NZ vs WI, 2nd Test: Key takeaways of Day 1
Middle-order batsman Henry Nicholls slammed a timely century to rescue New Zealand's innings on Day 1 of the second Test against West Indies. He was duly supported by BJ Watling and Daryl Mitchell after the tourists made early inroads. Notably, Tom Latham is leading the hosts in place of Kane Williamson, who is on paternity leave. Here are the key takeaways.
West Indies won the toss and elected to field in order to gain the early edge, in Wellington's testing conditions. Rightly so, the likes of Shannon Gabriel, Chemar Holder, and Alzarri Joseph did the damage, reducing NZ to 148/4. However, Nicholls' unbeaten 117 guided the hosts to 294/6 at stumps. The likes of Watling (30) and Mitchell (42) stepped up with notable contributions. `
Nicholls put up a brilliant display even after the Caribbean seamers made use of the conditions. He scored 117 off 207 balls, a knock that was laced with 15 fours and a six. This resulted in his sixth Test ton and first against West Indies. Interestingly, it was the 100th century registered at the Basin Reserve in the longest format.
Nicholls slammed his third Test century at Basin Reserve in Wellington. He is now one of the five cricketers to have done so. The elite tally is led by the great Martin Crowe, who has five Test tons on this venue.
WI's sloppy display in the field continued in the second Test too. They dropped Nicholls thrice in a span of 16 overs. In the 28th over, Shamarh Brooks dropped a sitter as the former edged one to first slip. His compatriot also Darren Bravo spilled a regulation catch in the 41st over. A few overs later, he dropped another, a rather difficult one.
As expected, pace spearhead Gabriel fired with the new ball, having bowled out New Zealand opener Tom Blundell. He later picked up two more wickets to register bowling figures of 3/57. Meanwhile, Chemar Holder also scalped two important wickets in the form of Latham and Mitchell. While Joseph snapped up one, captain Jason Holder and spinner Roston Chase remained wicket-less.