Conway ‘enjoying the ride’ with NZ
KARACHI: It was five years ago, at the age of 26, that South Africa-born Devon Conway moved to New Zealand to pursue his cricketing career. It took him three years before he eventually broke into the New Zealand side.
On Monday, in just his 12th Test for his adopted country, Conway raised his fourth ton of the format; his 122 helping New Zealand close the opening day of the second and final game of the series against Pakistan at 309-6 here at the National Stadium.
“It’s been a good ride so far, I’ve only played a handful of Tests so it’s nice to get the opportunity to play and contribute for the team,” Conway, whose century took him past 1,000 Test runs, told reporters. “It was nice batting out there with Tommy [Latham] and Kane [Williamson], we managed to form some good partnerships.”
Conway has been among the runs in New Zealand’s first tour of Pakistan in almost two decades. In the opening Test, which ended in a draw, Conway fell eight runs short of a ton in the first innings. He was at 18 not out in the second innings when bad light ended play last week with New Zealand attempting a furious chase of 138 in 15 overs. He carried on from where he left off, putting up a partnership of 134 with Latham (71) and then adding 100 with Williamson (36).
Playing in Pakistan on tracks slower than he’s been used to required Conway to make adjustments. It’s not new for him. He had to make changes to his game when he decided to shift his allegiance to New Zealand.
“It’s been a different challenge for me here as I grew up playing on hard tracks,” added Conway, before he went on to detail his experience of getting a spot for New Zealand.
“For me, there were a couple of technical changes that needed to be made,” he informed, “… there were things that I didn’t know when I was 24, 25. But the support staff has been great with me and given me a sense of belonging with the team.”
Conway was in his element, headed for a big score, until his innings was cut short by Agha Salman, who had him caught behind. His wicket saw New Zealand slide from 234-1 to 279-6 in the post-tea session before Tom Blundell and Ish Sodhi held out in the end.
“We did win those first two sessions, but the way Pakistan bounced back in that last session certainly brought them back in the game,” said Conway. “The surface certainly got a little bit drier which offered a little bit more spin for the turners.”
The pitch, Conway said, offered New Zealand encouragement for when it’s their turn to bowl. “For us, it will be about keeping things simple,” he said. “It’s about bowling in tandem, in partnerships and having close fielders. Basically hanging in there and putting pressure on the batters.”
Published in Dawn, january 3th, 2023