England vs New Zealand: Ollie Pope and Alex Lees begin fightback after Daryl Mitchell fires tourists to record score in England

Daryl Mitchell (190) powers New Zealand to their England record score of 553, but then drops Alex Lees on 12 and Ollie Pope on 37 as the two share an unbroken 84-run position. watch day three of the second Test from 10.15am, Sunday, Sky Sports Cricket

England again had to work hard on the pitch before a mini bat fight saw them close the second day at 90-1 in response to New Zealand’s first innings 553 in the second LV insurance test = at Trent Bridge.

Daryl Mitchell (190) brought in consecutive hundreds early in proceedings before becoming the last batsman to go down – 10 short of a two-ton first test – as New Zealand recorded their record score against England.

But Mitchell turned villain a little late when, after the tourists picked up Zak Crawley (4) cheaply, he dropped Alex Lees at 12 and Ollie Pope at 37 at the first slip.

On a flat pitch that has offered little to bowlers over the first two days, such mistakes are hugely costly, as England can attest after losing five such chances during their 145.3 overs on the ground (four knockdowns, plus the rim). which split Crawley and Jonny Bairstow in the slips late on the first day).

Pope (51 no) brought in a seventh Test fifty, hitting just 66 balls, shortly before the stumps, while Lees is not out 34 – the pair will resume their unbroken 84-run position on the third tomorrow.

Previously, Tom Blundell (106) achieved what he couldn’t at Lord’s last week, joining Mitchell in triple figures as the pair advanced their overnight partnership to 236, Blundell surpassing 1,000 tests in the process.

Mitchell should have perished for 104 when looking to throw Jack Leach into the stands as he had the day before, but England raised his innings knockdown count to four when Matthew Potts only took a breath as he ran from the length. fence.

It wasn’t until the 23rd of the day that England finally broke through the stands, this time Blundell looking to take the spinning wheel but only managing to pick out Ben Stokes in the middle.

Michael Bracewell looked accomplished on his debut, hitting nine bounds around the wicket on either side of lunch, while Mitchell was also back on the offensive, hitting Leach into the stands twice more as he moved his score past 150.

An unexpected rain delay interrupted New Zealand’s momentum and the score dried up as play resumed after early tea; Potts hit the ball short from the wing while Jimmy Anderson (3-62) hit a disciplined line drive outside, for which he was ultimately rewarded when Bracewell (49) dropped to one of fifty – Joe Root gratefully held on to first. glide.

The gate caused a sudden gust; Stuart Broad (2-107) struck twice in one over: Kyle Jamieson (14) scrambled past Ben Foakes and Tim Southee (4) fending off a shoulder edge into the ravine, while Leach (2-140) added Matt Henry’s first ball as he meekly tossed one to Crawley with extra coverage.

Trent Boult, tasked with taking Mitchell to a maiden of two hundred, did things his unique way, smashing four limits on his 18-ball 16, a score that put him level with Muttiah Muralitharan for the most runs by a No. 11 in Test history, prompting a few smiles from the away dressing room.

But ultimately, it would be Boult who would be left without teammates and stranded before his milestone, as Mitchell got a slight lead on Foakes when looking to get a wide, slower ball from Potts (1-126) to end the game. entry. .

With a possible 29 overs still to go, it looked like England’s day was about to get worse when, to end the second of those, Crawley cut down a Boult ripper (1-18).

Lees, looking to be positive as in his last innings at Lord’s, one that prompted captain Stokes to say his 20 was his best shot yet in an England shirt, hit home with a ground drive for two, while the same shot brought him a first cap at Southee’s next over.

However, the approach was not without risk, as Lees almost dragged another Southee strike attempt to his stumps and then brought the quick Kiwi to Mitchell later in his spell, just for the chance, similar to the one he himself served Root. when in just three – to go begging.

Pope looked a little more confident in the crease, cutting four of his pads to hit and then sweetly timing two hits through the covers of Henry himself, on either side of a top shot for six to bring England back. fifty

Pope pulled Henry for six more in his next over, he hit a bit more from the middle, but then he too had a scare when he passed Boult to Mitchell on the slide, who this time landed a harder shot low to his left. . .

Pope hit a couple more boundaries before reaching his half-century, much to the delight of the home crowd, who increasingly found their voice in the afternoon session.

553 – third-highest team score against England after being put up to bat. The only two higher totals were scored by Australia: 601 scored at both Gabba in 1954 and Headingley in 1989.

236 – New New Zealand association record for their fifth wicket, set by Mitchell and Blundell in this test, beating Nathan Astle and Craig McMillan’s 222 against Zimbabwe in Wellington in 2000.

150 – Only four New Zealand pairings have had successive partnerships of over 150 in Test cricket, with Mitchell and Blundell being the latest to do so in this series.

23 – England’s starting partnership since the start of last year has averaged just 23 races – no team playing more than four Tests in that time has a worse record.

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