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'It just kind of happens' - Modest Watling plays down stunning rescue act
Watling Grinds Down England

'It just kind of happens' - Modest Watling plays down stunning rescue act

New Zealand's go-to man BJ Watling produced a gritty hundred to put his side in the lead in first innings of the opening Test.

Watling rescued his side after they were reduced to 197 for 5 at one point.

But following his rescue act against England, Watling couldn’t really express as to why he produced such innings when his side are under the pump.

"It just kind of happens" he said after the stumps on day three in Mount Maunganui.

On a sunny day, he toiled under a blazing sun for almost seven hours.

"I love scoring hundreds for New Zealand and I really enjoyed that one," he said.

"I know I didn't want to field today... so that was driving me.

"I think I'm very limited and try and play to how I know best works for me."

Watling's rearguard mission came in with Colin de Grandhomme as the duo put on a 119-run stand for the sixth wicket. After de Grandhomme was dismissed, he then paired up with Mitchell Santner in an unbroken stand of 78 runs.

When de Grandhomme joined Watling following the dismissal of Henry Nicholls, New Zealand were five down and trailed by 156 runs.

Watling was more cautious in his approach while de Grandhomme took on the charge as he raced to 65 with six fours and one six.

De Grandhomme then slashed at a wide one which was plucked out by Dom Sibley one-handed.

Watling has been a part of three of the six best New Zealand partnerships for the sixth-wicket.

He scored 124 when partnering Brendon McCullum in a 352-run stand -- then a sixth-wicket world record -- to save a Test against India in 2014.

The following year he broke that record in a 365-run effort with Kane Williamson against Sri Lanka, and a few months later scored a century at Leeds in a famous win against England.

Against Sri Lanka in August, New Zealand won the second Test to square the series when Watling scored an unbeaten 105 in a 113-run sixth-wicket stand with de Grandhomme.