Blackcaps v England: New Zealand captain Tim Southee hails team's fight in history-making win

Blackcaps captain Tim Southee has praised his team for their fight, after pulling off an unlikely historic win over England in the second test at Wellington.

Staring down the barrel of a first home series defeat in six years, New Zealand responded in "typical Kiwi" fashion to triumph by just a single run and draw the series 1-1.

The Blackcaps became just the fourth side in history to win a test after being asked to follow on, with their never-say-die attitude for all to see with bat and ball.

Tim Southee and Neil Wagner.
Tim Southee and Neil Wagner. Photo credit: Photosport

Southee has lauded his players for their efforts, but singled out workhorse fast bowler Neil Wagner for refusing to give up on his go-to shortball method.

Wagner prised the key wickets of Joe Root and Ben Stokes, as well as the matchwinning scalp of James Anderson, to send the Basin Reserve into raptures.

"Right up there, only a handful of sides have come back from the follow-on to win," Southee told Spark Sport. "Once it digests, the guys will soak it up.

"The character they've shown in the last few days, the guys were calm. If we'd walked off and shook hands, and it wasn't good enough, it wasn't good enough. 

"We couldn't read too much into a day-night test. The first two days here, England were class, the openers stood up in the second innings, but Daryl, Kane, Tom Blundell... typical Kiwi scrapping effort. 

"Neil's had a massive impact from trusting his best method, it came on this time. It's great for test cricket, the way England are playing, and it's good for test cricket going forward."

For Wagner, the test match will serve long in the memory, after being on the receiving end of 'Bazball' throughout the series, hit for 110 runs off his 13 overs in the second innings at Mt Maunganui.

His persistence paid off in dramatic style, with his short-pitched bowling prevailing when it mattered most on the final day.

"It's just the characteristics of this team," Wagner said. "We keep loving to fight for each other, find a way and doing the hard yards out there - and we did," 

"The first test, we didn't get on the right side of it and obviously they played well. Credit where credit is due, they played extremely well in the first innings in tough conditions.

"We just found a way of contributing, and a special mention to Kane, Tommy, and Timmy. The way they batted to get us into this position... just an exceptional effort from everyone.

"I got a bit of rhythm there, which is nice. Credit to Harry Brook, he's a serious talent, and the way he played and came after me was pretty awesome to watch, but not to receive.

"He's a serious player and to finally get some reward was quite pleasing."

The Blackcaps now prepare for a two-test home series against Sri Lanka, starting next Thursday.