Devon Conway has described his century in his first home Test for New Zealand as a “very special feeling”. He was mindful of the presence of his senior team-mate, Ross Taylor, who recently announced he would retire at the end of the New Zealand summer, by his side as he reached the milestone as having made the occasion even more beautiful.
Conway fell for 122 on the first day of the opening Test against Bangladesh at the Bay Oval, becoming only the sixth men’s batter to score a century in his first innings of a home and away Test. He is the first Kiwi batsman to achieve the rare feat. His effort helped the home side climb out of early trouble, to go to stumps on 258 for 5.
It was a tough start for Conway, who arrived at the crease in the fourth over at the wicket of opener captain Tom Latham. Bangladesh’s fast bowlers kept their lines and lengths tight, which forced Conway and his batting partner Will Young to opt for surviving the first hour instead of going for runs. When the ball got slightly older and Conway was well set, he made the most of his runs on the on-side, especially unleashing the swivel pull to great effect on many occasions. He said the shot was also a show of ‘aggressive intent’ towards the opposition.
A very special feeling – Conway on his century
“It is a very special feeling,” said Conway, who, in June last year, had made a splash at Lord’s where he struck a double-hundred on his Test debut. “I think today firstly playing in New Zealand in a Test match, it was very special to be out there. And then personally, it was a great feeling to have Ross Taylor there out in the middle with me when I achieved that milestone. He was very positive. Told me to soak it in, and congratulated me. It will last in my memory for a very long time.”
“I think the two of us decided that we needed to be as patient as possible. We identified that the Bangladeshi bowlers were bowling really well in that period. The surface was assisting them as well. We knew we could play the more attacking shots later in the day,” said Conway.
“I probably had good four to five hard sessions in and around that practice game. It was a little disappointing that I wasn’t able to spend some more time in the middle in the practice game. It still gave me time to get into the nets. It wasn’t how I wanted to go about things before the Test but it has paid off for me.”