WTC 2021-23, England vs New Zealand, 1st Test, Day 2: Daryl Mitchell-Tom Blundell unbeaten 180-run stand gives NZ 227-run lead; England all out for 141
Brief Scores: NZ 132 (de Grandhomme 42*, Potts 13/4, Anderson 66/4) and 236/4 (Mitchell 97*, Blundell 90*, Potts 50/2) lead England 141 (Crawley 43, Southee 55/4) by 227 runs at Stumps on Day 2
On the second day of Lord’s Test between hosts England and visitors New Zealand, the hosts started on 116/7, still trailing by 16 runs. Wicketkeeper batter Ben Foakes and Stuart Broad started the proceedings for the hosts.
England bundled out for 141
Broad hammered a four on the first ball of the day and stated his intentions to the opponents. Howeverthe , Kiwi seamer Tim Southee shattered the stumps of Broad in the next over to reduce the hosts to eight down. Also, Southee didn’t wait much to take another wicket by sending Foakes to the pavilion on a meagre personal score of seven off 22 deliveries. Somehow, the hosts managed to get past the total of Black Caps before getting all-out on a paltry total of 141. England could take a puny lead of only nine runs over the islanders.
New Zealand lost opener Will Young early on
Black Caps kicked off their second innings after an interval of 10 minutes. Kiwi openers, Will Young and Tom Latham, opened the innings against foremost swing and seam bowling duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
However, opener Young followed the same route as the first innings and got out early off Anderson’s swing bowling. A slight outswing induced by Anderson drew an edge from Young’s blade and wicketkeeper Foakes took a low catch efficiently. Young could make only one run in his short stay in the middle.
Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson became bunny of debutant Matthew Potts
Next batter, skipper Kane Williamson tried to save his side from another potential collapse but he had to return to the dugout by giving a catch to Jonny Bairstow at third slip while facing an inswinger bowled by debutant Matthew Potts. This way Potts bagged the wicket of Kiwi skipper in both innings of this Test match. Williamson could score only 15 runs off 34 deliveries.
New Zealand lost two more wickets; reduced to 56 for four
Young pacer Potts was bowling a menacing spell in the morning. He bagged another wicket by dismissing Latham on a meagre personal score of 14 runs after a struggle of 13 overs in the middle for the opener.
New Zealand managed to not lose another wicket till lunch break. After lunch, seasoned pacer Broad banged a short delivery to Devon Conway and the batter couldn’t handle it well. He was caught down the leg side by keeper Foakes. Conway could add only 14 runs in the total of Black Caps.
Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell tried their best to stick in the middle
The islanders were four down after scoring only 56 runs, so they were in grave danger of getting all-out on another paltry total like the first innings, and give a sub-par total to chase to the hosts. The next batter Tom Blundell joined Daryll Mitchell in middle. Coincidently, mean-looking bowler Potts was removed from the attack by skipper Stokes after bowling eight consecutive overs when Blundell joined Mitchell in the middle. So, the nervous batters might have got some breathing space on the pitch.
Mitchell and Blundell completed individual fifties and a 100+ stand
The batting duo of Mitchell and Blundell played out Broad and Ben Stokes cautiously in the next few overs. Daryl Mitchell started to smack occasional boundaries after taking some time early in his innings. He struck two back-to-back boundaries off Stokes. The batting pair helped their side to get past the 100-run mark.
Blundell too tried to free his hands and put the bad deliveries beyond the boundary rope. Both batters managed to keep visitors alive in the game till Tea break. Black Caps were on 128/4 at Tea.
After the break, Blundell started to bat in fifth gear and struck two back-to-back boundaries off Potts. Both batters reached close to their individual fifties. Blundell completed his fifth Test fifty by striking a boundary off Potts. Mitchell followed his partner and completed his fourth Test fifty in 97 deliveries.
Also, the batting pair brought up a century stand for the fifth wicket to bail out their side in this series opener. Both batters looked comfortable against England bowlers and continue to milk runs through boundaries. Mitchell hammered two boundaries in an over of Stokes, then followed it with three boundaries in one over of Anderson. The experienced pacers of hosts looked completely clueless against the Kiwi batting duo. Blundell also struck two boundaries in an over bowled by Broad.
New Zealand reached 200
New Zealand reached the 200-run mark due to a spectacular partnership between these two batters. Also, the batting duo completed their 150-run stand for the fifth wicket. Both batters batted well against debutant leg-spinner Matthew Parkinson, who debuted in place of Jack Leach as a concussion substitute.
As the batters looked unshakable against the English pacers, skipper Stokes tried out part-time spinner Joe Root. Blundell faced a huge LBW appeal in an over by Root, which the umpire turned down. Mitchell smashed a sharp boundary on the last ball of the day to end the day on a high note. Mitchell and Blundell remained not-out at the end of the day and added 180 runs together. Mitchell reached close to his century, 97 off 188 deliveries, while his partner Blundell smashed 90 runs off 182 deliveries.
What to Expect on Day 3
After 17 wickets fell on the first day, only seven wickets tumbled on the second day of the Test match. The game turned on its head on Friday in favour of the visitors due to the efforts of the batting duo of Mitchell and Blundell.
New Zealand will try their best to score as many runs as possible in their second innings as there is plenty of time remaining in the game. They would try to give a target above 400 runs to England. The hosts will try to bundle out the Black Caps below 300 to chase a moderate total in this series opener at Lord’s.