Matt Henry records his best figures as NZ dominate on Day 1

Matt Henry records his best figures as NZ dominate on Day 1

New Zealand completely dominated touring party South Africa as the visitors were skittled out for an incredibly low score of 95. Matt Henry set the stage on fire, as he recorded the best figures for a NZ bowler at home, a joint-record shared with Richard Hadlee. Henry spoke on his bowling performance after the day ended.

Henry on his record-equalling performance 

“You pinch yourself a little bit when you hear those stats. It’s not always easy (to stay motivated),” he said. “You try not to focus too much on those external things you can’t control and make sure I am still in the mindset of trying to keep getting better and when I do get my opportunity, to take it.”

“We were beating the bat a lot and asked a lot of questions for a good sustained period. That all leads to pressure,” Henry said. “That ability to tie it up at both ends and carry on that pressure is what we managed to do today. As a bowling group, we bowled really well together. We didn’t really let them go anywhere which was key to how we got the wickets.”

Of the 90 deliveries Henry bowled in South Africa’s innings, he forced batters to play at a third of them. With seam movement into the left-handers and away from the right-handers, he created hesitation in the batters’ minds and many of the South Africans found themselves confused on the crease, hanging their bats out. He also extracted decent bounce from back of a length and together with Jamieson and Wagner ran through South Africa’s batting line-up.

Olivier on Henry’s performance and the pitch’s nature

“He swung the ball a little bit and he brought the ball back. And there was a wobble seam – the odd one. He bowled really well and made our batters play,” an admiring Duanne Olivier said afterwards. We practiced at Lincoln where the wicket was green as well, similar to this one. We knew coming here that it was the most bowler-friendly wicket in New Zealand. It was a touch soft, a bit more tennis-ball bounce and when the sun was out, it was harder and quickened up a little bit. It will just play very similarly right through the four days. It will probably get a bit better for batting depending on the weather.”

Bowlers will be continuously assisted by the pitch at Hagley Oval, so Olivier remains hopeful that the Proteas can fight their way back. “We can still bowl them out for 180,” he said. And Henry remained cautiously confident that New Zealand can press their advantage further on the second day. “The way our batters went about it tonight was really important. Hopefully, we can really knuckle down and have a good day tomorrow. We understand it’s day one of five.”

Avishkar Govardhane is a Sports Editor and enthusiast, working here at Clout News covering the latest Cricket News.

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