Millennium Post

England double strike checks NZ’s progress

England double strike checks NZ’s progress
England took two wickets in quick succession after New Zealand’s openers shared a century stand on the second day of the first Test at Lord’s on Friday.

New Zealand were 173 for two at tea in reply to England’s first innings 345, a deficit of 216 runs, after Martin Guptill (70) and Tom Latham (59) put on 148 for the first wicket.

Kane Williamson was 11 not and Ross Taylor seven not out.

Just when it seemed the openers would bat through to tea, England took two wickets for no runs in three balls.

Off-spinner Moeen Ali succeeded where England’s quicks had failed by having Latham <g data-gr-id="33">lbw</g> as the left-hander tried to turn the ball <g data-gr-id="32">legside</g>.

It was the end of a 95-ball innings featuring 10 fours and just New Zealand’s <g data-gr-id="28">fifth century</g> opening <g data-gr-id="26">stan</g> in a Test in England.

Latham’s innings was all the more impressive after he found himself keeping wicket for 75 overs while England batted after first-choice gloveman BJ Watling went off injured on Thursday.

Next over, 148 for one became 148 for two when Guptill carelessly drove a Stuart Broad outswinger low to Gary Ballance at <g data-gr-id="30">cover</g>.

Guptill, one of the stars of New Zealand’s run to the World Cup final but playing his first Test in two years, trudged off slowly having put himself in position to press on for a coveted hundred at Lord’s.
He faced 115 balls including eight fours and a swept six off Ali.

Then, with both new batsmen on nought, Williamson called for a reckless single which would have seen Taylor run out had bowler Broad’s underarm throw hit the stumps at the striker’s end.
England might, however, have seen the back of both openers when they were each in the 20s.


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