Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell make sloppy England pay for dropped catches as New Zealand take hold of Trent Bridge Test

England miss three chances during day one game at Trent Bridge; Daryl Mitchell, who was knocked down in three by Joe Root, ends the first day undefeated with 81 – watch the second day of the second test from 10:15am, Saturday, Sky Sports Cricket

England managed three catches while Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell shared an unbroken 149-run standing to see New Zealand top 318-4 after day one of the second Test at Trent Bridge.

Mitchell (81st) and Blundell (67th), who shared a pairing of 195 runs last week at Lord’s, were once again England’s scourge after the hosts apparently scored a chance when the ball began to do the talking in the afternoon session. .

Having toiled away on a largely batsman-friendly surface, Ben Stokes (2-40) and James Anderson (2-42) suddenly found some swing before tea, claiming wickets from Henry Nicholls (30) and Devon Conway (46) in quick succession to cut the Black Caps to 169-4.

It was the second time on the day that Stokes and Anderson had formed a lethal pairing, having previously dismissed New Zealand’s top performers with back-to-back deliveries after Will Young (47) and backup captain Tom Latham (26) – covering Kane Williamson, ruled out with Covid, had gotten the visitors off to a fun start with an 84-run stoppage.

England were guilty of being a bit profligate on the ball, giving up 43 bounds in the day’s game, including 20 in the opening session, while three catches were placed on the slips on the pitch: Zak Crawley dropped Nicholls in the 17 and Joe Root. responsible for two, Mitchell more crucial at 17 and Blundell a much more difficult shot when at 47.

Mitchell, in particular, made England pay for the error on the night when the pitch muffled and the ball lost the snap that was apparent before the interval, perhaps in part because one of the New Zealand batsman’s two sixes landed in the pint of an unlucky spectator sat beyond the long limit.

Subsequent events of the day’s game point to it being an easy toss decision, but Stokes’ call to bowling was more than understandable given the green tint present on the field, and Latham also said he would have bowled.

The pitch had good pace and carry but, with the sun beating down on Nottingham, it proved to be of more help to the New Zealand starters than to the England closers, who were guilty of not hitting the right lengths as they had. so impressively in the lord

Barring a couple of shaves in their career between the wickets, it looked like Young and Latham would get through the opening session unscathed, only for Stokes, England’s bowlers’ choice, to make something happen, as is his usual way. .

Stokes, with the ball angled to the young right-hander, got one to hold his line and take the lead until the second slide where Crawley claimed an excellent low catch to his left. A ball later, Anderson quickly went back on the attack, it was two on two when Latham managed to hit nothing more than a harmless loose ball directly to Matthew Potts in the middle of the short wicket.

There would be no team hat-trick this time, although Stuart Broad (0-74), whose inspiration on that third morning at Lord’s put England on course for victory, again tried to pump up the crowd in similar style shortly after the lunch.

Broad bowled well but unrewarded, although he should have at least claimed the wicket from Nicholls, only for a perhaps overconfident Crawley, after his earlier exploits, to dive in front of Root and see the opportunity slip out of his hands. extended. right hand.

Then, just as New Zealand were once again beginning to take the lead in the contest (Conway and Nicholls formed a partnership of fifty in just 60 balls), England suddenly got the ball swinging from the 35-plus mark to unsettle the fans. batters.

Conway almost died in the same way as Latham, apparently cutting off a short, straight midwicket but, after the umpires referred him to the third man, the ball was shown not to have reached Potts this time.

However, he and Nicholls soon returned to the pavilion, the latter being the first to go, unable to resist a small bite on one from Stokes around the window, while Conway’s cut from behind came off the inside rim.

England had a chance, with two new batsmen in the crease, but Root squandered a regulation opportunity to dodge Stokes and Mitchell, along with Blundell, battled through to tea before conditions turned again in the visitors’ favour.

Mitchell liked Jack Leach (0-62) from the start of the final session, doing a reverse spinner sweep for four in the second over of his spell, before starting his third by hitting four in the middle and then hitting six. followed. .

Blundell survived a loud lbw yell from Jack Leach when in 39 – England going through and the ball was shown to be cutting the stump of his leg on ‘referee’s call’ – while Root coughed up his second of the day, a ‘chance ‘ quick as a flash of lightning to overtake Leach, shortly before Blundell joined Mitchell until 50.

Broad tried a few short things for an increasingly desperate England hoping to upset the batsman while, only to add to his and the home team’s frustration, in the third with the second new ball shortly before the stumps, a Blundell lead in 63. it was unclaimed as it split Crawley and Jonny Bairstow at a reachable height between the second and third slide.

1 – New Zealand have only won one test series coming from behind. That was the 1999 series in England when they lost the first Test but won the second and fourth to take the series 2-1.

two – there have only been two ties in the last 15 Tests at Trent Bridge, dating back to 2003. Those were 2014
Test against India in which James Anderson scored 81, and last year when the final day faded with
India 52-1, needing a total of 209 to win.

100 – Runs were scored before lunch on the first day of a Test match held in the UK for the first time since England’s Test against West Indies at Edgbaston in 2017.

92 – Devon Conway’s % of rims in Test Cricket are inside rims, compared to 57% of all players’ rims being inside rims.

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