New Zealand vs England, 1st Test Day 2

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The second day at Mount Maunganui started with England looking to press home the advantage they had built on the first day by posting a score of over 400. Things got off to a decent start with Stokes finding the boundary with ease as he continued from his overnight score of 67. A couple of delicate touches behind square from the all-rounder showed his capabilities with the bat alongside his forceful powerful shots the previous evening.

The Durham batsmen looked nailed on for a century when on 91 he came down the wicket and nicked a wide one from Southee. Stokes who had been coming down the wicket to great effect throughout his innings will be disappointed that he didn’t pull out of the shot. His wicket triggered a collapse though as Ollie Pope soon followed playing a similar shot and Curran was out first ball LBW to an in swinging yorker.

Archer came and went quickly for four and soon enough England was eight down with good friends Leach and Buttler out in the middle. What followed was a period of slow monotonous cricket where Williamson set the field back and repeatedly allowed Buttler the single who rarely took it. It wasn’t a great look for the game as the players went off for lunch with Buttler only managing to hit one six with the tail.

After lunch Buttler did manage to get a couple more boundaries away before being caught for 42 by Santner who had to quickly leap back into play after being caught out signing autographs. England was eventually bowled out for 353 which felt like they possibly left 100 out in the middle.  

The two Kiwi openers dealt with the potent England new ball bowlers well however Sam Curran as first change trapped Latham LBW although replays suggested that he might have hit it at the same time as he hit his front pad. The other opener in Raval looked increasingly uncomfortable after tea against the spin of Leach and miscued a lofted shot to Denly halfway back to the boundary.  

This brought New Zealand’s best and most experienced pair to the middle in Williamson and Taylor and England knew that the game probably would be won or lost in this phase. With that in mind Root brought on his match winner in Stokes who targeted Taylor with the short ball in the thinking that he is a compulsive hooker. The plan worked as one short one from Stokes didn’t quite get as high as first thought and Taylor hit a little squarer then he intended and was caught.

Following that Curran who had probably been the pick of the bowlers got Williamson with some extra bounce much to the England fans delight. That wicket defiantly tipped the day in England’s favour and there was even time for Archer to hit Nicholls on the head. New Zealand’s number six will probably undergo tests similar to what Steve Smith had overnight.

Root and his men will definitely feel that a first innings lead and the game is up for grabs now. The third day will as ever be crucial as whoever gets the first innings lead will potentially avoid defeat in such a short series.    

New Zealand 1st Innings

J A Ravalc Denly b Leach196830
T W M Lathamlbw b Curran82100
K S Williamsonc Stokes b Curran518570
L R P L Taylorc Pope b Stokes254010
H M Nicholls266840
B J Watling62400
Extras9b 09 
Totalfor 414451.0 overs
S C J Broad104200
J C Archer144400
S M Curran104282
M J Leach121291
B A Stokes40161
J E Root1020

England 1st Innings

R J Burnsc Watling b de Grandhomme5213860
D P Sibleyc Taylor b de Grandhomme226340
J L Denlyc Watling b Southee7418181
J E Rootc Southee b Wagner22200
B A Stokesc Taylor b Southee91146120
O J D Popec Watling b Southee295660
J C Buttlerc Santner b Wagner437051
S M Curranlbw b Southee0100
J C Archerc Southee b Boult4310
M J Leach185520
S C J Broadb Wagner11000
Extras2b 11lb 0 3w 1nb17 
Totalfor 10353124.0 overs
T A Boult316971
T G Southee327884
C de Grandhomme235412
N Wagner327903
M J Santner61240

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