Nicholls' ton puts New Zealand on top

back icon
safari
11 Dec 2020 | 07:18 AM
author
AFP

Nicholls' ton puts New Zealand on top

At stumps, Nicholls was 117 not out with Kyle Jamieson on one and New Zealand 294 for six

heart

Share

New Zealand's Henry Nicholls rode his luck to post a crucial century as the hosts, weakened by the loss of Kane Williamson, survived a shaky start to reach 294 for six on day one of the second Test against the West Indies on Friday (11 December 2020).

Nicholls, 29, survived multiple dropped catches at Wellington's Basin Reserve as he snapped a 21-month string of low scores with his sixth Test century.

At stumps, Nicholls was 117 not out with Kyle Jamieson on one. From being on the ropes at three for 78, Nicholls said New Zealand now considered 400 would be "a good result".

New Zealand won the first Test inside four days on the back of Williamson's towering 252, but they are now playing without their talismanic captain who is on paternity leave awaiting the birth of his first child.

It was left to Nicholls to prop up the innings, but he had to survive dropped catches and even a technical malfunction, when a broken stump mic prevented a review, to bat New Zealand out of a hole.

"You just try and move on from them same as when your hitting a boundary or anything else," Nicholls said, describing how he shut his near-misses out of his mind.

"It's just batting, it's cricket, it's pretty fickle so I just keep focusing on what I'm doing and bringing their bowlers back for more spells.

"It was nice in the initial bit to get through to lunch. Just little milestones on this surface."

Everything went the West Indies' way at the start of the day when Jason Holder won the toss and made New Zealand bat on an emerald surface with cloud cover and a howling northerly wind. 

After a couple of expensive early overs, Shannon Gabriel and Chemar Holder led an attack that had New Zealand pinned down with three wickets in the first 90 minutes.

The pitch offered pace, bounce and seam movement and when the bowlers found a good length and moved the ball, they were almost unplayable.

But when it seemed the odds were against the Black Caps, an out-of-form Nicholls stepped up.

When he joined Will Young in the middle, the sun emerged, the wind faded and the momentum swung New Zealand's way.

As the total grew, so did the number of spectators with more than 3,500 in the ground by late afternoon with no crowd restrictions in the largely coronavirus-free country.

Broken microphone

Nicholls played his way through a short-ball barrage, passing 50 for the first time in 14 innings but riding his luck as chances were spilled and nicks fell in no-man's land.

He was dropped once on 21 and twice on 47, while on 29 a top edge for six sailed just out of the reach of Jermaine Blackwood, who had moved several metres in from the boundary. 

A shout for Nicholls to be given caught behind on 70 was turned down after an earlier throw at the wickets had broken the stump microphone, leaving no way for the ball tracker to detect if there had been a faint edge.

"He capitalised on his chances," an exasperated West Indies wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva said.

"It's frustrating when you drop catches, but we can't do anything about it now so we have to move on to the next day."

When Nicholls passed his century, it typified his risky innings as he shaped to turn the ball through midwicket but top-edged it for two on the off side.

Gabriel, in his 50th Test, was clearly frustrated when Darren Bravo dropped Nicholls on 47, but he had reason to smile in his next over when he had Young caught at second slip by Jason Holder for 43.

Nicholls had partnerships of 70 with Young, 55 with BJ Watling, and 83 with Daryl Mitchell. 

Watling authored his own demise on 30 when he chopped a wide Alzarri Joseph delivery on to his stumps, while Mitchell was trapped in front by Chemar Holder for 42. 

Gabriel was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with three for 57 after removing Tom Blundell (14) and Ross Taylor (nine) before lunch before Young became his 150th Test dismissal.

Chemar Holder, on debut, dismissed Tom Latham (27) in the first session and ended the day with two for 65.

heart
shareGray Share
Tags
West Indies tour of New Zealand, 2020New ZealandWest IndiesHenry Michael NichollsKyle Alex Jamieson

Related Articles

safari
DAY 3 REPORT
Williamson's 238 puts NZ on top in 2nd Test against Pakistan
Williamson's nine-hour innings and a 369-run fourth-wicket partnership with Henry Nicholls, who made 157, propelled New Zealand 659-6 in reply to Pakistan's 297
userAP
05 Jan 2021
safari
DAY 2 REPORT
Williamson classic puts New Zealand in a strong position
The New Zealand skipper scored his third century in as many Tests in the past month
userAFP
04 Jan 2021
safari
DAY 1 REPORT
Gritty Williamson lifts New Zealand after early Pakistan strike
An unbeaten 94 by Williamson had New Zealand at 222 for three in the face of a concerted Pakistan attack at stumps on day one of the first Test in Mount Maunganui
userAFP
26 Dec 2020
safari
DAY 3 REPORT
New Zealand closes in on victory in 2nd test vs West Indies
Southee wrapped up the innings after the West Indies resumed at 124-8 on Sunday, taking both wickets to finish with 5-32 as the tourists managed 131
userAP
13 Dec 2020
safari
DAY 2 REPORT
Jamieson's five leave West Indies reeling
The tourists ended the day on the brink of another follow on as they struggled to 124 for eight
userAFP
12 Dec 2020
safari
REPORT
New Zealand extend unbeaten home Test streak with big Windies win
The West Indies were all out before lunch on day four for 247 after making only 138 in their first innings in reply to New Zealand's 519 for seven
userAFP
06 Dec 2020
safari
NEWS
ODI squad did not carry the baggage of the T20I side: Nicholls
After suffering a whitewash in the T20I series, New Zealand got off to the perfect start in the ODIs
userPTI
06 Feb 2020
safari
NZ-IND 1ST ODI REPORT
Taylor, Latham guide New Zealand to their highest run chase in ODIs
Chasing 348, Taylor scored an unbeaten century as the Black Caps hunted the total down with four wickets in hand
userHardik Worah
05 Feb 2020
safari
ANALYSIS
Curran hands England slight advantage over New Zealand
Black Caps lost their top four batsmen and were 144 for 4 in 51 overs when the stumps were drawn
userCricket.com Staff
22 Nov 2019
safari
ANALYSIS
Dananjaya's five-for hands Sri Lanka Day 1 honours
The spinner took all five wickets to fall on a rain curtailed day
userSomesh Agarwal
14 Aug 2019
logo
Cricket like never before
Follow us on
FacebookTwitterLinkedin
@ 2020 cricket.com | All rights reserved