England v New Zealand 2nd Test Match at Trent Bridge June 10-14

Neil Whitaker reports from Trent Bridge

Day 1

DARYL Mitchell and Tom Blundell who added 195 for the fifth wicket in the first LV= Insurance Test at Lord’s were at it again on the first day of the second Test at Trent Bridge as they added an unbroken 149 for the fifth wicket, the third fifty plus partnership of the Kiwi innings.

They became the first New Zealand players to share a hundred partnership in consecutive Test matches against England as they  made England pay for giving them lives.  England should have got rid of the Lord’s century  maker Mitchell when he pushed and edged Ben Stokes on three but Joe Root at first slip dropped the dolly.

On 10, Blundell edged Matty  Potts through second slip and gully for a four which would have been a comfortable catch for third slip.  Two balls later Stokes brought Jonny Bairstow into fill the gap.  Three runs short of his fifty he cut Jack Leach and it hit Root’s hand at slip but he couldn’t catch the rebound.

England bowling coach Jon Lewis said: “I think our bowlers put in an honest day's work.  We went out to bowl them out after winning the toss, it was an aggressive move.  We made a decision at the toss to put them in but you shouldn’t expect things to happen.  We missed a couple of chances but that’s cricket but we kept beating the bat all day long and we could have bowled them out for 250.  Hopefully tomorrow we’ll come back and take our chances.”

Dean Conway said: “If we had won the toss we would have put England in.  In the first test we thought that England bowled quite full so we decided that we would  hit the ball as straight  as possible to put pressure on them and benefit in the long run.

A number of us got starts but we failed to capitalise on them so a lot of credit goes to Mitchell and Blundell for the way they batted and their partnership has put us in a good position.”

After tea Mitchell and Blundell took a leaf out of Australia's book and attacked Leach. Mitchell danced down the wicket to Leach and drilled him through mid wicket for a couple. Four overs later danced down the wicket again and smashed over mid off for a boundary. Then he delivered Leach straight for a six not only into Pavillion but into a members’ pint.

Blundell, who for in the early part of their partnership was an onlooker, suddenly burst into life and raced to the forties even  hooking Potts for a single to bring up their fifty partnership.

England thought they had finally broken the partnership when Leach wrapped Blundell on the pads but their appeal was turned down and then with one second to go Stokes decided to review it.  The television umpire ruled it umpires call

Mitchell  turned Leach to mid wicket for a single to bring up his fourth Test fifty.  In the next over he top edged Stuart Broad over the slips heads for a six.  The next ball hit  Mitchell on his helmet.

Blundell reached his fifty when he drilled Root straight, ran the first one quickly and turned it into a couple.  His fifty came from 94 balls and included five fours.

England won the toss and were unchanged from the team that started the first Test, New Zealand made two changes. Tom Latham replaced Kane Williamson as captain wh has Covid, his place in the team was taken by Henry Nicholls,Michael Bracewell came in for Colin de Grandhomme and Matt Henry replaced Ajaz Patel . 

Latham, nervous to get off the mark after 10 balls, pushed  Broad out on the offside and set off for a quick single and had to dive to make his ground at Broad’s end.  It looked as if a run out would be the way that England would get a breakthrough. By the end of the first hour he was settling in and drove Potts on consecutive balls to the cover boundary.

Will Young clipped Broad beautifully, clipped  to the mid wicket boundary and he greeted Stokes’ introduction to the attack by cutting him to the point boundary.

The  New Zealand openers survived until 20 minutes before lunch then they departed within two balls of  each other.  First to go was Young who was edged an out swinger from Stokes and Zac Crawley took a low catch diving to his left at second slip.

Latham pulled a long hop from James  Anderson straight to Potts at mid wicket but still the Kiwi’s  made it to lunch 108 for two compared to 39 for six at Lord’s after lunch Conway drove the first ball from  Broad to the cover boundary.

On 17  Nicholls edged   Broad, Crawley dived to his right in front of Root but he couldn’t hold on to it but the ball was going to Root.

After Nicholls had been beaten by Broad three times in an over Conway drove the first ball of the next over from Potts to the cover boundary and then hooked him to the fine leg boundary.  In Potts’ next over Conway pulled him to the mid wicket boundary.

Broad theatrically tried to gee his home fans up as he did at Lord’s.

With the field set for a hook shot Potts bowled a shot ball to Nicholls on 28 who fell for it but only gloved it as Stokes ran from leg slip to take the catch he  slipped.

England thought they had got rid off Conway on 41 when he clipped Anderson to Potts at  mid wicket and they all went up for a low catch but neither Conway or umpire Paul Reiffel moved an inch. The television replay showed it had touched the ground.

Nicholls edged an outswinger from Stokes which he had no need to play at and Ben Foakes took an easy catch.

Conway pushed forward at what he thought was going to be an Anderson outswinger but came in and took which found his inside edge and Foakes took his second catch moving down legside.

England took the new ball straight when it was due but surprisingly gave it to Potts a sudden promotion but after one over he was replaced  by Broad.  With his sixth ball Blundell on 63 edged him between Crawley at second slip and Bairstow at third and neither of them moved and the ball ran to the boundary. Lewis added: “Crawley thought that it wasn’t his catch and in the slips you just react if the ball takes the edge, you don’t have time to ponder.”

Day 2

DARYL Mitchell failed by 10 runs to reach a double century but by the time he was out  he had put New Zealand into a position where they shouldn’t lose the match.

Mitchell was the last man out  in the Kiwl’s innings when he got a thick outside edge to Matt Potts to give Ben Foakes a simple fourth catch.  His 190 was the third highest score by a New Zealand batter in a Test in England.  Not only was it Mitchell’s highest Test score but it was  his highest in first class cricket.  The man who would not have played in the first Test if Henry Nicholls had been fit completed his second century of the series when he edged Potts along the ground through the slips to the boundary.  His ton included 12 fours and two sixes in 184 balls.

Mitchell said: “I am pretty happy with how the day went and we would have taken 550 at the start of our innings.  Me and Tom Blundell tried to build a partnership to put pressure on the English bowlers.  We enjoy batting with each other and we get on really well.  It doesn’t matter about me missing out on a double century it’s all about the team and I enjoy playing for my country.”

He added: “We created some chances with the ball tonight and if we can do that tomorrow then we’ll be in a good position to take the 19 wickets we need to win the match.”

The crowd thought that England had got rid of Mitchell in the morning session when he smashed Jack  Leach down the ground and it looked easy for Potts to take the catch on the long on boundary but the ball went through his hands on to his knee and over the boundary. To make matters worse for Potts and England, Mitchell hit him for three boundaries in his next over to take the partnership with Blundell  beyond 200.

Mitchell danced down the wicket to Leach and launched straight for a huge six, two balls later Michael Bracewell, of the Bracewell dynasty, thrashed Leach to the mid on boundary as the Kiwi’s added 26 in 10 minutes after lunch.  In Leach’s next over Mitchell danced down the wicket and planted him over long on straight on to the top tier of the Hound road stand.

It was likely Strictly when Blundell danced down the wicket to Leach and smashed him to the extra cover boundary.  He drove Potts to the extra cover boundary. In the last Test Blundell missed out on his century by four runs today he completed his third Test hundred. The Kiwi stumper tried to reach his third Test hundred with a six, he went down the wicket to Leach  and drove him straight but the ball bounced a yard short to leave Blundell one short of his ton.  Two balls later he turned Leach off his legs for a single.  His century came off 191 balls and included 13 fours. 

He faced another seven balls before he was back in the hutch when he thumped Leach straight to  Ben Stokes at mid off to give Leach his first Test wicket in England for 1,000 days. Blundell’s 106 was the highest Test score by a New Zealand wicket keeper and the partnership of 236 was a New Zealand record fifth wicket partnership and one short of the record at Trent Bridge.

They became the fourth visiting pair to make two 150 plus partnerships in England since 1934 and the first pair to do it in the first two Tests.  The other three were Roy Fredericks and Gordon Greenidge in 1976, Raul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar in 2002 and Michael Clarke with Marcus North in 2009.  

Rain stopped play at 14.36 for 58 minutes by that time the Kiwl’s had added 69 in 13 overs since lunch.  After the restart England’s tactics were to bowl short and wide to the right handed   Mitchell and left handed Bracewell which resulted in the fielders running from one side of the field to the other.  Eventually the plan worked when Bracewell after leaving the ball pushed at one from James Anderson and edged it to Joe Root at first slip, one short off fifty on his debut.

Kyle Jamieson did well to dig out a first ball yorker and hooked his second ball from Potts to bring up the New Zealand 500. Stuart   Broad got his first wicket of the innings when Kyle Jamieson feathered a short ball to Foakes.  Three balls later Broad got his second wicket when Tim Southee tried to turn him to leg but the ball found his outside edged and Southee didn’t know where the ball had gone.  It looped to Root at point.

Matt Henry sliced a drive off Leach to Zak Crawley at cover point. Trent  Boult thrashed Leach for consecutive boundaries to take the Kiwi’s to 550 and he also equalled Muttiah Muralitharan’s record of Test runs at number 11.

England lost their first wicket in the third over when Boult squared Crawley up who edged it to Blundell.  Five overs later New Zealand should have had their second wicket when Alex  Lees edged Southee to Mitchell at first slip at knee but Mitchell dropped it.

Ollie Pope played a loose drive at Henry but the ball fell short of Southee at third slip.  He top edged Henry over the slips heads for a six.  In Henry’s next over Pope top edged a pull and got another six Henry would have liked him doing it. Mitchell  dropped another chance but Blundell should have gone for when Pope edged a wide delivery from  Boult without moving his feet.  In the next over he cut Jamieson to bring up his fifty.

Mitchell said: “I can’t control what happens you just have to concentrate and take the next.  The second one either sticks or it doesn’t.”

England batting coach Marcus Trescothick said: “I don’t think that Trent Bridge has ever been a hard  place to catch but a few have gone down in this match.

Our  bowlers had to toil hard to take the wickets but it’s a good pitch and we are in a good position.  It’s the fastest outfield in the county which makes it easy to score runs.”

Day 3

JOE Root hit his 13th Test score of 150 or more on a remarkable third day at Trent Bridge where England scored 383 for the loss of four wickets in 79 overs and Ollie Pope hit his Test century in England.

Root came in at the fall of Alex  Lees’ wicket in the 16th over of the day.  Lees who  hit his maiden Test fifty in a more aggressive manner than we’ve seen before in his brief Test career.

Lees worked Kyle  Jamieson off his hips to the mid wicket to bring up his first Test fifty from 109 balls with nine fours and he drilled the next ball to the extra cover boundary. Four balls after the drinks break Lees edged a drive off Matt Henry and at last for Kiwi fans Daryl Mitchell took a comfortable catch in his midriff.

Surrey’s Pope vindicated captain Ben Stokes' faith in him to bat at three.  In the third over lunch he cut Matt  Henry for a couple to reach three figures from 160 balls. When Stokes became captain he said he wanted Pope to bat at three and in only his third innings at three he rewarded Stokes’ faith in him by hitting first century batting at three.

Pope’s partner Root was so  pleased for him that  he celebrated Pope’s century by running to hug him.  They added 187 in 42 overs as they made batting look easy and  the Kiwi bowlers looked like cannon fodder.  

Pope said: “I was so relieved that I got over the line.  I think that Root  is England’s greatest batter but I don’t want to replicate what he does, I want to learn from him and try to pick his brains as much as I can.

When I got the call to say I was in the squad I was excited because I wasn’t expecting it.  I was with my dog when I got the call so I just celebrated with my dog. I’ve made a few technical adjustments to my game but I’ve never doubted that my games not for Test cricket.”

The Kiwi’s had little idea on how to break their partnership. The blame for that could rest on the New Zealand selectors because they didn’t pick left arm spinner Ajax Patel who only bowled two overs at Lord’s or left arm paceman Neil Wagner so their attack was much of a same ness.  

Or maybe on New Zealand  captain Tom  Latham who didn’t introduce the off spinner Michael Bracewell until the 68th over but by then England or rather  Pope and Root were well in command. Maybe he  kept his pace bowlers on for so long because he had been impressed by the way they bowled in the first hour but when they changed the ball the new ball didn’t swing as much.

After reaching his century the Kiwi’s couldn’t bowl at Pope as the runs  flowed, he even uppercut Henry for a six but on 114 he nearly guided Kyle  Jamieson to Trent Boult at fourth slip but the ball dropped well in front of him.

In the first over after lunch Pope pushed Henry out on the offside and set off for a single, Bracewell at short extra cover needlessly threw at the stumps,  missed and the  ball ran for four overthrows. 

Root reached his fifty soon after Pope reached his ton by whipping Henry through mid wicket for a couple as he made the Kiwi’s pay for not taking their chance to get rid of him  in the last over before lunch.   On 27 he top edged Boult and Tim Southee at second slip leapt high  for the ball and got both hands to it but it wouldn’t stick.

Facing a seven two field Root thought his game was up when he dragged Southee from outside his off stump but he top edged it as  the ball went up in the air Root sank to his knees.  Tom Blundell ran from behind the stumps for 40 yards  as the ball dropped yards from Jamieson coming in from deep backward square leg.

After the first over after tea Pope had to change fish front pad and he pulled the first ball  after but top edged Boult and Henry at fine leg took the catch diving forward.  13 balls later Jonny  Bairstow gloved Boult who had tucked him up to Blundell after the Kiwi’s had reviewed it.

In came captain Stokes who got the crowd on their feet by adding 61 in nine overs with Root.  Stokes hit a quick 46 off 33 balls with two sixes and six fours.  He   launched Bracewell into the Radcliffe road stand for one of those sixes to bring up England’s 400.  He swept the next ball but found Boult on the mid wicket boundary to give Bracewell his first Test wicket.

Root brought up his 27th Test century and fourth at Trent Bridge with a Staffordshire cut off  Mitchell that ran to the third man boundary.  His century came from 116 and it was his quickest.

Boult said: “It was a solid day of Test cricket and England batted extremely well. It’s a decent surface so we expected them to bat the way they did. Root is a good player and it’s a challenge to bowl to him but he batted extremely well.  I have never played at Trent Bridge but I was told that it was a good wicket and I can confirm that and the outfield is fast.”

Ben Foakes on nine pulled Southee to Young on the deep square leg boundary it was another catch that was put down.

Day 4

AFTER yesterday’s explosive fireworks the fourth day was an intriguing day of Test match cricket  which ended with  New Zealand 238 ahead with three second innings wickets standing.

The day saw 289 runs, 12 wickets fall and James Anderson taking  his 650th Test wicket when New Zealand captain Tom Latham shouldered arms to a straight ball which smashed into his middle stump in the first over the Kiwi second innings

Earlier England lost five wickets for 66 runs in 15 overs to trail  New Zealand by 14 runs. New Zealand, who were without Kyle Jamison, had 12 taken from the first over by Tim Southee.  After a single from Joe  Root, Ben Foakes drove the next ball delightfully to the extra cover boundary, the next ball should have been stopped but the fielder misfielded and the ball ran to the extra cover boundary. Foakes ended the over with a three through mid wicket. 

The Surrey keeper made his second Test fifty and after his performance behind the stumps must have cemented his place in the team for some time with outstanding leg side takes off Matty  Potts bowling around the wicket to the left hander Dean  Conway.

Foakes was the eighth man out when he was  eager to get Potts his first Test run. He responded to Potts’ call for a single when Potts turned Michael Bracewell at square leg.  Potts then stopped and Foakes was stranded in mid wicket.

He said: “Tomorrow is going to be a great day with all results possible, it’s been a fantastic game.  I do feel that there are certain areas of my game that I need to work on if I am to carry on playing for England and one of them is to bat well with the tail.

I think that anything under 300 would quite doable with the guys we have in the dressing room.”

Root carried on from where he left off on Sunday.  He reversed scooped Southee for a six over third man to stunned silence at the ground. After England had scored 31 in four overs, New Zealand decided to bounce Root and Foakes to stop the runs. It didn’t work, Foakes pulled Southee’s first ball to the square leg boundary and drilled  the next one to the extra cover boundary.  The Surrey keeper reached his second Test fifty from 90 balls in the over which cost Southee 14 runs.

By his standards Root’s dismissal was a soft one; he drove a slower ball from Trent   Boult to Southee  at cover after adding 111 in 26 overs with Foakes.  His 176 included 26 fours, one six in 211 balls.

Stuart Broad edged a drive off  Michael Bracewell and  Daryl Mitchell at slip took a fantastic one handed catch leaping to his right.  Boult got his 10th Test five wicket haul when he yorked Potts.

Anderson had a big swing at Bracewell and was easily stumped by Tom Blundell to give Bracewell his third wicket on debut.

After the early loss of their captain, Will Young and Dean Conway settled in.  Twice in an over Young went down the wicket to Jack Leach and drilled him to  the boundary, the first was straight and the second to mid wicket.

Conway also took a liking to Leach and  hit him for three consecutive fours in his eighth over as the Kiwi’s extended their lead to over 100.  Even reverse sweeping Leach to the point boundary to reach his seventh Test fifty from 108 balls  and then he top edged a normal sweep of the next ball to Jonny   Bairstow coming in from the deep square leg boundary to end Conway’s and Young’s  103 partnership in 23 overs.

Young reached his sixth Test fifty which came from 98 balls when he pushed Potts out on the offside for a quick single. At 115 for three the Kiwi’s needed Young and  Mitchell to bat together as long as possible but Young was the architect of the break up of the partnership.  He turned Ben Stokes off his legs to Ollie  Pope at square leg and set off for a single.  He expected Pope to throw at the stumpers end but he threw it to Stokes who back flicked it on to the stumps and Young was a yard short.

Mitchell was joined by Tom Blundell but there wasn’t to be a huge between them for the fifth wicket this time they only  added 45 but it was the second highest partnership of the afternoon which was broken when Blundell pulled a short ball from Broad to  Stokes at backward square leg.

Bracewell thrashed Leach for consecutive fours and in the next over he hooked Broad for a six as the Kiwi’s lead passed 200.  He went down the wicket to Potts and mistimed his slog and found Broad at mid on but he did make 25 out of 28 with Mitchell from 17  balls.

Mitchell cut Broad and set off to keep Southee off strike and turned for a second and got halfway down the pitch before he stopped when he saw the ball coming in from Zak Crawley and sold Southee down the river.

Bracewell said: “We’re pretty confident there’ll be a result tomorrow, we need to get as many runs as possible and then take the English wickets.  The wicket is deteriorating and there’ll be more turn and bounce for us.  It will be an exciting day. And I’ll be testing my skills against some of the best players in the world.

We love playing for our country and trying to win a game of  Test cricket which we always aim to do.”

Day 5

ENGLAND won their first Test series in the Brendon McCullum era as they beat New Zealand in the second LV Insurance Test at Trent Bridge by five wickets as they chased down 299, their highest run chase at Trent Bridge against New Zealand since they made 284 in 2004.

England skipper Ben Stokes said: “Today’s performance blows the World Cup final and the Headingley Ashes Test out of the water.   It was phenomenal, it was amazing and awesome.  I can’t get my head around the fact that we scored 299 after bowling 15 overs in the morning.  We are going to go out and play like the way we say in the dressing room. But there will be some bad days and it will be how we respond to them.

I think that this Test match will only be remembered for what happened today.  Full credit to Nottinghamshire for throwing the doors open because having a full house at Trent Bridge behind us really makes a difference to the players.”

New Zealand captain Tom Latham said: “After tea we were confident that we could get a couple of wickets but they took the game away from us and sometimes you have to take your hat off to them.  Today was Jonny  Bairstow’s day. On another day he could have hit the ball to one of us. Unfortunately we weren’t able to make a breakthrough or two that would get us back in the game.

We believed that 299 was enough.  It was unfortunate that we were a bowler down but the way we started with the ball was outstanding.  We knew that they would go for it.  It was a great Test match to be part of.”

Bairstow missed out on equalling the fastest Test century by an England player by one ball but by then  he and Stokes had already knocked the stuffing out of the Kiwi’s.  England went into tea needing another 160 for victory, in the first eight overs after they had knocked 81 off their target.

Consecutive fours off Matt Henry by Bairstow through mid wicket in the first over after tea  brought up his 23rd Test fifty in 64 balls.  In the next over he smashed Trent Boult over his head into the Pavilion for a six.  

In Henry’s next he gently swatted him over fine  leg for another six while two fielders on the boundary could only stand and watch in disbelievement.  Two balls later he pulled Henry over square leg for another six as England scored 42 in three overs after tea.

Bairstow swivelled to hit a length ball from Boult over mid wicket for another six, two balls later he hooked Boult for another one over square leg to bring up their hundred partnership. But their partnership came with price, an injury concern for Stokes whose left knee locked so he struggled with quick singles but who needs singles when Bairstow bats like he did today.  Even with a bad knee Stokes went down the wicket to Tim Southee and planted him into the Pavilion for six to bring up his fifty.

When they came together England needed another 206 when NewZealand finally broke the partnership when Bairstow underedged Boult to stumper Tom Blundell they needed 27 from just over  26 overs.  Bairstow hit seven sixes and 14 fours in his 136.  It was fitting that Stokes, who was unbeaten on75  should hit the winning runs when he cut Boult to the cover boundary.

England started the day needing to take three more  New Zealand wickets and they should have had a wicket with the second ball of the day when Henry pushed at Jack Leach and edged it but Joe Root at slip couldn’t take the ankle high chance.

Henry’s first runs of the day were a back foot drive of Stokes to the point boundary.  After finding himself on the floor numerous times during the first nine overs swaying out of Stokes’ way his innings finally ended when he top edged a cut off Stuart Broad and Ben Foakes took a leaping catch.

The same two combined to get rid of Kyle Jamison who tried to pull a short ball from Broad but top edged it.  Foakes did well to take the catch to his right after starting to go to his left.

Daryl Mitchell reached another fifty when he underedged Broad.  Boult flat batted Stokes for a couple to become the leading number 11 runs scorer.  Enjoying his new status he played a few unconventional shots to take New Zealand’s lead to 292.

Stokes brought the England fielders in so they could have a go at Boult with the new ball and it sort of worked they kept Mitchell away from the ball but not before he smoked Broad for a six over long on. Anderson wrapped the New Zealand innings up with the third delivery with the new ball when Boult flat batted him to Stokes at mid off.

Needing 299 to win in 72 overs, Alex Lees set off like a man in a hurry when he smashed three boundaries off Southee’s  first over.  Zak Crawley’s poor  run of form continued when he followed one from Boult in the second over to give Southee an easy catch at third slip.

New Zealand got rid of one of England’s century makers in the first innings Ollie Pope when Henry got one to nip away from him to take his edge. Pope still looked to be in good form with a couple of excellent boundaries but the Kiwi’s should have had him back in the hutch earlier when on six, but he was dropped by Latham at second slip off Boult’s first ball after lunch.

The large Trent Bridge crowd were silenced four balls later when Boult took an excellent return catch off a leading edge from Root.

After his amazing start Lees was becalmed in the first hour after lunch adding only eight before  he went down   the pitch to the off spinner  Michael Bracewell and lofted him into the Radcliffe road stand for his first six in Test matches.  Without adding to his score he softly edged Southee to Blundell.

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June 10, 2022 7:59 pm

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