NZ vs SA, 1st Test: Key takeaways from Day 2
The New Zealand cricket team is on the verge of victory against South Africa in the ongoing first Test at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch. Resuming the day on 116/3 with a 21-run lead, the Kiwis were bowled out for 482. Henry Nicholls scored a century as Tom Blundell hit 96. In response, SA are 34/3 and trail NZ by 353 runs.
Nicholls and Neil Wagner (49) added a valuable stand in the morning. Daryl Mitchell was the next to go after adding 48 runs alongside Nicholls. Nicholls departed after a ton before Blundell and Colin de Grandhomme chipped in. NZ were 388/9 as Matt Henry scored a sparkling 58* to help his side post 482. SA were reduced to 4/3 before adding 30 runs.
NZ needed a solid start and Wagner, who came on as a night watchman on Day 1, showed his prowess with a 49-run effort. Wagner and Nicholls added 68 runs (80 overall) to set the base. The Kiwis were reduced to 273/6 at one stage before Blundell and Grandhomme added 76 runs for the seventh wicket. Blundell added 96 runs alongside Henry as well.
Nicholls slammed 105 from 163 deliveries, hitting 11 fours. This was eighth hundred in Test cricket and a second versus SA. He has raced to 2,498 runs. Meanwhile, Blundell registered 96 from 138 deliveries. This was his fourth fifty in Tests. Blundell and Henry have now stitched the highest stand for the 10th wicket in NZ versus SA Test matches.
South Africa are heading towards a massive defeat. The pitch eased out and the hosts played a positive brand of cricket to deflate the SA bowlers. NZ kept posting valuable partnerships to take the game away. Credit to Wagner for giving them the platform. SA saw Sarel Erwee perish of the second ball before Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram fell prey to seam movement.