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New Zealand overcome resistance from England to go 1-0 up

New Zealand players celebrating their win in Auckland
New Zealand players celebrating their win in Auckland

New Zealand 427-8 dec (Nicholls 145no) beat
England 58 & 320 (Stokes 66) by an innings and 49 runs
First Test, Auckland, day five

Trent Boult, Neil Wagner and Todd Astle all picked three wickets apiece as New Zealand overcame stern resistance from England on the final day to win the day-night Test in Auckland by an innings and 49 runs and claim a 1-0 unassailable lead in the series.

England came up with a lot of resilience in the second innings with half centuries from Mark Stoneman (55), Joe Root (51), Ben Stokes (66) and Chris Woakes (52) to make an incredible comeback after a dismal batting performance in the first innings that saw them dismissed for 58 runs.

They batted out a total of 126.1 overs in the second innings as compared to just 20.4 in the first innings but eventually were dismissed in the final session under lights.

Earlier, England resumed the day with a score of 132 for three. Dawid Malan (23) just added four more runs to his overnight score before edging a Tim Southee (1-86) delivery to the keeper.

Stokes and Jonny Bairstow (26) led England's fight on the final day as they negated 20.2 overs during their partnership and in the process went into a shell that saw New Zealand bowl five consecutive maiden overs. Bairstow was handed a reprieve when Boult (3-67) dropped him but the miss did not prove costly as he pulled an Astle (3-39) delivery to mid-wicket and was taken brilliantly by Kane Williamson.

Moeen Ali (28) looked positive during his 43-ball knock before he was trapped LBW by Boult in the final delivery before tea during which England were placed 217 for six. New Zealand had to use a review to get the decision in their favour.

The decisive stand though came between Stokes and Woakes as they batted almost the entire second session adding 83 runs.

Stokes completed a patient 128-ball fifty and just when England were feeling hopeful, Stokes mistimed one to backward point in the final delivery before dinner as the visitors ended the session at 300 for seven.

Woakes with his 118-ball knock showed a lot of character and even went past his half-century but the writing was on the wall for England as Astle picked two of the three final wickets to bowl them out for 320 runs.

Boult bagged the man of the match for his nine-wicket haul in the game.

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