New Zealand faced an early over slog in the inning losing the top order without a foundation of a good score. The frontline wickets were claimed by Kagiso Rabada and Keshav Maharaj, bringing the figures 21 for 3 for the team. The opening day match was on a downward curve for New Zealand, losing the top order while being sluggish with the score. It was the ingenious idea of captain Faf du Plessis who righty expected the ball to swing. He sent in Rabada and Maharaja to attack. The former trapped Kane Williamson with an lbw and Neil Broom. In the last over of the first session Maharaj dismissed Jeet Raval and James Neesham.
After the wobble, it was only Nicholls who made it sure for the team that they make a stand against South Africa bowlers. He claimed his half century in 66 balls beating Maharaj after the lunch break. The partnership of 59 with BJ Watling, with both batsmen remaining unbeaten was the turning point of the match with New Zealand steering towards a high score.
From South Africa’s side, another bowler who made an early impression was Morne Morkel. He was sent was the opening bowler being successful to strike down Tom Latham. Williamson lost his wicket when the on-field decision was upheld in favor of Rabada. It was the technical malfunction that did not allow a DRS review on the matter.
For Neil Broom, his 15 long years of experience in domestic test circuit did not bring much impact. He ducked at the fourth ball, with an excellent catch from Quinton de Kock. The stretch when Raval and Nicholls played together had a good strike from the former and the other was getting his grip on the pitch. Raval was removed when spin attacks were initiated in the form of JP Duminy. Before Nicholls and Watling partnered, New Zealand was at 101 losing half of its lineup. But the players salvaged the inning for New Zealand.
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