New Zealand In Control Despite England Fightback
England 389 & 74-2 (Cook 32) v
New Zealand 523 (Williamson 132)
England trail by 60 runs
First Test, Lord's, day three
Kane Williamson hit a brilliant century to help New Zealand to establish a healthy lead before their bowlers took two quick England wickets to put their team well ahead in spite of late England resistance before stumps on day three of the First Test at Lord’s.
New Zealand began day three at 303 for two with the new ball due in three overs.
Williamson (132), who was in his nineties overnight, helped himself to his 10th century in the second over off 148 balls to become one of the youngest players in Test history to reach 10 tons.
England took the new ball as soon as it was available and it did the damage in due time.
In the sixth over with the new ball, Stuart Broad (3-77) bowled a back of length delivery that had Ross Taylor (62) fending and getting a glove, the catch taken brilliantly by Jos Buttler diving full length behind the stumps to end a 189-run stand.
Brendon McCullum (42) threatened to take the game completely away from England in quick time.
After some quiet overs, he hit Broad for two fours in an 11-run over. Mark Wood (3-93), who was still looking for his first Test wicket, went for two back to back fours followed by Ben Stokes (0-105) being hit for a six and four in another 11-run over to take New Zealand to 400 for three in 98 overs.
However, Wood made a big contribution with his maiden wicket by getting the dangerous McCullum out. He top edged a flick that was taken by Joe Root at third man.
McCullum went at a strike-rate of 110.5 in his 38-ball knock adding 66 with Williamson.
The match was interrupted at that point because of rain leading to early lunch with New Zealand halted at 407 for four.
The game eventually resumed a couple of hours later in spite of overcast conditions.
Wood picked up his second wicket getting Corey Anderson (9) to nick one for Buttler to take another brilliant catch behind the stumps.
Wood almost got BJ Watling (61 not out) after the latter was given out caught behind off a snorter only for the decision to be overturned after a review.
Ian Bell’s bad time behind the stumps continued as he shelled another chance from Williamson at slips when the latter was on 122.
Williamson managed to cross the New Zealand record of 364 runs without being dismissed and was given good support by Watling who hit Stokes for two fours to take New Zealand to 435 for five.
Stokes, who had an injury scare, returned only to be taken for a couple more fours by Watling.
He continued to be expensive as England gave away more fours - at both ends. Just when New Zealand were cruising at 470 for five, the 50-run partnership was brought up by another Watling four.
However, Moeen Ali (3-94) pegged New Zealand back with a double strike.
First he got the big scalp of Williamson who edged a straight delivery to short leg. A couple of balls later, Mark Craig (0) was trapped lbw even though he went for an unsuccessful review.
Watling managed to add 23 for the eighth wicket with Tim Southee (11) and 22 with Matt Henry (10) to stretch the lead.
Watling, who was on 33 when Craig was dismissed, survived once again on 46 at the stroke of tea as a catch that Root claimed at gully was overturned after no conclusive evidence of it being taken cleanly was available.
New Zealand went to tea at 507 for eight. Watling reached his fifty in the first over from Ali after tea but he quickly ran out of partners and New Zealand were bundled out for 523 with a first innings lead of 134.
England fought back well taking the last seven wickets for just 120 runs with Wood and Ali being the pick of the bowlers. England conceded 67 extras, the most in a Test at Lord’s.
England had a tricky session to survive late on day three but Adam Lyth (12) started well with two fours off Trent Boult’s (1-22) first over of the innings.
He smacked another in Boult’s second over before edging one to Southee (1-30) in the slips.
McCullum and Southee showed excellent tactical awareness to bluff Gary Ballance (0) with the fields and get him to play back on a full length delivery and lose his stumps.
England were at trouble at that stage on 29 for two. However, Alastair Cook (32 not out) and Bell (29 not out) survived more than 18 overs to make sure England didn’t lose any more wickets for the day.
They finished on 74 for two after 26 overs still trailing by 60 runs with two days to go.
© Cricket World 2015