New Zealand batsman Henry Nicholls made the most of the opportunity in Christchurch, as he played his career-best knock to help the Black Caps to declare the innings for 585 to gain a 659 runs lead in the Boxing Day Test of the two-match series against Sri Lanka.
Nicholls superbly cracked 162* off 225 balls laced with 16 boundaries at a strike rate of 72 to make a valuable contribution in team’s massive lead along with Tom Latham’s 176 against Lanka at home.
It was third Test ton of the left-hander in 2018 in his 22nd outing for the Kiwis in the longest format of the game, and of course, this inning has lifted his average to a respectable 43.15 in the Test cricket.
Besides his personal brilliant innings, Nicholls was also involved in a 214-run partnership with Latham and the 27-year-old credited his early failures for his stunning form in the traditional format of the game.
He also feels blessed to have the backing of national team management and selectors, saying they boosted his confidence and that’s one of the reasons behind his current success with the willow.
Nicholls told reporters, “I was really lucky. I learned a lot early in my career through a lot of failures. I consider myself really grateful, the selectors and everyone in the team had a lot of confidence and faith in me that I'd use those experiences to make me a better player.”
There was visibly a combined effort from the other batsman including Colin de Grandhomme (71 not out) besides Tom and Nicholls that badly ruined the game plan of Sri Lankans here.
He signed off by saying, “That's what we tried to do in terms of keeping them out for so long, especially in that last period, running them around as much as we could. Then having that little burst later in the day, picking up a couple of big wickets was probably the ideal script for us.”
(With Agence France Presse Inputs)