Henry Nicholls was one of a host of contributors with the bat for New Zealand in the first test against the West Indies at the Basin Reserve
A win by an innings on the fourth day of a test is rarely viewed as anything but a one-sided romp.
But New Zealand middle-order bat Henry Nicholls felt the scoreboard didn’t tell the full story of their first-test win over the West Indies in Wellington.
Ahead of the second and final cricket test of the series starting at Hamilton’s Seddon Park on Saturday, Nicholls said the tourists didn’t let the Black Caps have it all their own way in a triumph by an innings and 67 runs with over a day up their short white sleeves.
“I felt they really bowled well for 80 or 90 overs,” Nicholls said.
“It felt we were under pressure the whole time.
“And then with the nature of test cricket, we were able to wear them down I guess at the back end of that last session – the guys did extremely well not just to build a partnership but the way they went about it and the scoring rate was impressive,” he said of the maiden test tons from Colin de Grandhomme and Tom Blundell.
“When you win a test in four days, it might look from the outside like it was easy or a cakewalk.
“But I think we saw at times when they batted, the way they were able to put partnerships together both with bat and ball, the bat in the second innings with Kraigg [Brathwaite] and the number three and four … It can turn pretty quickly in test cricket – the way Wags [Neil Wagner] bowled on that first day, and when we took wickets in clumps on the last day.”
The Windies will have to mount a second test fightback without skipper Jason Holder, who has been suspended and fined after his side’s slow bowling over rates in Wellington.
Legspinner Devendra Bishoo may come into the XI to replace the skipper – which would seem a smart move, given New Zealand batsmen’s struggles often to play quality spin.
Nicholls, who made 67 batting at number five at the Basin and put on 127 for the fourth wicket with Ross Taylor in New Zealand’s sole turn at bat, expects better from the Windies in Hamilton.
“We saw on the England tour after they lost that first test how they can bounce back so we’ll be fully prepared for that.
“We’ve set a good standard in the way we went about our business at the Basin. Getting a test win is great, but the processes and the work we put in over the four days to get that result is something we’ll need to start from day one, first session on Saturday.
“It was nice to build a bit of a partnership with Ross, and being a batter you want to do if for longer and more, but to lay the platform and then have the guys down the order play so well was pleasing. I want to contribute every time.”
Nicholls said the Seddon Park wicket has previously been known for having a bit of grass on it and moving around early.
“But last year, there was a little bit but not as much as we though for the seamers. We’ll have a look at training two days out and have an assessment.”