The domination of New Zealand over South Africa has continued on the second day of the ongoing first Test in Christchurch as the visitors are staring at an innings defeat after crumbling to 34/3 at stumps.
New Zealand, after packing Proteas for 95 in their first innings, posted 482 on the board, thanks to scintillating knocks by Henry Nicholls and Tom Blundell. While Nicholls (105) smashed a tremendous century, Blundell missed out on reaching the triple-figure mark by just 4 runs.
Neil Wagner, who had stepped in as nigh-watchman on Thursday, set the tone when he took the South African attack to the cleaners after New Zealand resumed at 116/3. Wagner hit two sixes, and seven boundaries in his quickfire 49 off 56 balls before Kagiso Rabada send him back to the pavilion.
In the later stages, all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme and tailender Matt Henry, who scripted history with his 7-fer on Day 1, chipped in with valuable contributions. De Grandhomme scored 45 off 42 deliveries while Henry remained unbeaten on 58 before the hosts got all-out for 482.
In reply, South Africa’s top order yet again collapsed as the tourists finished the second day 353 runs behind, with Temba Bavuma (22 not out) and Rassie van der Dussen (9 not out) at the crease.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
Henry Nicholls brings up his eighth Test century 👏
His brilliant innings has helped New Zealand take a big lead in the first Test.
— ICC (@ICC) February 18, 2022
— Mpumelelo Mbangwa (@mmbangwa) February 18, 2022
Delighted for Henry Nicholls. He was the one who really needed to step up in the absence of Williamson and Taylor, and he’s delivered here.
— Andrew Gourdie (@AndrewGourdie) February 18, 2022
So the night-watchman outscored everyone in the South African team…and now Henry Nicholls has scored more than them all combined on his was to a very good century. @BLACKCAPS #hairynips #dodgynickname #NZvsSA
— ~ Chris Newson ~ triple vaxxed for your safety! (@noosenz) February 18, 2022
Henry Nicholls always performs great, when the cards are Stacked against him #NZvsSA
— ⚡ (@Visharad_KW22) February 18, 2022
South Africa "recover" from 4 for 3 to 34 for 3 at the end of the second day. Lots of wickets in this Test – 13 on day one; 10 on day 2. Tom Blundell says New Zealand are looking at a three-day victory and they'd deserve it. Will take a massive effort from SA to get to four days.
— Firdose Moonda (@FirdoseM) February 18, 2022
Another crucial Henry Nicholls innings in the context of a test with his 8th @BLACKCAPS century, this time against South Africa at Christchurch. Dismissed for 105. The 80-run 4th-wicket stand with nightwatchman Neil Wagner (49) looked particularly tough on the visitors' morale.
— Andrew Alderson (@aldersonnotes) February 18, 2022
Tom Blundell falls for 96. Feathers an edge behind. Matt Henry 58* the last man standing with the lead 387 at Hagley Oval. Time for a bowl late on Day 2. Follow play LIVE with @sparknzsport. #NZvSA pic.twitter.com/H8HpTOeZxP
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) February 18, 2022
New Zealand bowled out for 482 with the lead of 387. Tom Blundell missed out on a superb century, he was the last man to be dismissed on 96. Henry Nicholls earlier scored a ton for them.
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) February 18, 2022
— ThePoppingCrease (@PoppingCreaseSA) February 18, 2022