Williams century in vain as NZ crushes Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe was dismissed shortly before tea in its second innings for 295, with seamer Trent Boult picking up 4-52 on a flat batting track.

Sean Williams scored the fastest Test century by a Zimbabwean.   -  AP

Sean Williams' maiden Test century went in vain as New Zealand clinched a comprehensive innings and 117-run victory over host Zimbabwe on day four of the first Test on Sunday.

Williams, who was battling flu, scored the quickest Test ton by a Zimbabwean off 106 balls before becoming the ninth man out for 119.

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Zimbabwe was dismissed shortly before tea in its second innings for 295, with seamer Trent Boult picking up 4-52 on a flat batting track.

"The fight was excellent. After the first innings, I thought we were soft," Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer said at the post-match presentation, before highlighting his teams troubles in the Test. "We probably have 10 guys sick in the change room."

Zimbabwe faced a mammoth task to make New Zealand bat again having been skittled for 164 in its first innings and allowing the tourist to amass 576 for six (declared) in reply.

New Zealand would have had thoughts of a quick finish on the fourth morning as Zimbabwe resumed on 121 for five, especially when Craig Ervine (50) was out in the second over soon after bringing up his maiden test half-century.

But a magnificent 118-run seventh-wicket stand between Williams and Cremer (33) took the home side past lunch before the latter was trapped lbw by Ish Sodhi.

Regis Chakabva (11), who missed the second and third days' play with a virus, hung around for 41 balls before he was bowled by Tim Southee.

A visibly wilting Williams then holed out to deep mid-wicket off Mitchell Santner after scoring 119 off 148 balls.

The win was complete when Neil Wagner, who finished with match figures of 8-103, had Donald Tiripano (14) caught by wicketkeeper BJ Watling.

"The first innings bowling effort after the toss was outstanding, and it put us ahead in the game," New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said.

"To get the score we did and put Zimbabwe under pressure was outstanding. We're looking forward to the next match.

Zimbabwe continued its dismal record against New Zealanders and is now winless in 16 meetings, this being its 10th loss. The second and final test starts on Saturday at the same venue.