Cricket News

Cricket-Squad depth key for NZ, says stand-in skipper Latham

WELLINGTON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - New Zealand captain Tom Latham said squad depth and their ability to adapt were the key factors in Monday’s clinical innings and 12-run victory over West Indies in the second test at the Basin Reserve which sealed a 2-0 series sweep.

The hosts got their second successive innings victory, and second inside four days, without their best batsman and regular captain Kane Williamson, who withdrew on the day before the game to be with his pregnant wife.

Middle order batsman Henry Nicholls covered Williamson’s absence and scored a career-best 174 in their first innings of 460, before the bowlers dismissed the visitors for 131 and 317.

“Whoever comes into the side we expect them to do their role to the best of their ability,” Latham told reporters. “It was about everyone standing up and it was great we were able to do it without Kane.

“It’s great for our squad we do have depth.”

New Zealand did ride their luck in the first innings.

Nicholls, who was named Man of the Match, was dropped three times and West Indies grassed several other opportunities.

Touring captain Jason Holder said those missed chances were critical.

“I thought our bowlers were outstanding,” Holder said.

“Just tough we didn’t take our opportunities when they came. It just show that when you give quality players, two, three, or four hands in one test match they will make you pay.”

Holder was disappointed at his side’s lack of consistency in the match but was happy to see them show some resolve in their second innings.

Opener John Campbell top-scored with 68, wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva scored 57 on debut, while the captain belted 61 and ensured the match went into a fourth day.

“I was pleased to see the fight in the second innings,” Holder said.

“(There were) positives, (we were) good in patches, but not good enough.”

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Peter Rutherford