London: After two days of being oppressed by New Zealand, England broke the stranglehold in impressive style to take charge halfway through the first Test at Lord's on Saturday. First, New Zealand was dismissed for 207 to give England a first-innings lead of 25, a significant amount on a tricky, soft pitch.
That lead was then boosted from 25 to 205, as Joe Root and Jonathan Trott found runs easy to harvest to help give England 180-6 at stumps. New Zealand fought back with four wickets in six overs in the last hour, three of them to the tireless Tim Southee, but that joy was offset by injuries to wicketkeeper BJ Watling, who hurt his left knee, and spinner Bruce Martin, who limped off after his 13th over. Neither finished the tea session.
Root, bowled for 71, one shy of his Test best on debut in December, and Trott combined for a stand of 123, easily the biggest of the match. They scored at pace to give themselves at least the last four sessions to bowl at New Zealand. Especially after New Zealand's first bat lasted less than three sessions. Root and Trott came together when New Zealand thought they regained the advantage by removing both openers with the total on 36.
Captain Alastair Cook was undone on 21 by leftie seamer Trent Boult for the fourth time in four Tests. Fellow opener Nick Compton, on 15, was set up well by Neil Wagner, who threw three
11:36 PM, May 18, 2013
London: New Zealand will assess weather and pitch conditions on Thursday morning before making a final decision on whether to field four pace bowlers in the first Test against England at Lord's. On the eve of the first match in the two-Test series on Wednesday, captain Brendon McCullum said the final place would go to either Doug Bracewell or left-arm spinner Bruce Martin, who played in the drawn three-match series...
09:32 PM, May 15, 2013