and didn't hear anything… obviously we were focusing on other things.

"It's a horrific thing. In a country, and a setting where it is very much multi-cultural, it's something we need to put to bed quickly and hope nothing like that ever happens again. It certainly won't if there's any influence we can have on it."

The second Test begins in Hamilton on Thursday and England's director of cricket Ashley Giles promised Archer the full support of his team.

"The tweet that went out [from Archer] was obviously emotional. It hurts," Giles told ESPN.

"We fully support Jof - there is no place for racism in the game and Jof is part of our team. Whatever the abuse, we're right behind him.

"Our team will rally round him but it's a serious incident. He's a young man making his way in the game and we don't need this sort of thing. I'm hopeful they [NZC] will find out who did it. They're working very hard to find the culprit."

Kane Williamson has hailed a special performance from his New Zealand team after the Black Caps dismantled England in the first Test of a two-match series.

After BJ Watling (205) and Mitchell Santner (126) starred for New Zealand with the bat, Neil Wagner stole the show on Monday with a five-wicket haul to claim an innings-and-65-runs win at Mount Maunganui.

England had looked in a promising position at the end of their first innings, having accumulated 353, with Rory Burns (52), Joe Denly (74) and Ben Stokes (91) all registering half-centuries.

However, Williamson - who scored 51 himself - has put the difference between the sides down to the impact of Watling and Santner.

"To lose the toss and be 350 behind in the first innings required something special," Williamson said. "And it was something special for 200 overs to get us into a position which gave us a chance.

"To get 600 gave us that opportunity to bowl last on that wicket, so a huge amount of credit goes to the way the middle-order built those partnerships.

"BJ Watling with 200 and Mitch Santner with his first Test hundred were incredibly valuable and hugely required. Colin de Grandhomme batted well, too.

"The pitch started to deteriorate which is what you want to see in Test cricket. But when you do see that you want to have won the toss. This is certainly right up there in terms of a tough, grinding Test victory.

"Scores of 50 and 60 weren't enough to turn the momentum from England's first innings, it did require something large and for a long period of time and that's what those guys did. It was a brilliant effort against a very strong England bowling attack.

"It was outstanding to see that middle order apply themselves like that. BJ is such a tough competitor and just cares about getting the team into a position to win cricket games. It goes a long way to him applying himself for near on 500 balls, which is an amazing effort. A lot of people wish they could bat 500 balls, including myself.

"It was a brilliant, brilliant performance and it took a huge amount of hard work. For BJ and Mitch to keep soaking up that pressure was outstanding and something that is clearly very hard to do for everybody."

New Zealand's victory was somewhat overshadowed by Jofra Archer stating he had received racist abuse from a spectator while walking off after he was dismissed for 30 towards the end of England's second innings.

An investigation has been opened and New Zealand Cricket promised to apologise to Barbados-born Archer on Tuesday, ahead of the second Test in Hamilton three days later.

Jack Leach admitted England came up short of their target with the bat against New Zealand but he was heartened by an apparently deteriorating pitch at Bay Oval.

The left-armer was the not-out batsman as England were dismissed for 353, having at one stage been 277-4 in the first of two Tests.

England made strong headway with the ball as the Black Caps were reduced to 144-4, with the key wicket of captain Kane Williamson for 51 providing a boost for the tourists late in the day.

It was the nature of that dismissal, brought about by Sam Curran's viciously bouncing length delivery, that offered added encouragement to Leach.

"The ball from Sam Curran to get Kane Williamson misbehaved and that's a good sign when you've got runs on the board," said Leach, who accounted for opener Jeet Raval.

"We would have liked to have got more runs, we were aiming for at least 400.

"We wanted that big score and we wanted a century in there and that's something we're working hard to do.

"Hopefully that'll come in the second innings."

Tim Southee, who posted figures of 4-88, conceded the loss of talisman Williamson with the close of the day's play in sight was a bitter pill to swallow, but he was pleased to have limited the damage England could do in their first innings.

"It would have been nice to be three down but we've still got batting to come," he said.

"I thought we bowled well [on Thursday] and we got our rewards for that now. We would have taken 6-112 at the start of the day."

England battled to a good position after the late scalp of Kane Williamson left New Zealand 144-4 at stumps on day two of the first Test on Friday.

A Sam Curran delivery caught New Zealand captain Williamson (51) off guard in the final session in Mount Maunganui, where the Black Caps closed the day 209 runs adrift with six wickets in hand.

After Tom Latham (8), Jeet Raval (19) and Ross Taylor (25) fell cheaply in response to England's 353, Williamson posted his 31st Test half-century before exiting to Curran (2-28).

Henry Nicholls (26 not out) survived a scary blow to the helmet off the bowling of Jofra Archer as he and BJ Watling (6 not out) saw out the remaining overs.

Earlier in the day, New Zealand produced an honest performance with the ball, having toiled on day one against England.

An eventful morning session saw Tim Southee (4-88) produce a three-wicket burst to put England on the back foot – Ben Stokes (91) the first to go after the tourists resumed on 241-4.

Stokes – who started the day on 67 – fell nine runs short of his third Test century in five matches when Taylor held on to a catch first slip.

Southee struck three times in 11 balls as he also dismissed Ollie Pope (29) and Curran (0), with Archer (4) negotiating the hat-trick ball only to fall to Trent Boult (1-97) the following over.

From the relative comfort of 277-4 to 295-8, England found themselves in trouble until Jos Buttler (43) and Jack Leach (18 not out) added some valuable runs to lead the visitors past 350 before Neil Wagner (3-90) wrapped things up following lunch.

Kane Williamson explained it was a "tough" decision to leave Lockie Ferguson out of the New Zealand side for the first Test against England but insisted the paceman's time will come.

The uncapped Ferguson, 28, will not make his debut when the first-ever Test at Bay Oval gets under way on Thursday, with Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner getting the nod.

Black Caps captain Williamson hinted that the rapid Ferguson, outstanding in the Cricket World Cup, could make his bow in the longest format in the near future.

Williamson said of the bowler's omission for the start of the two-match series: "It was tough.

"We know what he can bring - he's certainly not far away and he's an exciting prospect.

"He brings something a little different which is really exciting, no doubt he's raring to go if and when that opportunity comes. His name will always be discussed."

He added: "The three that we've gone with are guys that have been in the group for a long period of time and performed really well for us, so I know they're looking forward to getting back into Test cricket.

"It's great to have so many guys in the environment who are very much raring to go and all offering different things."

All-rounder Todd Astle was released from the New Zealand squad along with Ferguson.

For England, opening batsman Dom Sibley will make his debut and Ollie Pope returns while Sam Curran was preferred to Chris Woakes in Mount Maunganui.

Kane Williamson has been passed fit to captain a New Zealand Test squad to face England and Australia that includes uncapped paceman Lockie Ferguson.

A hip injury kept Williamson out of the five Twenty20 internationals on home soil against England, with the tourists earning a 3-2 series victory thanks to a Super Over triumph at Eden Park on Sunday.

The 29-year-old batsman has recovered in time to lead the Black Caps in the inaugural Test at his home ground of Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, which begins next Thursday.

New Zealand will then face England again at Seddon Park from November 29 before a trio of Tests against trans-Tasman rivals Australia, the first of which takes place at Optus Stadium in Perth.

"Kane's made good progress over the past fortnight and we're delighted to welcome back a player of his class and experience," said selector Gavin Larsen.

"It's obviously going to be a very special Test for him and Trent Boult being such passionate locals - we know there's already a lot of excitement in that part of the Bay of Plenty."

Williamson will be joined by Ferguson, who has earned his maiden Test call-up after becoming a key cog for the Kiwis in white-ball cricket.

The 28-year-old paceman has claimed 153 wickets in 42 first-class matches at an average of 24.30.

"There's no doubt Lockie has been knocking on the door for a while now and we're delighted to finally bring him into the Test fold," Larsen said.

"It's well documented he has raw pace, but he also possesses a quality bowling skill set and has proven durability to stay on the park.

"He showed good form against England in the recent T20 series and backed that up with a solid outing for the Auckland Aces in the Plunket Shield where he claimed 4-23 against the Wellington Firebirds.

"Our pace bowling stocks are strong at the moment and we feel Lockie will add another dimension to the picture which will create some great competition."

 

New Zealand Test squad: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling.

Tim Southee is praying the deciding game of New Zealand's back-and-forth T20 series against England does not end in a tie after his country's haunting Cricket World Cup final defeat to the same opponents.

England beat the Black Caps to win the showpiece on home soil in July via a super over after the scores were level at the end of 100 gripping overs.

The two sides are now closely matched once again, with the five-game T20 series level at 2-2 after England's 76-run win in Napier on Friday.

Inspired by Dawid Malan hitting England's fastest T20 century (103 not out from 51 balls) and captain Eoin Morgan, who hit 91 from 41 deliveries, the tourists triumphed to set up a decider in Auckland on Sunday.

Asked about the chance of a tie, stand-in New Zealand captain Southee (1-47) said: "We've been there! Hopefully it doesn't come down to that."

Of his side's heavy defeat, with New Zealand only making 165 in response to England's 241-3, Southee added: "That can happen in T20, the guys will learn from it and move on. Good thing is we go again in two days. 

"It's more about guys learning from the experience of being put under pressure by Morgs and Malan - the only way is to take wickets."

Regular skipper Kane Williamson, who is not playing in the series due to a hip injury, has been training with his team-mates and is confident he will be fit for the first Test against England at Mount Maunganui on November 21.

He has only batted four times since that World Cup final defeat and explained to Sky Sports: "It's been an ongoing niggle that comes and goes.

"It is settling, which is nice. A lot of [the last few months] has been rehab to get the hip right. 

"I had a four-dayer recently and there's a gap between this series and the first Test, so it's basically training going into it.

"If you're looking at perfect preparation, gametime can be nice - spending time in the middle - but it'll be tough to come by seeing as there's not a lot of cricket between now and then. 

"So it's just trying to get the mindset right to go on and execute your plans as well as you can."

New Zealand will be without captain Kane Williamson for the upcoming Twenty20 series against England due to a right hip injury.

The Black Caps named their squad Friday with skipper Williamson a notable absentee following his withdrawal for the five T20s in New Zealand.

Williamson featured for Northern Districts in the Plunket Shield on Thursday, but a period of rest was agreed for the star batsman – who sits out the reunion with England after his team's heartbreaking super-over defeat in the Cricket World Cup final.

Tim Southee will captain the Black Caps when the series gets underway at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on November 1.

"We've been monitoring the injury for a while now and it's the same issue that ruled him out of the final Test against Bangladesh back in March," said New Zealand head coach Gary Stead.

"It's disappointing timing for Kane at the start of an exciting Kiwi summer, but we feel it's the right decision with a busy season ahead.

"We're fortunate to have someone experienced like Tim who can comfortably step in and take the reins, as he successfully did on the recent tour of Sri Lanka."

Paceman Lockie Ferguson will play in the first three games after returning from a broken thumb, while Trent Boult will take his place for the remaining two fixtures.

"In working with Trent and looking at the season ahead, we feel another four-day game will provide him with the best preparation for the upcoming Test series against England and Australia," added Stead.

After facing England in Christchurch, the series will move to Wellington (November 3), Nelson (November 5), Napier (November 8) and Auckland (November 10) before the first of two Test matches, starting November 21.

 

New Zealand's T20 squad: Tim Southee (c), Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner

Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne urged his batsmen to follow the example of New Zealand centurions Tom Latham and BJ Watling after a crushing defeat in Colombo.

New Zealand prevailed by an innings and 65 runs to secure a 1-1 draw in the two-match series after Sri Lanka wilted in the face of a disciplined bowling effort.

Despite persistent rain taking chunks out of the match, Latham (154) and Watling (105 not out) saw the tourists to 431 for six declared before Karunaratne's men subsided to 122 all-out on the final day.

The captain was forced to come in at number seven after suffering an injured quadricep – not that a clatter to 32-5 before lunch gave him much respite.

"At the end of the day we need to put our hands up and say we didn't do well," Karunaratne said at the post-match presentation, having scored 21 in a 70-ball stay alongside lone half-centurion Niroshan Dickwella.

"But once the batters get a start, we need to get a big one, like Tom and BJ did.

"Dhananjaya [de Silva] and Dickwella were the biggest positives, and the bowlers also did really well."

Dhananjaya's first-innings century came as wickets clattered around him and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson hailed a superb effort from his bowling attack.

Tim Southee brought up 250 Test wickets when he removed Karunaratne on Monday and his 2-15 from 12 overs stacked up impressively alongside Trent Boult's similarly miserly 2-17.

Spinners Ajaz Patel and William Somerville also took two apiece as the visitors bounced back from a six-wicket reverse in Galle.

"The spinners bowled really nicely in our most recent series in the UAE as well," Williamson said.

"The collective unit in this match – the seamers were really impressive – showed there was a little bit in that surface for everyone.

"It was a much-improved performance from us in this match. With the weather it was a great effort to push for a victory.

"It was an outstanding effort in the first innings, there were so many contributions and we scored at a rate that allowed us to move the game forward.

"Overall, it was a very good series against tough opposition. It deserved to be 1-1."

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