|Ground:||Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood|
|Scorecard:||England v New Zealand|
|Player:||BJ Watling, KS Williamson, LRPL Taylor|
|Event:||New Zealand in England 2015|
By Andy Jalil at Lords In association with INVESTEC
New Zealand remain in control of first Test.
London It was not quite as solid a batting day for New Zealand as the previous day but nevertheless effective enough to see their total rise to 523, a very substantial lead of 134 on the first innings. Even allowing for the fact that batting has not been a struggle for either side on this pitch so far, England will need to focus hard to wipe the deficit and then hope to build a large enough total to put pressure on the tourists.
They failed to begin their second innings strongly losing two early wickets. Adam Lyth has had a disappointing debut. After his seven runs in the first innings, he hit three fours and then edged Trent Boult to third slip. Gary Ballance failed to score following just one run in the first innings. It was a fine delivery from Tim Southee that left him to hit the off stump as he went half forward to play it.
England had lost two for 25, exactly the same start as in the first innings. Thereafter Alastair Cook and Ian Bell steadied the innings batting with caution they brought about some recovery in taking England to 74 for two from 26 overs. Cook was on 32 and Bell on 29 with England trailing by 60 runs at stumps.
Earlier, New Zealands unbroken overnight third wicket stand didnt last long on the third morning with Ross Taylor, having brought by his 24th Test half century, edging Stuart Broad for a leg side catch behind the stumps in the sixth over with the second new ball. The stand, which had put on 189 runs, was 21 short of New Zealands record for the wicket against England at Lords.
Meanwhile, Kane Williamson had picked up the 8 runs he required to add to his overnight score to reach his tenth Test century from 148 balls when he steered James Anderson for 3 to third man in the second over of the day.
A quick-scoring stand followed between Williamson and the captain Brendon McCullum with the latter playing a typically hard-hitting innings of 42 from 38 balls with all but 12 of his runs coming from boundaries. It included a pulled six into the lower tier of the grandstand off Ben Stokes. In the 50 of their partnership, Williamson had scored just 5 from 37 balls while his partner had 30 from 31. In dismissing McCullum with a whirling top-edged catch at third man by Joe Root, Mark Wood had taken his maiden Test wicket.
The debutant struck again well into the second session which had begun late after rain had stopped play shortly before lunch which was taken on 407 for four. Wood had Corey Anderson held behind as he tried to fend a short rising ball and that was 420 and five. Fifty runs later New Zealand lost two wickets on the same total. The first of those to go was Williamson who had progressed slowly to 132 over six-and-a-quarter hours at the crease, facing 262 balls.
His rate of scoring had dropped further in comparison to his innings on the previous day when his 92 runs had come from 141 balls and then after resuming the innings, 40 from as many as 121 balls. But his side needed the solidity that he provides. Moeen Ali had him snapped up at backward short leg from a bat and pad catch off a ball that turned away taking a slight edge. Two balls later he struck again, pinning Mark Craig in front of the stumps, before he had scored, to claim his third wicket.
In dismissing Tim Southee, Anderson claimed his only wicket of the innings to reduce the tourists to 493 for eight and the innings was wrapped up with the last two falling to Wood and Broad who finished with three each for 93 and 77 runs respectively.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2015 Andy Jalil)