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Denly and Stokes lift England

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Kiwis would rue drop chances as they kept a lid on the visitors

Half-centuries from Joe Denly and Ben Stokes breathed life into England which reached 241 for four at stumps after a slow start on the first day of the opening Test against New Zealand here on Thursday.

With England intent on occupying the crease as long as possible — although captain Joe Root’s stay was very brief — and New Zealand bowling tight lines, run-scoring was not a priority but the day was not without its drama.

Denly, who claimed the honours in a fascinating battle with New Zealand’s short-ball maestro Neil Wagner, fell for 74 when the second new ball was taken. Stokes, who punished Trent Boult with four boundaries off consecutive balls, including one from a dropped catch by Ross Taylor at first slip, was unbeaten on 67 with Ollie Pope on 18.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 1:08:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/denly-and-stokes-lift-england/article30041076.ece

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