England attacks the toil at Trent Bridge with a familiar partnership:
On day one of the 2nd Test, New Zealand took control after a 149* run partnership between Daryl Mitchell (81) and Tom Blundell (67) left the hosts agitated.
Ben Stokes, England’s captain, won the toss and chose to bowl first. Michael Bracewell, 31, has made his Test debut for New Zealand.
NZ 318/4 in the first innings
Kane Williamson is unable to compete.
New Zealand was dealt a major blow on the eve of the second Test in Nottingham. After having slight symptoms during the day, their regular captain Kane Williamson tested positive for Covid-19.
In Williamson’s absence, Tom Latham will captain the side after a five-day required isolation period.
New Zealand is off to a good start.
The Black Caps had a terrible first Test and needed to bounce back in the second. Will Young and Tom Latham started confidently on the first day, neutralising the threat of England’s quick bowlers. They settled in quickly and milked boundaries with ease.
The bowlers didn’t get much help, and the hitters took advantage of it. The first hour went by without England doing any harm, and the openers’ partnership grew to 50 runs. With Young on 47 in the 21st over, the breakthrough was finally made. Zak Crawley took a wonderful low catch in second slip from Stokes, denying him his half-century. With Latham falling on the following ball to Anderson, one brought two.
Despite the two quick wickets, New Zealand recovered, with Devon Conway and Henry Nicholls following in the footsteps of their predecessors, playing some exquisite strokes to keep the scoring rate up.
The first session saw as much as 20 boundaries struck, with New Zealand finishing on 108/2.
Even into the evening, there are honours.
Following the lunch break, New Zealand’s third-wicket partnership of Devon Conway and Henry Nicholls attempted to keep up the optimistic attitude that had seen the tourists score at a pace of 4.15 runs per over in the morning session.
New Zealand seemed set to continue their onslaught on the hosts’ bowling attack after a couple of Conway boundaries within the first over after the lunch break.
As the third-wicket partnership approached fifty runs, England’s bowlers continued to put the two to the test, with a couple of opportunities falling just short until their hard work paid off.
Both set hitters Nicholls (30) and Conway (46) were caught behind off the bowling of Stokes and Anderson, respectively, in the space of just a few overs, leaving two fresh Blackcaps batters at the crease.
England’s afternoon, on the other hand, could have been a lot better had Daryl Mitchell not been dropped at first slip early in his bat.
With the score at 195/4, New Zealand’s batters took the visitors to tea without any additional losses, preserving their wickets.
In Test cricket, James Anderson is only two wickets short from reaching 650 scalps.