Cricket - Mitchell & Blundell
New Zealand keeper Tom Blundell (right) is congratulated by Daryl Mitchell after scoring a half-century during their resilient unbroken partnership on Friday. Image Credit: AFP

London: New Zealand’s Daryl Mitchell (unbeaten 97) and wicketkeeper Tom Blundell (unbeaten 90) defied the England attack for the whole of last session on the second day of the first Test at Lord’s to put themselves in a position of strength. The duo rallied the visitors from a precarious 56 for four in the second session with an unbeaten 180-run partnership for the fifth wicket, swelling their overall lead to 227 runs.

The Test was rather intriguingly poised even at tea when New Zealand were 128 for four in their second innings, a lead of 119 runs, with Mitchell unbeaten on 43.

He received good support from wicketkeeper Blundell (39 not out) after the pair had come together with New Zealand struggling at 56 for four.

Durham quick Potts, who enjoyed a superb return of four for 13 in the first innings, struck again with a pre-lunch burst Friday of two for 11 in four overs.

For the second time in the match, the 23-year-old dismissed New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.

He had needed just five balls Thursday to claim the scalp of the star batsman as his first Test wicket. On Friday, he produced a fine lifting delivery that Williamson could only edge to third slip Jonny Bairstow.

Williamson was out for 15 and New Zealand’s 30 for two soon became 35 for three when Potts had opener Tom Latham (14) caught behind off such a thin edge that wicketkeeper Ben Foakes did not even appeal.

After lunch, Devon Conway - who last year marked his Test debut with a brilliant double century at Lord’s - fell cheaply for the second time in this match when a mistimed pull off Stuart Broad was caught behind down the legside.

But Mitchell, the son of former All Blacks rugby coach John Mitchell, took advantage of an increasingly flat pitch to hit two fours off successive balls from new England captain Ben Stokes. An inswinger from the allrounder was clipped through midwicket before Mitchell drove Stokes down the ground.

With New Zealand now 90 for four off 32 overs, Stokes summoned Matt Parkinson for his first bowling stint in Test cricket.

The Lancashire leg-spinner became England’s inaugural concussion substitute after being summoned from Manchester on Thursday to replace Jack Leach, who had fallen on his head while saving a boundary.

Parkinson bowled tidily without threatening a wicket, having earlier helped England into a slender first-innings lead of nine runs.

Parkinson walked out to bat with England still behind at 130 for nine. But he got off the mark with a clipped two off Tim Southee, who took four for 55, before driving him down the ground for four - one of the best shots of the innings.

Parkinson was last man out, caught in the slips off Trent Boult.


New Zealand (1st innings) 132 all out

England (1st innings) 141 all out

New Zealand (2nd innings)

T. Latham c Foakes b Potts 14

W. Young c Foakes b Anderson 1

K. Williamson c Bairstow b Potts 15

D. Conway c Foakes b Broad 13

D. Mitchell Not Out 97

T. Blundell Not Out 90

Extras (1b 1lb 3nb 0pen 1w) 6

Total (79.0 overs) 236-4

Fall of Wickets : 1-5 Young, 2-30 Williamson, 3-35 Latham, 4-56 Conway

Bowling: Anderson 16 6 49 1; Broad 21 6 47 1; Potts 19 3 50 2; Stokes 8 1 43 0; Parkinson 14 0 43 0; Root 1 0 2 0.