1st Test, Day 2: Mitchell, Blundell put New Zealand on top against England

Lords: Daryl Mitchell (97 not out) and Tom Blundell’s (90 not out) 180 run stand for the fifth wicket put New Zealand on top against England on the second day of the first Test, here on Friday.

New Zealand, who were on the backfoot for the major part of the game on the first day, reached 236/4 at stumps on Day 2, leading England by 227 runs. Beginning the day, the ever-reliable New Zealand duo of Trent Boult and Tim Southee combined to pick up seven wickets to help bowl out England for 141, the hosts getting a slim lead of 9 runs.

It did not take long for New Zealand to get the job done as Southee castled Broad early for 9. Two overs later, he forced Ben Foakes to edge one behind, getting his fourth wicket of the match. But a five-for was not in his destiny as Boult wrapped up the innings, getting Parkinson out for a run-a-ball 8. In reply, New Zealand suffered yet another dismal start as James Anderson dismissed Will Young (1) in the third over. The visitors were further dented by Matty Potts.

The youngster removed Williamson, who ended up edging a straight-ish delivery to Jonny Bairstow at the third slip. Two overs later, Potts served another beauty, this time to Tom Latham, forcing him to edge one to the ‘keeper. New Zealand had to depart for Lunch at a slightly worrying score of 38/3 with Potts’ figures reading 2/11. However, the tenor of the match shifted in the second session.

After Devon Conway’s wicket, the pair of Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell dug in. The duo was initially slow and scored at a snail’s pace but they concentrated on stabilising the innings. The shift finally came when Mitchell milked 12 runs off a Ben Stokes over. Taking that as a sign to break free, Mitchell and Blundell started taking control of the match.

Despite the introduction of Parkinson, spin proved no threat to the New Zealand batters. The fifty-run partnership eventually turned to a hundred with both batters getting their respective fifties and nearing a hundred. Mitchell hit a four on the last ball of the day to take New Zealand to 236/4, with a healthy lead. Brief scores: New Zealand 132 and 236/4 (Daryl Mitchell 97 not out, Tom Blundell 90 not out; Matty Potts 2/50) lead England 141 (Zak Crawley 43; Tim Southee 4/55, Trent Boult 3/21) by 227 runs

(IANS)

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