Records tumble after Kiwi’s 63-year first
Look away Proteas fans — another South Africa-born cricketer has burst onto the international scene while representing a rival Test nation.
Devon Conway brought up a classy century on Test debut on Wednesday, finishing day one unbeaten on 136 to help New Zealand take control of the series opener against England.
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The 29-year-old guided the Kiwis to 246/3 at stumps at Lord’s, with teammate Henry Nicholls 46 not out at the other end.
Despite rarely opening the batting in the game’s longest format, Conway comfortably survived a dangerous opening spell from England duo James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
A barrage of short-pitched bowling from speedster Mark Wood — who produced England’s fastest over in Tests since records began — also wasn’t enough to rattle the left-hander, eventually reaching triple figures off 163 deliveries in the evening session.
He became the 12th New Zealander to score a century on Test debut, joining skipper Kane Williamson on the prestigious list.
Cricket reporter Bharat Sunaresan tweeted: “Not often has a batsman looked so convincing & so nonchalant while making a century on Test debut that you’ve actually wondered if he really is making his Test debut. Incredible knock from Devon Conway.”
Other pundits drew comparisons to Australian great Michael Hussey, who also made his Test debut as an opener late in his career.
You simply could not write a better script…
An UNBELIEVABLE debut 100 for Devon Conway! 💯🇳🇿
You can watch our quick highlights from 6.30am on the Spark Sport platform! ⭕#ENGvNZLpic.twitter.com/EDxhtGq7v2
✍️ Writing his name into history. #LoveLords | @BLACKCAPSpic.twitter.com/ATHCYlwMBF
Devon Conway is the 12th South African-born player to make a century on his Test debut.
6 of these are for South Africa and 6 for other countries (Eng 4, Aus 1, NZ 1).
What an achievement by Devon Conway. Made a decision a few years ago to go play his cricket in NZ, and that decision paid off today.
Conway surpassed Sourav Ganguly’s record for the highest score by a Test debutant at Lord’s, which has stood for 25 years — oddly enough, the pair share the same birthday.
As revealed by cricket statistician Andrew Samson, he’s also the first debutant to score a century and bat through the opening day of a Test match since West Indies icon Conrad Hunte achieved the feat in 1958.
“It’s a very good feeling, I’ll have some time to let that settle in but, as a player, the job’s not done — I’m very happy though,” Conway told Sky Sports at stumps.
“I had a conversation with Kane Williamson and asked him what it feels like to be on that honours board and the first thing he said to me was, ‘Now you know, boy!’”
CENTURY ON TEST DEBUT AT LORD’S
107 — Harry Graham (AUS), 1893
107 — John Hampshire (ENG), 1969
131 — Sourav Ganguly (IND), 1996
112 — Andrew Strauss (ENG), 2004
126* — Matt Prior (ENG), 2007
132* — Devon Conway (NZ), 2021
Devon Conway’s leg glance in the evening session.Source:Getty Images
When Conway is eventually dismissed at Lord’s, he’ll become the second men’s cricketer to boast a batting average greater than 50 in all three formats — joining Indian captain Virat Kohli.
England debutant Ollie Robinson also impressed on Wednesday, snaring the wickets of Kiwi opener Tom Latham and veteran batter Ross Taylor.
However, the seamer was forced to apologise on live TV after disgusting tweets from his past resurfaced.
The first Test between England and New Zealand will resume on Thursday evening at 8pm AEST.
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