Henry Nicholls rode his luck to post a crucial century as New Zealand, weakened by Kane Williamson’s absence, survived a shaky start to reach 294 for six on day one of the second Test against the West Indies here on Friday.
Nicholls survived multiple dropped catches as he snapped a 21-month string of low scores with his sixth Test century.
At stumps, Nicholls was 117 not out with Kyle Jamieson on one. From being on the ropes at 78 for three, Nicholls said New Zealand now considered 400 would be “good”.
It was left to Nicholls to prop up the innings, but he had to survive dropped catches and even a technical malfunction, when a broken stump mic prevented a review, to bat New Zealand out of a hole.
Jason Holder won the toss and put New Zealand in on an emerald surface with cloud cover and a howling wind. After a couple of expensive early overs, Shannon Gabriel and Chemar Holder led an attack that had New Zealand pinned down with three wickets in the first 90 minutes.
Nicholls then played his way through a short-ball barrage, passing 50 for the first time in 14 innings. He was dropped once on 21 and twice on 47, while on 29 a top edge for six sailed just out of the reach of Jermaine Blackwood, who had moved several metres in from the boundary.
A shout for Nicholls to be given caught behind on 70 was turned down after an earlier throw at the wickets had broken the stump microphone, leaving no way for the ball tracker to detect if there had been a faint edge.