NZ outplay England at Lord's

2015-05-23 20:45
Kane Williamson (Gallo Images)

London - Kane Williamson starred for New Zealand as they outplayed England on the third day of the first Test at Lord's on Saturday.

Williamson's well-constructed 132 was the centrepiece of New Zealand's 523 all out which gave them a first-innings lead of 134.

The Black Caps followed-up with two early wickets to reduce England to 25 for two in their second innings.

But England captain Alastair Cook (32 not out) and Ian Bell (29 not out) survived some testing overs to take the hosts to 74 for two at stumps - a deficit of 60 runs.

New Zealand, bidding for just their second Test victory at Lord's of all time, resumed Saturday on 303 for two, with Williamson 92 not out and Ross Taylor unbeaten on 47.

England with the new ball available just three overs after the start of Saturday's play, opened proceedings with Ali.

Williamson promptly helped himself to five runs before a three to third man off James Anderson saw the New Zealand number three - unlike England's Joe Root and Ben Stokes who'd both fallen in the 90s in this match - to a hundred.

Batting with impressive serenity for a 24-year-old, Williamson's century came in just over three hours off 148 balls including 12 fours.

It was the talented stroke-player's 10th hundred in 40 Tests - an impressive strike-rate - and the 14th by a New Zealand batsman in a Test at Lord's.

But batting in overcast conditions became significantly more challenging once England took the new ball.

The extra bounce on offer proved Taylor's undoing when he fended at a rising ball from Stuart Broad and was brilliantly caught, one-handed down the leg side at full stretch, by diving wicket-keeper Jos Buttler.

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, struck his first ball, from Broad, through cover-point for four in typically aggressive fashion.

McCullum, much praised for his dynamism during New Zealand's run to the World Cup final, ignored the difficulties of batting in overcast conditions to pull Stokes for six.

But he gave his wicket away after an outside-edge off an attempted pull against debutant paceman Mark Wood flew to Root at third man.

McCullum faced just 38 balls, including six fours and a six.

Wood, denied a first Test wicket on Friday by an umpire review for a marginal no-ball, saw fortune again turn in his favour when Buttler held another superb catch to dismiss Corey Anderson off a genuine leg-glance.

Williamson, who had survived a stumping chance on 92 on Friday, was then given another reprieve on 120 when he guided Stokes to second slip only for Bell to drop the catch.

It was the second time in the match that Bell had dropped a slip catch off the unlucky Durham all-rounder.

Williamson was eventually out when an inside edge off his pad against Ali was caught by Gary Ballance at backward short leg.

But wicket-keeper BJ Watling, who'd spent much of England's first innings off the field with a knee injury, struck a breezy 61 not out including 11 fours.

England's shoddy display in the field was exemplified by the fact they conceded 67 extras -- the fifth-highest total in any Test innings.

Adam Lyth surpassed his first innings score of seven in a 12 made up of three fours.

But the debutant England opener then fended Trent Boult to third slip, where Tim Southee made no mistake with the catch.

Southee then squared up Ballance with an excellent delivery that saw Lyth's fellow Yorkshire left-hander bowled for a duck.

Read more on:    england  |  new zealand  |  cricket

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