New Zealand expectedly trumped Zimbabwe in the short two-Test series at Bulawayo. They beat the hosts by an innings and 117 runs in the first Test, and by 254 runs in the second. Here’s a look at the top performers in the series.
Ross Taylor: The veteran Kiwi had a prolific series with 364 runs from two Tests. He wasn’t dismissed even once during the series. As a result, he did not have an average. Taylor hit two hundreds and a fifty in the series, at an impressive strike rate of 66.18. He made an unbeaten 173 in the first Test, and followed it up with scores of 124 and 67 in the second Test.
Neil Wagner: In a lot of ways, Wagner was the big difference between the two teams. He was the x-factor Zimbabwe were desperately missing. While Wagner has not been at his best against some of the bigger teams, he was too good for Zimbabwe, picking up 11 wickets at an average of 17, at a strike rate of 44. He claimed 6 for 41 and 2 for 62 in the first Test, and added another three wickets in the second. Wagner was chosen the man of the series for his impactful performance.
Kane Williamson: The Kiwi skipper was in stupendous form himself. He finished the series with 272 runs at a brilliant average of 136 with one hundred and two fifties. Williamson made 91 in the first Test, and added 113 and 68 not out in the second Test, at a strike rate of 62.81. Having played against the best, this was a rather easy task for him.
Tom Latham: The New Zealand opener, like most other batsmen from his team, had a memorable series. He made 254 runs with two hundreds at a stupendous average of 84.66. Latham began the series with 105 in the first Test, and followed it up with scores of 136 and 13 in the second Test. He scored his runs at a strike rate of 50.90.
Craig Ervine: The Zimbabwe batsman was the rare success story for the hosts in the series. He made 236 runs at an average of 59 with one hundred and a fifty at a strike rate of 51.86. He made 13 and 50 in the first Test, and followed it up with 146 and 27 in the second Test. Had it not been for his hundred, Zimbabwe might have ended up losing the second Test by an embarrassing margin as well.
Ish Sodhi: The Kiwi spinner impressed with eight wickets from two Tests at an average of 24.87, and a strike rate of 45.2. After managing only one wicket in the first Test, he followed it up with seven in the second – 4 for 60 in the first innings, and 3 for 19 in the second. Although he is still averaging in the high 40s, Sodhi’s curve is definitely on the rise.
--By A Cricket Analyst