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Nicholls admits to nerves in the nineties

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/01/2017 Daniel Gilhooly

Henry Nicholls © Marty Melville / AFP Henry Nicholls Henry Nicholls reckons he won't get the yips next time he passes 90 in a Test match.

And after a quality double against Bangladesh, he should get more chances to do so.

Coming into the series with pressure on his No.5 spot, Nicholls followed 53 in the first Test at Wellington with 98 in the second.

The Cantabrian admits a century milestone clogged his thoughts as he edged closer on the Hagley Oval venue he knows well, playing a series of sketchy shots.

That included his dismissal, when a charge at spinner Mehedi Hasan yielded an inside edge onto his stumps.

His despair was obvious and he had time to think about where it went wrong as New Zealand posted a nine-wicket win to wrap up the series 2-0.

"I struggled to get a bit of rhythm, it was bit of the nervous nineties," he said.

"But it's an experience I can take forward when I'm in that position again. Focus on staying in the present and batting like the previous 150 balls."

He appreciated the importance of his knock which turned a 29-run deficit at the start of play into a 65-run first innings lead.

The 25-year-old kept the wolves from the door ahead of the three-Test series against South Africa in March.

Question marks had been raised over his aptitude after averaging less than 27 in his 10 Tests since debuting a year ago.

"I haven't been too worried about that side of it," he said.

"I've been fortunate to have the backing of the group, they've been really supportive of me and my game.

"But I don't think two knocks changes too much. Every time you play for New Zealand you need to get runs. It can be a pretty fickle game."

Captain Kane Williamson described Nicholls' innings as "brilliant" on an unhelpful batting surface and one which put the hosts on the front foot as they dominated the fourth day.

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