World Test champions New Zealand completely dominated the proceedings on the opening day of the ongoing first Test against South Africa at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

After the hosts won the toss and opted to bowl first, pacer Matt Henry wreaked havoc on a green top surface and made the Proteas batters run for their money. The right-arm speedster produced his career-best performance with the red-cherry to bundle out the visitors for a mere 95 in their first innings.

Henry went on to take as many as seven wickets while conceding only 23 runs in 15 overs, including seven maidens. The Canterbury bowler dismissed the likes of Dean Elgar (1), Aiden Markram (15), Rassie van der Dussen (8), Zubayr Hamza (25), Kagiso Rabada (0) and Glenton Stuurman (0).

Only four batters scored runs in double figures for the tourists, with 25 off 74 by Hamza being the highest. Apart from Henry, Tim Southee (1/33), Neil Wagner (1/11), and Kyle Jamieson (1/19) picked up one wicket apiece.

Best innings figures for New Zealand in Test cricket:

10/119 – Ajaz Patel vs India
9/52 – Richard Hadlee vs Australia
7/23 – Richard Hadlee vs India
7/23 – Matt Henry vs South Africa*
7/27 – Chris Cairns vs West Indies

In response, the Black Caps have posted 116/3 at stumps on Day 1, leading the South Africans by 21 runs. The home team have lost wickets of opener Will Young (8), captain Tom Latham (15) early before Devon Conway (36), and Henry Nicholls (37 no) joined hands to take their side out of trouble.

The duo went on to form a vital partnership of 75 runs for the third wicket before Duanne Olivier, who had removed Latham, dismissed Conway to put pressure back on New Zealand. Nicholls and night-watchman Wagner (2 no) are at the crease after the end of Day 1.

Here is how Twitter reacted:

What a day for @Matthenry014! 7-23. His first FIVE wicket haul in Test cricket and the equal third best Test innings figures for New Zealand. South Africa all out for 95 batting first at Hagley. Follow play LIVE with @sparknzsport. #NZvSA

— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) February 17, 2022

A tough day in the office for the #Proteas but we go again on Day 2#NZvSA #BePartOfIt

📷 @PhotosportNZ

— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) February 17, 2022

Matt Henry will remember this day for the rest of his life.

Some to come out as scrambled seam, a bit of swing here and there… tailor-made for these conditions.

— Bharath Ramaraj (@Fancricket12) February 17, 2022

South Africa blown away by NZ yet again highlights the truth- no team travels well. In that regard India does stand out and had a golden opportunity in South Africa. 7 for Matt Henry.

— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) February 17, 2022

So NZ already has four firey guys in Southee, Boult, Wagner and Jamieson non of whom give any respite to the opposition and when one of them is unavailable, Matt Henry comes and takes 7 wickets?

This is not just deep bowling lineup era, this is high quality long benches era too!

— Ricky talks Cricket (@CricRicky) February 17, 2022

Last two NZ-SA Tests:
Christchurch, Feb 2022
Hamilton, Mar 2017

These are also the last two Tests where Matt Henry took 4+ wicket hauls.#NZvSA

— Kausthub Gudipati (@kaustats) February 17, 2022

Matt Henry has produced one of the best Test bowling figures for a New Zealand bowler 👏#NZvSA | #WTC23

— ICC (@ICC) February 17, 2022

Couldn’t be happier for Matt Henry! Good things happen to those who wait but also good things happen to those who go out and earn it. 7fa at home. Third best bowling figures ever for NZ. What a day! #NZvSA #HagleyOval #HomeOfCricket #TestMatchTime

— Frances Mackay (@FrankieMac71) February 17, 2022

Fantastic effort from Matt Henry. 7/23, which is the third equal best bowling figures in a test innings by a New Zealander.

Doesn’t mean he’s a lock in for the next test though.

— Sports Freak (@Sportsfreakconz) February 17, 2022

7 wicket haul for Matt Henry as South Africa bowled out for just 95 runs in the first innings – Fantastic spell, he got an opportunity to play as Boult was unavailable for the first Test.

— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) February 17, 2022

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