5 Best ‘Night-Watchman’ Innings in Test Cricket

2. Nicky Boje (South Africa)

Nicky Boje 85 vs India as Night watchman
Nicky Boje

Match: South Africa vs India | March 2-6 2000 | Bengaluru, India | Scorecard

Score: 85 (198 balls)
Batting Position: Number 3

After being 1-0 down, India won the toss and opted to bat first in the second match of the 2-match Test series. But nothing after the toss went in the favour of India. The Indian batting line-up crumbled for mere 158 as Nicky Boje returned figures of 2/10 in 15 overs at an astounding economy rate of 0.66.

Trailing by 158, South Africa lost their first wicket (Herschelle Gibbs) off the final delivery of the fourth over. Nicky Boje was sent next in place of Jacques Kallis as the night watchman. With only one more over possible in the first day’s play, South Africa finished the day on 11/1 off 5 overs.

Next day, Nicky Boje batted better than every batsman of the opposition playing a brilliant knock of 85 facing 198 deliveries. He added 161 runs for the second wicket with opener Gary Kirstein as the Proteas were already in the lead against the host when Nicky lost his wicket.

After Boje’s dismissal, Kallis and Klusener also scored valiant half-centuries as South Africa piled up a mammoth total of 479. Trailing by 321 runs, the Indian team couldn’t put up a fight this time either.

Surprisingly, Nicky Boje was yet again the hero for South Africa scalping a five-wicket haul.

He was awarded the ‘Man of the Match’ award for his marvellous performance as South Africa won the Test match by an innings and 71 runs.

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