New Zealand bounced back from their defeat at Lord’s by controlling the opening day of the second Test against England at Trent Bridge.
The Black Caps hit a towering total of 318 stumps from four, scoring at a healthy pace throughout the day as the home attack struggled and the odds lagged.
England need fast wickets to get back into battle, but Daryl Mitchell (81 not out) and Tom Blundell (67) have other ideas.
England’s plans derailed by a pint?
There was a comedic aside at the start of the evening session, when Mitchell tossed Jack Leach for six into the crowd and sent the ball straight into a plastic pint glass. Owner Susan got soaked as her cider splashed everywhere but was quickly topped up by NZ management.
But, as well as providing a few laughs, the incident may have given New Zealand a leg up. England had moved the ball appreciably for the first time before the ball was dunked and they seemed to do a little less afterwards. Balls often deteriorate when smashed in the stands, but this was an unexpected wrinkle.
quote of the day
Discomforts at home
Stuart Broad is never shy about discussing his love for Trent Bridge and spoke in the build-up to this game about his desire to get the fans bouncing back at a venue where he has already won career-best numbers of eight for 15 against Australia. But the numbers of zero for 74 out of 18 accurately reflect his struggles. Perhaps that shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, though, given that the 35-year-old has finished without a wicket in three of his last five legs at Nottingham.
The new England management team of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum have made it a point to demand that bowlers always look for the wicket-taking option. That means inviting the ride, taking risks, and leaving gaps in the field to keep the dragline full. While that scenario played out perfectly on the first day of the first Test, where New Zealand were knocked out for 132, things went less well here. The player lengths the home offense produced ended up offering a steady four-ball supply, with 43 limits to go with two maximums.
For Mitchell, a second consecutive century seems entirely possible. Blundell, meanwhile, will be eager to reach triple figures after missing four points last time out. For England, only a quick group of wickets will do. Keeping New Zealand below 400 seems like a tough ask, but there’s a new ball to work with. As far as the stick is concerned, it is simply a question of following the example of the opposition.