BirminghamOpener Rory Burns’ half-century was followed by a patient Dan Lawrence’s unbeaten half-century as England overcame a difficult situation and scored 258 for seven on the first day of the second and final cricket Test against New Zealand. Despite Burns’ 81 in the first Test, England were in trouble after losing six wickets for 175 runs. Lawrence (67 not out) then took the innings with Ollie Stone (20) with 47 for the seventh wicket and an unbroken 36-run partnership for the eighth wicket with Mark Wood (16 not out). Lawrence has hit 11 fours in his innings so far facing 100 balls. For New Zealand, apart from fast bowlers Matt Henry and Trent Boult, spinner Aijaz Patel also took two wickets each. Burns got the team off to a good start with Dom Sibley (35) adding 72 runs for the first wicket. However, New Zealand’s bowlers made a comeback in the second session by taking four wickets for 85 runs. England put on 67 runs in the first session without losing a wicket, but after lunch, Henry got Sibley caught by wicketkeeper Tom Blundell on the last ball of the first over. Wagner got Jack Crowley caught by Daryl Mitchell in the next over. He could not even open the account. Henry then caught captain Joe Root at the hands of Blundell on the score of four runs to make England 85 for three. Patel also gave England the fourth blow by getting Ollie Pope (19) caught by Blundell in the last half hour before tea. Boult sent Burns and James Bracey (00) to the pavilion early in the final session but Lawrence took charge of the innings with a lower order. Burns faced 187 balls and hit 10 fours. Earlier in the morning session, New Zealand captain Tom Latham tried five bowlers but none of them could bring success to the team. New Zealand’s team has gone into this match without wicket-keeper batsman BJ Watling, who failed to recover from a back strain. Blundell took his place. Regular New Zealand captain Kane Williamson is also not a part of the playing XI. In his place, Latham is taking the responsibility of captaincy. There have been six changes in the New Zealand team, including the return of fast bowler Trent Boult. England made one change, replacing suspended fast bowler Ollie Robinson, with Olly Stone in the squad. James Anderson became the most Test-playing cricketer for England as soon as he landed for this match. This is his 162nd Test.
[Attribution to NBT]