By: Mohit Singhal
ENG Vs NZ: From the very first test to the third and the last test, nothing has changed for Blackcaps till now having surrendered against the ruthless English bowling that too this time without veteran James Anderson.
Same old vulnerable show with the bat by the top order batters and the rescue by two of the most reliable batters for Kiwis in this series; Daryl Mitchell and keeper Tom Blundell who once again helped New Zealand to keep English bowlers frustrated on the first day of the third test.
Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson, who returned after missing out on the second test opted to bat first after winning the toss in the crucial match in an attempt to escape from the clean sweep after being 2-0 down in the series.
The visitors met with Stuart Broad who removed Tom Latham for a duck in the very first over of the match. Kane and Will Young (20) strike some beautiful drives before the opener was struck in front off Jack Leach.
Williamson poured some class into his 31 runs inning before going in the line of the ball just to give an edge behind with Broad having the second wicket of the match.
Conway too made some quick runs but debutant Jamie Overton castled his wickets before any mishap would have occurred. “Faith favours the brave” and just like that England got rid of Henry Nicholls.
Kiwi batter smashed the one straight over the bowler’s head but it got distracted by non-strikers’ bat and landed safely in Lees’ hands at mid-on.
At 123-5, Blackcaps looked out of balance but the heroes for visitors in this series once again came in the rescue mission stitching a 102-run stand for the 6th wicket. Daryl Mitchell’s innings of 78* in 159 balls comprised of 6 fours and 2 sixes.
The all-rounder cracked the one over the bowler to complete his second half-century of this series while Blundell remained not-out on 45. Both raced to their 3rd century stand off the series.
Now, English skipper Stokes will look to make the second-day count by picking wickets as early as they can whereas this duo will look to strengthen their grip in the match with a humongous partnership.