Survival Games Finalist
Survival Games Finalist
- Jan 3, 2018
- Sheffield, England
- Profile Flag
1st Test once again swings back and forth as NZ, England battle for advantageTourists polish off England's 1st innings inside the opening hour before contributions across the team push Williamson’s side ahead.
New Zealand ended day three of the 1st Test from Lord’s on 234-7, a lead of 115.
Closing the previous day at 327-5, England could only progress to 364 all out as Ollie Robinson, Stuart Broad and James Anderson all collected ducks to leave Ben Stokes unbeaten on 71*.
The visitors would then ride their luck to push themselves towards a modest advantage, leaving what has become an enthralling match in the balance once again.
With a 119-run lead and five wickets still in hand as the players entered the fray for the morning session, England will have fancied their chances of extending their advantage past the 200 mark.
Harry Brook (22 from 30) extended his lean spell with the bat since his debut this winter, edging behind off Trent Boult as Ben Foakes soon followed, playing all around a full one from the same bowler to depart LBW.
England’s 9, 10 and 11 would survive a combined eight deliveries to leave a visibly disappointed Stokes stranded at the other end, with a significant chance to gain a foothold in the match instead going begging.
England’s frustrations only grew in the hour before lunch as New Zealand found every reason possible to somehow deny Anderson and Broad with the new ball.
Both Young and Latham, then Devon Conway, all played and miss more than once, with multiple deliveries failing to produce a nick and five separate edges all evading a fielder.
The World Champions were well set at 48-1 at lunch, with Young failing to build on his 1st innings momentum as the only man to fall, but England would soon strike after the interval.
Two wickets in three balls put the hosts back in the mix, with a stunning run out from mid wicket by Joe Root sending Latham on his way for 37 before Anderson had Conway caught behind.
New Zealand would counter punch, as has become customary in this knife-edge contest, to build once again throughout the afternoon. Led by captain Williamson, he busily went about his business to near another test match 50 by the tea break.
The evening session would see England slowly chipping away around their opponent’s counter-jabs, biding their time to the new ball on a pitch that was offering less and less for the bowling side.
Kane Williamson moved to his half century before being bowled by Joe Root, turning the ball back into the right-hander and clipping the inside edge before clattering into the stumps, whilst the familiar figure of wicket-keeper Tom Blundell remained, adding to his 71 from the 1st innings with an unbeaten 33 as the players departed for the day.
Much like their opponents did this morning, England will be hoping to come out tomorrow and take the remaining three New Zealand wickets cheaply to set up a modest run chase. Any kind of prolonged resistance from the visitors could make for a difficult total to reach, leaving the contest truly in the balance after three days of play.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson:
"I think we can be pleased with how we've played today, and the fact we still have a really good chance of coming out tomorrow and putting this game out of reach.
"We finished things off well this morning and did what we needed to with the ball. The surface is a bit of a funny one. It looks to be flattening out a bit, then a ball here or there will do something that causes a problem. Still, I was happy with my own contribution, and with Tom still there plus the rest of our lower order who can chip in, we'll be looking to get as far ahead as possible.
"For the neutral, I suppose you could say that just like this time yesterday, the game is still very much in the balance and from any test match, that is all you can ask for."