NZ frustrate England at Lord's

2015-05-22 22:01
Kane Williamson (Gallo Images)

London - Kane Williamson's unbeaten 92 rounded off a fine day's work for New Zealand in the first Test against England at Lord's on Friday.

The Black Caps ended the second day well-placed at 303/2, just 86 runs behind England's first innings 389.

Williamson and Ross Taylor (47 not out) had so far shared an unbroken stand of 155 after coming together when the tourists had lost two wickets with their score on 148.

But Williamson was given a reprieve late in the day when he went down the pitch to off-spinner Moeen Ali on 92 only for Jos Buttler, still more of a batsman than a wicketkeeper, to miss the stumping chance, albeit the ball spun sharply.

Earlier, Martin Guptill made 70 in his first Test in two years and was well-supported by Tom Latham (59) during what was just New Zealand's fifth century opening stand in a Test in England.

"The partnership between Tom and me really set the game up for us ... then the one between Kane and Ross, the way they picked up where we left off has really cemented our dominance of the day," said Guptill.

But with the new ball available after three overs on Saturday, England will hope for an early breakthrough that would see Williamson follow the hosts' Joe Root and Ben Stokes by falling in the 90s.

"It's New Zealand's day, definitely. They batted really well and we found it hard to take wickets," Ali told Sky Sports as it was confirmed former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie had held talks with new director of cricket Andrew Strauss about succeeding Peter Moores as England coach.

"We're not too far from the new ball tomorrow so hopefully we can make some inroads," added Ali, who ended Friday with figures of one for 52 in 17 overs after making 58 with the bat.

New-ball spearhead James Anderson, England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker, conceded 46 runs in 16 wicketless overs Friday.

On a sunny day, and without much movement, England found life tough, with captain Alastair Cook not often straying from orthodox field settings.

The 24-year-old Williamson drove down the ground impressively and also used the cut shot to good effect in the first of this two-match series.

England resumed on 354/7, having been 30 for four on Thursday before a fifth-wicket stand of 161 between Root (98) and Stokes (92) revived the innings.

But they lost their final three wickets for just 37 runs in 10.5 overs.

Left-arm paceman Trent Boult (four for 79) and debutant fast bowler Matt Henry (four for 93) leading the way.

England might have seen the back of both New Zealand openers when they were each in the 20s.

Guptill was on 24 when he edged debutant fast bowler Mark Wood to Cook at first slip.

But what would have been the Durham paceman's first Test wicket was rubbed out when an umpire review to check for a no-ball showed he'd overstepped the crease by a fraction.

"Obviously, it was a bit of a nerve-racking time, waiting for the umpire's decision," said Guptill.

"But I was lucky he over-stepped the line by a fraction, and I got a second life."

After lunch, Latham was dropped on 21 by Ian Bell at second slip off Stokes.

But England took two wickets for no runs in three balls shortly before tea.

Ali succeeded where the quicks had failed by having left-hander Latham lbw.

It was the end of a 95-ball innings featuring 10 fours.

Next over, 148 for one became 148 for two when Guptill carelessly drove a Broad outswinger low to Gary Ballance at cover.

Guptill, one of the stars of New Zealand's run to the World Cup final faced 115 balls including eight fours and a swept six off Ali.

Then, with both new batsmen on nought, Williamson called for a reckless single which would have seen Taylor run out had bowler Broad's underarm throw hit the stumps at the striker's end.

Read more on:    england  |  new zealand  |  kane williamson  |  cricket

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