Cricket

Eng vs NZ first Test | Mitchell and Blundell put New Zealand on top against England

New Zealand’s Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell celebrate on day 2 of the first Test against England at Lords, in London on June 3, 2022.

New Zealand’s Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell celebrate on day 2 of the first Test against England at Lords, in London on June 3, 2022. | Photo Credit: AP

Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell were both eyeing coveted hundreds at Lord’s after batting New Zealand into a commanding position on Friday’s second day of the first Test against England.

In a match where bowlers on both sides had previously been on top, the pair’s unbroken partnership of 180 took the World Test champions to 236 for four in their second innings at stumps, a lead of 227, after they had come together with New Zealand in trouble at 56 for four.

Mitchell was 97 not out and Blundell 90 not out — the first two fifties of the match.

They compiled the first century partnership of this match in classic Test-match fashion, displaying a sound defence while punishing anything loose or too full.

And at the close they had equalled New Zealand’s record fifth-wicket stand against England, set by Martin Crowe and Shane Thomson at Lord’s in 1994.

Mitchell finished Friday’s play in style, driving the last ball of the day, from England debutant Matthew Potts, for four to move to within three runs of a second Test hundred following his unbeaten 102 against Pakistan at Christchurch last year.

Given how England had suffered a top-order collapse of their own in making 141 in reply to the World Test champions' seemingly modest first-innings 132, the Black Caps may yet be approaching a match-winning lead in the opening encounter of this three-Test series.

Durham quick Potts, who enjoyed a superb return of four for 13 in the first innings, struck again with a pre-lunch burst Friday of two for 11 in four overs.

For the second time in the match, the 23-year-old dismissed New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.

He had needed just five balls Thursday to claim the scalp of the star batsman as his first Test wicket.

And on Friday he produced a fine lifting delivery that Williamson could only edge to third slip Jonny Bairstow.

Williamson was out for 15 and New Zealand's 30 for two soon became 35 for three when Potts had opener Tom Latham (14) caught behind off such a thin edge that wicketkeeper Ben Foakes did not even appeal.

After lunch, Devon Conway -- who last year marked his Test debut with a brilliant double century at Lord's -- fell cheaply for the second time in this match when a mistimed pull off Stuart Broad was caught behind down the legside.

But Mitchell, the son of former All Blacks rugby coach John Mitchell, took advantage of an increasingly flat pitch to hit two fours off successive balls from new England captain Ben Stokes.

An inswinger from the all-rounder was clipped through midwicket before Mitchell drove Stokes down the ground.

The Lancashire leg-spinner became England's inaugural concussion substitute after being summoned from Manchester on Thursday to replace Jack Leach, who had fallen on his head while saving a boundary.

Parkinson bowled tidily without threatening a wicket, having earlier helped England into a slender first-innings lead of nine runs.

Parkinson walked out to bat with England still behind at 130 for nine.

But he got off the mark with a clipped two off Tim Southee, who took four for 55, before driving him down the ground for four — one of the best shots of the innings.

Parkinson was last man out, caught in the slips off Trent Boult.

England resumed on 116 for seven, still 16 runs behind, after an extraordinary start to Stokes's reign as skipper had seen 17 wickets fall during the first day's play.


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Printable version | Jul 10, 2022 11:27:46 am | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/new-zealand-tour-of-england-england-vs-new-zealand-first-test-at-lords-day-2/article65490948.ece