Global Affairs

England v New Zealand: Devon Conway makes 200 as hosts battle at Lord’s

New Zealand 378: Conway 200, Nicholls 61, Robinson 4-75
England 111-2: Burns 59*, Root 42*
England trail by 267 runs
Scorecard

England made strides towards a first-Test fightback on an entertaining second day against New Zealand at Lord’s.

The home side recovered from 18-2 to close on 111-2, 267 behind New Zealand’s 378 all out.

The tourists’ total included 200 from Devon Conway, who became only the seventh man to make a double century on Test debut.

While Conway was unmoved, it was a fine effort by England to take wickets at the other end, at one stage claiming four for six runs.

They were inspired by the energy of Mark Wood, who produced a spell of 3-7 to earn the rewards his wicketless first day deserved.

Debutant Ollie Robinson, a day after apologising for historical racist and sexist tweets, picked up two more wickets to end with 4-75, while James Anderson took 2-83.

England were teetering when Dom Sibley was dismissed without scoring and Zak Crawley for two, only for Rory Burns to make 59 not out and Joe Root an unbeaten 42 in a third-wicket stand of 93.

Lord’s promising superb contest

This Test – England’s first home match in front of a crowd for almost two years – is showing signs of becoming a wonderful contest.

The second day was both intriguing and fluctuating, largely played in glorious sunshine in front of spectators that first appreciated England’s resurgence with the ball, then enjoyed their growing momentum with the bat late in the evening.

England leaked runs in the morning before Wood seized the initiative with the support of the persistent Robinson.

Conway was able to eke 71 runs from the final two wickets, a roll New Zealand carried into the new-ball bowling until Burns and Root were able to build their partnership.

By the end, England had played themselves back into contention, albeit with New Zealand in the stronger position, especially when they are set to bowl last on a pitch that has suggested it will bounce unevenly later in the match.

Recent history is against England too. Not since 2011 have they conceded so many runs in the first innings of a home Test and gone on to win.

Conway cruises amid Wood burst

From 246-3 overnight, New Zealand tucked into the unusually ineffective Anderson and Stuart Broad, with left-hander Conway moving from his 136 not out with more crisp cover drives.

Wood was rapid on Wednesday, regularly in the mid-90s, yet an understandable drop in pace on Thursday was offset by a full length and clever use of the short ball.

Henry Nicholls was bounced out for 61 to end a stand of 174 with Conway, BJ Watling edged to second slip and Mitchell Santner pushed to mid-off.

Robinson, who took the catch to dismiss Nicholls, pinned Colin de Grandhomme leg before then had Kyle Jamieson brilliantly caught by a diving Crawley at deep square leg.

Conway, though, was unmoved, sharing a riotous last-wicket stand of 40 with Neil Wagner, whose stylish strokeplay included disdainfully lofting Broad over long-off for six.

Conway went to his double-century with a hook for six, only to be run out by Ollie Pope’s throw from the deep when attempting a needless second run.

Burns and Root dig in

If New Zealand fell short of the huge total they once looked primed for, they set about making amends with the ball.

Jamieson produced a beauty that moved down the Lord’s slope, with Sibley playing across the line in ugly fashion. When Sibley reviewed, the ball was shown to be clipping the off bail, condemning him to a sixth successive single-figure score in Tests.

Tim Southee swung the new ball and drew Crawley into a reckless drive which resulted in an edge to wicketkeeper Watling.

Batting looked fraught with danger, but England gradually got a grip through their own skill and determination, as well as a drop in New Zealand’s potency.

Burns, recalled after scoring only 78 runs in his previous five Tests, scored with tucks off his pads and was happy to attack Wagner’s bouncer barrage. This is the left-hander’s first half-century in nine Test innings.

Root struggled with De Grandhomme’s tricky medium pace, at one point taking a painful blow on the bottom hand, and it is to the captain’s credit he was able to battle through a lack of fluency.

‘The game is in the balance’ – what they said

England batting coach Graham Thorpe on BBC Test Match Special: “We said yesterday that, although we only picked up three wickets, we never let them get away. We knew if we made inroads today we could come back in.

“To bowl New Zealand out from where we were at the start of the day, we’re really pleased.”

Former England captain Michael Vaughan: “England have just got to try and bat the day out and see where it takes them. If they’re still batting into day four, they’re going to put New Zealand under a lot of pressure.

“If they come out and lose two or three early ones, which can happen with this England side, then all of a sudden New Zealand are going to be in the box seat. I’m excited because, going into day three, the game is still in the balance.”

New Zealand batter Henry Nicholls: “If we can get a couple of wickets in the morning it will put us right on top. It would have been nice [to score more runs], but it gives us more incentive. They were pretty important runs, the last three wickets getting 80-odd.”

Former New Zealand captain Jeremy Coney: “It’s England’s day and it’s brought the Test match to parity.”

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