McCullum credits bowlers after Test victory

New Zealand

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum gave a huge compliment to his bowlers after the Black Caps beat Sri Lanka by 122 runs in the first of two Tests in Dunedin on Monday.

McCullum declared New Zealand's second innings after lunch on day four with the score on 267 for three, a lead of 405 runs, with more than five sessions for the visitors to bat on a pitch that was very good for batting.

Resuming the fifth morning on 109 for three, the Black Caps bowled the Asian team out for 282 in the 96th over and McCullum acknowledged the work that his bowlers put in on a flat surface.

Speaking to reporters after the game, McCullum said: "We knew 20 wickets was going to be tough especially when we didn't have the best of the bowling conditions.

"I think day one was the best of the conditions for the seam or swing bowlers – that was why we tried to maintain our scoring on rate on day, one because we knew we were going to have to buy some time later on.

"Also the declaration looks a reasonably aggressive declaration, but for us it was really the only way we were going to allow ourselves enough time to not just win the game, but also relieve the pressure of having to win the game.

"I think sometimes if you don't leave yourself enough time, then you start chasing wickets and that can lead to not getting wickets that you should.

"If Sri Lanka were good enough to chase 400 and run us down in the time that they had then, fair play to them then. We can handle losing if someone else is able to go out and play as well as what they would have had to.

"But in the end I was pretty comfortable."

The second and final Test of the series is scheduled to start at Seddon Park in Hamilton on 18 December.