Tom Latham insists the priority will be World Test Championship points when New Zealand face South Africa in the second and final Test of their series at the Hagley Oval on Thursday.

After thrashing the tourists in the first Test by an innings and 276 runs in just seven sessions, New Zealand will clinch their first ever Test series win against the Proteas should they avoid defeat in Christchurch.

However, Latham is keen for his team to keep their eyes on the prize they won last year, and not simply play for a draw to ensure a historic series win.

The Black Caps' stand-in captain, speaking at a media conference ahead of the second Test, said: "On the whole for us it's about the WTC and you get as many points as possible.

"Points at home are really vital. Nowadays in international cricket it's so hard to win away from home, so points in your own country are really important."

When asked about the possibility of playing for a draw, he added: "Yeah, if you look back a few years ago, where you know this wasn't the case, we had series which, if you won 1-0 then that was cool.

"But I guess nowadays the context that the WTC has had has been great for Test cricket and it just shows that you need to win every game, and that will be our challenge."

New Zealand are in sixth place in the WTC points table, with 46.66 percentage points after five matches. Following this series, their Test side travels to England and Pakistan.

South Africa will be looking for drastic improvement on their feeble showing in the first Test, where they scored just 95 and 111 in their two innings and allowed the hosts to amass 482 runs in reply.

Remarkably, it was New Zealand's first Test match victory against the Proteas since 2004, and they have lost 13 out of the last 16 series between the two, including the most recent six.

No Williamson? No Boult? No problem

Kane Williamson remains sidelined by injury, though New Zealand's batting hardly seemed to suffer without their regular captain, and coach Gary Stead confirmed Trent Boult will also miss out again.

The pace bowler missed the first Test as he was awaiting the birth of his third child, and Stead feels he has not had enough time in the nets since returning to be considered here.

"[He] is not in a position to be available with his loads and where he's at," Stead said.

"Since his wife has been having the baby, he's missed out on a lot of opportunities to play cricket and bowl. We just felt the risk of him playing was far too great at the moment."

Ngidi ruled out again

Although an inability to put runs on the board was a major factor in the first Test defeat – the second-biggest in South Africa's history – it was also frustrating for them to see New Zealand do so with relative ease.

South Africa certainly missed the bowling of Lungi Ngidi, and unfortunately will be without the 25-year-old again.

"Because he hasn't been able to bowl last week, I don't think his bowling loads are up to the standard of preparing for Test matches," Proteas captain Dean Elgar said to reporters regarding Ngidi, who missed the first Test with a back issue.

"He hasn't been training with us, he's only been bowling off a short run-up, which has been a bit of a setback for us. We know Lungi's been a key figure in our bowling line-up. So it's a bit disappointing that he's in the situation that he's in now."

South Africa captain Dean Elgar suggested that his side were trying too hard to force a result against New Zealand after they slumped to a historic loss in the first Test.

The Black Caps won by an innings and 276 runs, as the visitors were bowled all out for 95 and 111 respectively in what was their second-worst-ever defeat.

The triumph was New Zealand's first in the Test arena against South Africa since 2004, a run remarkably dating back 16 matches.

Elgar, however, refused to lay the blame at the feet of South Africa's disrupted build-up, with no warm-up matches having been held for the two-match tour, stressing that his side need to hold themselves accountable.

"I can't say it was nerves," the opener told reporters. "We were so deep into the game, those nerves were out of our system.

"It's extremely difficult to build pressure when runs are being scored on both sides of the wicket. It also boils down to guys trying too hard. The harder you try, the more you fail.

"I am not going to use quarantine as an excuse. We are here to represent our country, and we need to be firing by the time match day comes. If that is an excuse, it's a very weak excuse to be using."

Elgar offered his backing to number three Aiden Markram however, though conceded that the batsman's fall in form over recent months at Test level is a concern.

"It's not foreign that he has been struggling," he added said.

"Maybe it's the mental game he is fighting. Naturally he is a gifted player and he is one score away from turning things around."

Stand-in skipper Latham hails depth power

New Zealand's work in Christchurch was doubly impressive given the absence of Kane Williamson and Trent Boult, with the game the first time the Black Caps have played a Test without them or Ross Taylor for 14 years.

Stand-in captain Tom Latham was quick to hail the strength in reserve on show, adding: "It is testament 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."

Proteas make unwanted history

Aside from suffering their second-worst loss in Test cricket – behind only their innings and 360 runs loss to Australia in 2002 – South Africa also wrote themselves into some more unwanted record books.

Their result was the biggest margin of defeat suffered by a Test side in the past decade, while no South Africa player individually scored more than New Zealand number 11 Matt Henry did in his lone knock, with 58 – just the fifth time the feat has been achieved.

Ebadot Hossain was sky high after the seamer and Bangladesh Air Force soldier ripped through New Zealand's batting line-up in a historic Test victory in Mount Maunganui.

Bangladesh secured a sensational first win in New Zealand in any format on the final day to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

Seamer Hossain claimed career-best figures of 6-46 as world champions the Black Caps were bowled out for only 169, setting the tourists just 40 to win.

Bangladesh reached their target for the loss of two wickets and Hossain revelled in a famous eight-wicket win for the Tigers.

He said: "On New Zealand soil, our brothers and teams didn't get a win in the last 21 years. We set a goal this time. We raised our hand.

"We have to beat New Zealand on their own soil. They are Test champions, our next generation has to beat New Zealand.

"In the last two years, I am working with Ottis Gibson [Bangladesh fast bowling coach]. Conditions are always flat at home. We are still learning how to bowl and reverse in away conditions. I am trying to hit the top of the stumps. I needed to be a little patient for success to come.

"I am a soldier of Bangladesh Air Force, so I know how to do the salute. It was a long story, from volleyball to cricket. I am enjoying cricket, representing Bangladesh and Bangladesh Air Force."

Stand-in captain Tom Latham says the Black Caps must show a strong response to a painful defeat when they attempt to draw the series at Hagley Oval.

He said: "We weren't quite there in all three facets really, Bangladesh certainly showed us how to go about things on that wicket. They were able to build partnerships, apply a lot of pressure and unfortunately we weren't able to do it for long enough.

"There have been only two Test matches here, both matches have been similar, probably a little bit slower than what we expected and did not quite break up as much.

"We sort of knew what it would be like, probably looking back at the first innings, the position we were in - if we get 450, then it's probably a different story but full credit to Bangladesh, they thoroughly deserve the win.

"It hurts but we have got to turn to Christchurch in a few days' time and hopefully we will take the learnings from this and apply them to what will be a different surface at Hagley.

"Every individual has to reflect on their learnings from what was a slightly different surface here and our focus has got to turn to Hagley and hopefully we can put up a good performance there."

New Zealand fought back brilliantly on day two of the first Test after India debutant Shreyas Iyer made a classy debut century in Kanpur.

India were all out for 345 on Friday after losing six wickets for 79 runs, Tim Southee (5-69) doing much of the damage as he claimed a 13th five-wicket Test haul.

Iyer made a superb 105 at Green Park and Ravindra Jadeja was out for 50, his overnight score, while Ravichandran Ashwin chipped in with 38.

India had been in a strong position when they resumed on 258-4, but the tourists hit back like the world Test champions that they are, Southee setting the tone and Ajaz Patel taking 2-90 after Kyle Jamieson struck three times on day one.

Will Young and Tom Latham then frustrated India by taking the Black Caps through to the close on 129-0.

Young – playing his first Test in India – was unbeaten on 75 and Latham reached 50, the openers demonstrating great temperament and technique.

Latham successfully reviewed after being given out leg before and caught behind to Jadeja and Ashwin respectively as India failed to make a breakthrough.

Young and Latham will resume on day three with New Zealand trailing by 216 as they eye a first Test victory in India for 33 years.


Dream debut for Iyer, Southee outstanding

Iyer got his chance with India missing the likes of captain Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma, and he grabbed it with both hands.

After striding to the crease on 75, the 26-year-old went on to become the first India batsman since Prithvi Shaw in October 2018 to make a hundred on his Test bow.

Iyer fell tamely when he was taken by Young off the bowling of Southee, who was outstanding as he bowled 11 overs unchanged in a brilliant spell during the opening session and was rewarded with another five-wicket haul.


Black Caps openers rock solid

A broken hand sustained by Devon Conway during the T20 World Cup opened the door for Young to partner Latham at the top of the order.

The right-hander gave another demonstration that he is very much at home on the Test stage, rock solid in defence and also playing positively as he crafted a second half-century in only his fourth match in the longest format.

Trusty left-hander Latham was watchful as he batted with great assurance to register a 21st Test half-century, with the openers making the India bowlers toil as they built a strong platform.

Joe Root insists lessons must be learned by his England side after they suffered an eight-wicket defeat to New Zealand in the second Test at Edgbaston.

New Zealand clinched just their third series win in England – and first since 1999 – as they eased to a win which takes them to the top of the ICC Test rankings.

The Black Caps, who face India in the ICC Test Championship final next week, did the damage on Saturday, leaving England heading into day four on 122-9 in their second innings.

Trent Boult dismissed Olly Stone with the first delivery on Sunday, and New Zealand tallied up the 38 they required to win within the hour, although Devon Conway and Will Young lost their wickets.

England do not play another Test series until August, when they host India, and Root knows there is much to improve upon.

"More than anything, it's what we can take from it. You can have bad sessions on occasion with the ball but you can't have a session like that with the bat," he said at the post-match presentation.

"That's cost us, but throughout the game New Zealand outplayed us. If we lose quick wickets, how are we going to get through that? Mentally we have to make sure we're resilient and we manage passages of play better.

"It's the lessons from watching the opposition, using the experience in the dressing room, and trying to make sure when you're in the same situation to don't make the same mistakes.

"You can look for excuses but they outplayed us, they played good cricket and we've not matched that. We know we're better than this."

England have white-ball series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan coming up, and Root is hoping a switch to a different format will offer a reset for some of the squad.

"Freeing the mind, look at the game in a different context, it can liberate you. It's the chance to go back into a different format and find rhythm," he added.

"You can never beat wickets and runs."

New Zealand stand-in captain Tom Latham surpassed 4,000 Test runs on Sunday, and fittingly clipped away the winning boundary.

"Great to have that performance, through the four days it was outstanding, with a few changes, everyone came out and did their roles. It was a complete team performance," he said.

"[England have] a fantastic attack, a lot of wickets among them. We played them really well on surfaces we weren't expecting at Lord's and here. I thought we adapted well."

Tom Latham surpassed 4,000 Test runs as he led New Zealand to a comprehensive eight-wicket triumph over England in the second Test at Edgbaston.

The damage had been done on Saturday, as England collapsed to 122-9 in their second innings, leaving the Black Caps on the verge of their first Test series win in England since 1999.

Trent Boult sent Olly Stone back to the pavilion with the first delivery of day four, leaving New Zealand chasing a mere 38.

Devon Conway was dismissed in the second over, though stand-in captain Latham (23) ticked off a milestone as New Zealand cruised to a maiden Test win at Edgbaston, setting themselves up for the ICC Test Championship final against India in emphatic fashion.

Any possibilities of complacency creeping in from New Zealand were dashed before a minute of play, Boult's supreme delivery nicking off Stone's edge and through to Tom Blundell.

A maiden over from James Anderson – whose record-setting Test match has not gone according to script – kept Latham, six off his 4,000th run in the longest format, at bay, and Stuart Broad subsequently gave the crowd something to cheer.

Conway fished at a delivery outside his off stump, with James Bracey gathering it in.

Latham and Will Young knew the Test was won, though, with sensible shots from New Zealand's stand-in skipper ticking him towards the landmark, which came when he nudged Broad for a single.

Mark Wood very nearly ran Latham out with an acrobatic, underarm throw from close range, though even that wicket would have been immaterial.

After clipping a brilliant shot through backward point, Young dragged a wider Stone delivery onto his stumps, but Latham fittingly had the final say.

A sublime flick to the legside boundary was followed up by a deft touch through to third man to seal a 1-0 series win, just New Zealand's second in England.

No home comforts for sorry England

England's footballers get their Euro 2020 campaign started on Sunday, and the Edgbaston crowd were singing "football's coming home" as they watched the cricketers learn a brutal lesson in the Birmingham sunshine.

Joe Root's team, who have lost a series on home soil for the first time since 2014, do not convene again until they host India in August. While they had injuries to key players, along with off-the-field issues that marred the first Test, England have much to improve on, with their batting once again letting their bowling attack down.

Black Caps top the rankings as dominance over England rolls on

With this triumph, New Zealand have moved ahead of India to the top of the ICC Test rankings, though the ultimate test will of course come in the inaugural ICC Test Championship final against Virat Kohli's team in Southampton next week.

New Zealand may have ended a dismal run in England, but overall, they have now not lost a Test to them since 2015 – a run of seven.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.