Honours even on Day 1 in Leeds

2015-05-29 21:16
Luke Ronchi (Gallo Images)

Leeds - Luke Ronchi marked his Test debut with a quickfire 88 as New Zealand fought back on the first day at Headingley on Friday after James Anderson became the first England bowler to take 400 Test wickets.

New Zealand, after being sent into bat by England captain Alastair Cook following a washed-out morning session, slumped to two for two.

But a sixth-wicket stand of 120 between opener Tom Latham, dropped four times on his way to 84, and the dashing Ronchi helped New Zealand recover to 297 for eight at stumps.

"To make (nearly) 300 on day one in 65 overs is a pretty good effort, especially after being two for two," Ronchi told reporters.

New Zealand, in a fixture they had to win to square the two-match series at 1-1 after England's 124-run victory in the first Test at Lord's on Monday, were quickly in trouble.

Anderson struck twice in three balls to reduce them to two for two after England captain Alastair Cook won the toss following a washed-out first session.

The 32-year-old paceman removed both opener Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson for ducks.

Anderson started this match, his 104th Test, with 399 Test wickets.

And the Lancashire swing bowler needed just eight balls Friday to become just the 12th bowler overall to take 400 Test wickets, reaching the landmark with a classic delivery that took Guptill's outside edge and was well caught, above his head, by second slip Ian Bell, who dropped a couple of chances at Lord's.

"It's a nice feeling and a proud moment for me," Anderson said after joining the select group of bowlers to have taken 400 Test wickets.

No sooner had Anderson struck then rain forced a 10-minute stoppage.

But when play resumed, Anderson quickly had his 401st Test wicket.

Williamson, who scored a century at Lord's, fell second ball Friday when edging Anderson to wicket-keeper Jos Buttler.

Ross Taylor (20) played no stroke to a Stuart Broad delivery that cut back and was lbw.

But undaunted New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum drove his first ball, from Broad, high over cover for six.

Latham had made fifty when a Ben Stokes delivery caught the shoulder of his bat but a leaping Joe Root at gully couldn't hold the fingertip chance.

McCullum (41) was out to the first balls after tea when he drove Stokes straight to Mark Wood at mid-off.

Ronchi, New Zealand's wicketkeeper during their run to this year's World Cup final and a former Australia international after growing up in Perth, came in at 144 for five.

The 34-year-old, brought in because BJ Watling's knee injury prevented him keeping at Headingley, gloved Wood over the slips first ball for four.

But from then on he was increasingly assured, driving Moeen Ali for six before sweeping the off-spinner high over the rope for his fifty.

Ali, however, almost broke the sixth-wicket stand when Latham, on 71, missed a sweep only for the lbw review to go against England.

There was more bad luck for Ali when he had the sweeping Latham, on 72, dropped twice in two balls by Wood at square leg and Gary Ballance at leg-slip.

And Latham was dropped for the third time in six balls faced when, on 76, he edged Broad only for Cook at first slip to floor the two-handed chance.

Latham's luck ran out when he was caught at first slip by Root off Broad.

There was no hundred either for Ronchi, who had been on course to surpass India star Shikhar Dhawan's 85-ball record for the quickest century by a Test debutant, set against Australia in Mohali in 2013.

But Ronchi's 70-ball knock, including 13 fours and three sixes, ended when Broad, from around the wicket, had him hooking straight to Anderson at fine leg.

"For me it would be an injustice to play what might be my one Test and not play freely," said Ronchi.

"I can't complain with 88, I'm more than happy with that, although you always want more."

Read more on:    england  |  new zealand  |  cricket


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