Ni­cholls to Ki­wis res­cue

New Straits Times - - Sport -

WELLING­TON: Henry Ni­cholls an­swered his crit­ics with a maiden cen­tury to res­cue New Zealand on a tor­rid first day for bats­men in the sec­ond Test against South Africa yesterday.

New Zealand, on the back of Ni­cholls’ 118, re­cov­ered from 21 for three to be all out for 268 in Welling­ton.

South Africa lost two wick­ets for 12 runs and moved on to 24 for two at stumps.

The pres­sure was on Ni­cholls when he went to the mid­dle with New Zealand three down and with his Test av­er­age of 30.12 from 18 in­nings putting his po­si­tion as a num­ber five bats­man un­der scru­tiny.

“I was just try­ing to look to be pos­i­tive and re­ally de­ci­sive and that’s some­thing that held me in good stead,” he said. “I wasn’t out there very long (12 off 26) but I felt very good out there and it was nice to con­tinue that.

“There’s al­ways go­ing to be spec­u­la­tion about your spot, but I just tried to stay re­ally clear in my mind and I’ve had great sup­port (from the team) who kept re­in­forc­ing for me to go out there and play my game.”

JP Du­miny, a bats­man part­time spin­ner who proved South Africa’s most ef­fec­tive bowler with four for 47, said Ni­cholls showed how to han­dle the Basin Re­serve con­di­tions.

“To play as pos­i­tive as he did was prob­a­bly the way to go on a sur­face like that. Hope­fully we can take some­thing out of that and get some suc­cess,” he said.

With Ke­shav Ma­haraj strik­ing twice, the South African spin pair took six wick­ets be­tween them in con­di­tions that favoured seam and swing bowl­ing. AFP

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