The first day of the second Test belonged to New Zealand as they posted an impressive 318-4 off 87 overs, boosted by a loose fielding performance from England (New Zealand 5/6, Draw 7/4, England 5/1 – Match Betting).
Put in to bat at Trent Bridge, the visitors steered themselves into a strong position to atone for their first Test loss at Lord’s, Daryl Mitchell reaching stumps unbeaten on 81. His 149-run partnership with Tom Blundell, who closed on 67 not out, kept England at bay when the previously batter-friendly surface started to return some spin (Innings 1: Blundell To Score 100 – Yes 5/4).
After a fruitless start, Ben Stokes and James Anderson eventually took the wickets of opening pair Will Young – who made 47 – and Tom Latham – 26 – respectively in successive deliveries, leaving the tourists on 84-2.
But England’s woes continued through the third-wicket partnership of Henry Nicholls and Devon Conway, the former of whom was put down by Zak Crawley on 17 on his way to a score of 30.
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With New Zealand at 161-3 following Nicholls’ eventual dismissal off the bowling of Stokes, the signs looked positive for the hosts when Conway was dismissed just eight runs later, this time off Anderson.
But as the pitch deadened and the ball began to move less – possibly dampened by its landing in the pint of a spectator sat behind long-on off a six – the visitors kicked on through Blundell and Mitchell.
Crawley’s earlier slip drop was then compounded by another pair of missed fielding opportunities, both from Joe Root (pictured). Mitchell was put down on 17 from a routine slip catch, with Blundell later given a life on 47, albeit from a much more difficult take.
England will hope to take early wickets on Saturday to drag themselves back into the match, and will at least have a relatively new ball to utilise with New Zealand (Innings 1 – Over 464.5 runs – 20/21) seeing off seven overs with the new cherry on Friday evening, although one Stuart Broad delivery flew off on edge between static slips late on, with Crawley and Jonny Bairstow leaving it to each other.
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