Attack-minded England take control of first Test in New Zealand
Strong batting and a declared opening day saw England take control in the first Test against New Zealand at Mount Maunganui on Thursday. The Black Caps trailed 37-3 at stumps in the day-night Test at Bay Oval, England’s flamboyant 325-9 declared on the back foot. The tourists raced to their total in just 58.2 overs – buoyed by half-centuries from Ben Duckett and Harry Brook – as England opened the two-Test series with an aggressive approach, dubbed “buzzball”, which saw them . Nine wins out of their last 10 Tests under coach Brendon McCullum.
England captain Ben Stokes instructed his lower-order batsmen to throw the bat before calling them on, leaving 18 overs for the Black Caps to bowl under lights with a new pink ball.
The ploy worked as Tom Latham, Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls departed before reaching double figures.
Evergreen seamer James Anderson took 2-11, including the crucial wicket of Williamson after an LBW review.
Opener Devon Conway on 18 and nightwatchman Neil Wagner on four will resume with a 288-run deficit on Friday.
It was a sobering response to an England innings in which New Zealand captain Tim Southee was hit by 48 fours and a six off Brook, who were bundled out for 2-71 in 13 overs.
New Zealand’s frail attack returned midway through the second session as Ollie Pope, Joe Root and Stokes fell in quick succession, allowing debutant pacers Blair Tickner (1-72) and Scott Kuggeleijn (2-80) to claim their maiden Test wickets. .
However, the in-form Brown regained the momentum, scoring 89 off 81 balls, supported by 38 from Ben Foakes.
The 23-year-old Yorkshireman’s Brook, playing only his fifth Test, was on course to become only the second England batsman after Ken Barrington in the 1960s to score centuries in four consecutive Tests.
However, he played on for Wagner (4-82), who benefited from the veteran seamer’s wild approach towards the end of his innings.
Like Brooke, Duckett was a revelation during the 3-0 series win in Pakistan in December and kept his hot streak going with a 68-ball 84.
The aggressive opener had the chance to score England’s fastest Test century – surpassing Gilbert Jessup’s 76-ball knock against Australia in 1902 – before he fell to Tickner late in the first session.
Southee, leading his country at home for the first time, asked England to bat in the hope that the swing of the pink ball could be exploited on a green pitch, covered for several days by Cyclone Gabriel. Had happened.
The hosts’ best spell came when Pope made a four-ball 42 and Root made 14, soon followed by Stokes.
Most of the wickets fell due to aggressive shotmaking, including Root, whose reverse lap attempt off Wagner went straight into the slip cordon.
Preparations for both sides were disrupted by a storm that hit New Zealand and a state of national emergency was created on Tuesday, but Mount Maunganui avoided significant damage and play resumed on time.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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