New Zealand are off to a steady start after being put at-bat by England on the opening day of the second Test at Trent Bridge.
England had three catches while Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell shared an uninterrupted streak of 149 runs to see New Zealand lead 318-4 after day one of the second Test at Trent Bridge.
Mitchell (81 nos) and Blundell (67 nos), who shared a 195-run partnership at Lord’s last week, were England’s scourge once again after the hosts seemingly wrought an opening when the ball began to talk in the afternoon session .
After working on a largely shot-friendly surface, Ben Stokes (2-40) and James Anderson (2-42) suddenly found some momentum off the tee, claiming the wickets from Henry Nicholls (30) and Devon Conway (46). quick succession to reduce the Black Caps to 169-4.
England take two wickets in two balls against New Zealand on Day 1 of the second Test.
It was the second time on the day Stokes and Anderson formed a deadly pair as they previously dismissed New Zealand’s opener games with back-to-back deliveries after Will Young (47) and backup skipper Tom Latham (26) – covering for Kane Williamson , ruled out with Covid – had helped visitors get off to a boisterous start with a stand of 84 runs.
England had to pay for missed chances
England were guilty of being a little wasteful with the ball and giving up 43 limits in the day’s game, including 20 in the opening session, while in the field three catches landed in the slips – Zak Crawley dropped Nicholls to 17 and Joe Root in charge of two, Mitchell on most decisive at 17 and Blundell a much tougher attitude at 47.
Lost catches for England against New Zealand on day one of the second Test could prove costly.
Mitchell in particular made England pay for the error on the evening when the pitch was cushioned and the ball lost any zip that was apparent before the break – perhaps partly because one of the New Zealand batsman’s two sixes landed in the pint of an unfortunate spectator sat beyond the long-on limit.
Did Stokes get the toss wrong?
Subsequent events of the day suggest it was an easy decision to toss, but Stoke’s call to bowl was more than understandable given the green hue on the pitch and Latham too said he had bowled.
The pitch had good pace and carry but with the sun beating down in Nottingham it proved to be of greater help to the New Zealand openers than the English, who were guilty of not hitting quite the right lengths as they so impressively did had done mr.
Aside from a few narrow frenzy between wickets, it looked like Young and Latham would whiz through the opening session unscathed, only for Stokes – the choice of England bowlers – to make a difference, as is so often his way.
Stokes, angling the ball into the right-handed Young, got one to hold his line and bring the edge to the second slip where Crawley got an excellent catch on his left. A ball later, Anderson quickly brought the offense back, it was two to two, as Latham managed to smash nothing more than a harmless loser straight at Matthew Potts at the short midwicket.
No magic note for Broad at Trent Bridge
There would be no team hat-trick this time, although Stuart Broad (0-74), who set England on course for victory on that third morning at Lord’s, tried again just after lunch to cheer on the crowd in a similar fashion.
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Broad bowled well but with no reward, although he should have at least claimed the wicket from Nicholls, only for a perhaps overly confident Crawley to dive in front of Root after his previous exploits and see opportunity slip from his outstretched right hand.
Then, just as New Zealand were back at the top of the competition – Conway and Nicholls brought up a fifty-point partnership in just 60 balls – England suddenly got the ball swinging from the 35-over mark to unsettle the batsmen.
Conway died in much the same manner as Latham, appearing to cut off what appeared to be a straight short midwicket, but after being sent off to the third man by the umpires it became apparent the ball didn’t quite get through to Potts this time.
Ben Stokes takes the third wicket for England against New Zealand on the first day of the second Test.
However, he and Nicholls were soon back in the pavilion, the latter going first and unable to resist a small nibble from Stokes around the wicket, while Conway’s Nick came from the inside edge at the back.
Mitchell and Blundell team up to frustrate the hosts again
England had an opening with two new batsmen at the knee, but Root missed a regular chance to slip Stokes and Mitchell fought his way to the tee alongside Blundell before conditions turned again in the visitors’ favour.
Mitchell found favor with Jack Leach (0-62) early in the final session, sweeping back the spinner by four in the second over of his spell before starting his third by hitting four over mid-off and then hitting six straight .
Blundell survived a powerful lbw scream from Jack Leach as he was on the 39th – England checked and the ball showed him slicing off the leg stump on “referee’s call” – while Root coughed up his second of the day, a lightning “chance” of one Blitz Rand out of Leach just before Blundell joined Mitchell on 50.
Broad tried a few short pitches for an increasingly desperate England in hopes of disrupting the batsman, while in the third over with the second new ball just short of stumps a Blundell edge on 63, only to add to his and the home side’s frustration was unclaimed as it separated Crawley and Jonny Bairstow at a catchable height between the second and third slips.
Statistics of the day
1 – New Zealand have only won one Test series from behind. That was the England 1999 series when they lost the first Test but won the second and fourth to win the series 2-1.
2 – There have only been two draws in the last 15 Tests at Trent Bridge from 2003. They were in 2014
Test against India in which James Anderson scored 81 and last year when the final tag was washed out with
India 52-1, needs 209 total to win.
100 – Runs were scored before lunch on the first day of a test match, held in Britain for the first time since England’s Test against the West Indies at Edgbaston in 2017.
92 – Percent of Devon Conway’s edges in Test cricket are inside edges, compared to 57 percent of all players’ edges that are inside edges.
Watch day two of the second LV= Insurance Test between England and New Zealand live on Sky Sports Cricket at Trent Bridge on Saturday from 10.15am.