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England v New Zealand, 1st Test: Day 2 Report
by Andy Jalil


Ground:Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood
Scorecard:England v New Zealand
Event:New Zealand in England 2015

DateLine: 22nd May 2015

 

By Andy Jalil at Lordís In association with INVESTEC

 


Andy Jalil - Cricket Writer and Commentator
Andy Jalil at Lord's
In association with INVESTEC
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New Zealand respond strongly to England in second Test

 

London Ė New Zealand had an emphatic answer to Englandís battling stand of 161 for the fifth wicket on the first day as they responded with two most impressive partnerships, the second of which produced 155 for the unbroken third wicket between Kane Williamson who remained unbeaten with 92 and Ross Taylor on 47 as they took their side to 303 for two and trailing by 86 runs in the first Test.

 

Prior to that New Zealandís opening stand had put on 148 with Martin Guptill hitting a brilliant 70 and Tom Latham 59, his third Test fifty, as they made the England bowlers struggle for two-and-a-half hours either side of lunch. The breakthrough that England were urgently seeking finally came with the introduction of off spinner Moeen Ali into the attack which until that point had been made to look quite innocuous. In only his second over Moeen trapped Latham in front of the stumps.

 

As often happens, a fall of a wicket after a big partnership brings about another quick wicket and so New Zealand lost Guptill. Just how freely he played his shots is illustrated by the fact that 60 of his runs came from boundaries. If England bowlers thought that would open the gates wider for them, Williamson and Taylor had other ideas.

 

They both settled into what proved to be a marvellous stand, watchfully steadying the innings first after the fall of the two quick wickets and then picking up the runs through some fine stroke-play with none of the six bowlers that England used appearing to cause any discomfort to either batsmen. Taylor got into the thirties with two fours in consecutive overs off Moeen first to point and then off James Anderson, a half volley driven powerfully through cover.

 

At the other end Williamson pulled a long hop from Ben Stokes, who had replaced Moeen, to reach 47 and then became the third New Zealand batsman in a row in this innings to reach 50. Upon bringing up his 16th Test half century he cut Stokes to backward point for four and the hundred of the third wicket stand came up from 157 balls with both batsmen having taken control.

 

While Taylor progressed more steadily, his partner made sure that England bowlers paid for anything even a little loose. The bowling became wayward at times in the second and evening sessions. Williamson, in particular, took full advantage of it. He took his score to 70 neatly steering Stokes to third man and the same bowler was pulled for four again in his next over.

 

Root was brought on for a spell, replacing Moeen, who changed ends, and Williamson took his score into the nineties with a lovely square drive to cover off his second ball. With the shot, the 150 of the stand came up and the total went past 300 in the following over off 454 balls.

 

Earlier, after the excellent recovery from the perilous position of losing four wickets for 30 on the first day, Englandís innings, with the efforts of the lower order wasnít so productive on the second morning as the last three wickets fell for an additional 35 runs to wrap up the innings on 389 within an hourís play. They included the wicket of Moeen who added nine to his overnight score of 49 to bring up his second Test half century.

 

Moeen edged a slightly rising ball from Trent Boult behind the stumps and the same bowler struck again in his next over to have Stuart Broad held by the wicketkeeper to finish with four for 79. Matt Henry, who also claimed four wickets, took a return catch from James Anderson for the last wicket.

 

(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2015 Andy Jalil)

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