NZ vs SA, 1st Test: Key takeaways from Day 1
Matt Henry highlighted a top-notch bowling effort to help New Zealand dominate the proceedings on Day 1 of the first Test against South Africa at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch. Henry claimed seven wickets for 23 runs to rip apart the Proteas. SA were bundled out for a paltry 95-run score in just 49.2 overs. In response, NZ have taken a 21-run lead (116/3).
Henry was substantial for the Kiwis as he removed the top-order in the first session. After lunch, he returned to polish the tail. Henry bowled well and extracted seam movement. A few SA batters also played poor shots to surrender themselves. This was Henry's best bowling figures in Test cricket. He now has 44 Test scalps at 39.43.
- NZ have taken the honors on Day 1 and credit to Henry for running away with the show.
- He was at his absolute best to defy the visitors.
- Kyle Jamieson and Neil Wagner were superb as well. They supported Henry with accuracy and preciseness.
- Meanwhile, Nicholls deserves credit for batting as per the situation.
- He has looked confident so far.
South Africa's 95/10 is their worst total in an innings versus New Zealand in Tests. This is also the lowest score at the Hagley Oval. Henry (7/23) has recorded the best figures by a Kiwi bowler versus SA. Henry has scripted the best bowling performance in Tests at the Hagley Oval, bettering the record held by Trent Boult (6/30 vs Sri Lanka in 2018).
NZ were reduced to 36/2, losing Will Young (8) and Tom Latham (15). However, Devon Conway and Henry Nicholls settled the nerves with a superb 75-run effort for the third wicket. Conway perished for a 76-ball 36. He hit three fours. Nicholls is unbeaten on 37. He faced 54 deliveries and played a positive brand of cricket. Neil Wagner is unbeaten on two.
SA needed to make early inroads with the new ball, but Kagiso Rabada (0/34) and Glenton Stuurman (0/19) couldn't extract any purchase. Marco Jansen (1/11) made the crucial breakthrough when he dismissed Will Young for eight. Duanne Olivier (2/36) got the key scalp of Tom Latham (15) shortly after to reduce the hosts to 36/2. Olivier also dismissed Conway at a crucial stage.