Wellington - New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was not surprised by Zimbabwe dragging the first Test in Bulawayo into a fourth day, saying his pacemen were never going to maintain their high energy levels on the flat deck.
Williamson said that the first innings was the crucial one, as they had predicted, and they did the job with the ball to bowl Zim out for 164.
They always knew a second spell like that would be tough, and the skipper was pleased to have taken 20 wickets.
Williamson said after the innings and 117-run win on day four: "The way we bowled in the first innings was a huge part of how we got ahead.
"When you are tying to bowl that again, it's going to be extremely challenging. Sometimes, on surfaces like this one, you need to try and be a little bit creative.
"You want to try and make things hostile and difficult but you also need to be patent and build pressure. It was a very good effort to get 20 wickets.
"We knew it was going to be tough. We had to fight very hard to pick up the wickets that we did."
He also praised paceman Neil Wagner, who took six wickets in the first innings and two in the second: "Neil has showed us he can be pretty creative with the older ball which is useful on surfaces that are not offering swing.
"That first innings put us ahead of the game. It was extremely important to have some hostile bowling on a surface that didn't offer much."
The second Test starts on 6 August at the same ground, after which the Black Caps go to South Africa for a Test series.