With Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor back in the pavilion cheaply, England would be the happier side going into Tea on the opening day of the first Test. Two wickets fell in the middle session as England redeemed themselves after a meek opening one with New Zealand’s solid opening act. However, they couldn’t dislodge opener Devon Conway, who stood strong, unbeaten on 71, as New Zealand ended the second session on 144 for 3 in an even session between bat and ball.
After New Zealand’s perfect start in the morning session, England needed quick wickets were they to break the budding stand between Williamson and Conway. James Anderson, who statistically has the wood over Williamson, proved why as he struck in the opening over after Lunch. Williamson played a tad too late, chopping onto his stumps. Taylor couldn’t turn around his lean run of form, jittery in the middle with Stuart Broad posing problems, being beaten over and over again. Conway was steady in the middle and reached his maiden Test fifty on debut. Robinson then trapped Taylor leg before, who missed the flick shuffling across to be struck plumb in front. Robinson was looking to get the ball back in and pin Taylor on the front foot and the fifth inswinger did the job for him.
England reviewed a leg-before call against Conway when on 54. Ball-tracking revealed the ball to be pitching well outside leg as the review was wasted. Thereafter, he offered them little as conditions eased for the batsmen. England might rue the absence of a spinner on this track that doesn’t have much for the pacers, with Joe Root having to make up for it. However, Conway and Henry Nicholls saw off England’s pacers’ threat adeptly when Tea was called having added 30 for the fourth wicket.
New Zealand, earlier, called right at the toss on Wednesday (June 2) as crowds – albeit a maximum capacity of 6500 – returned to Lord’s. Conway was one of the three debutants on the day with Robinson and James Bracey handed caps for England. Robinson picked the only wicket to fall in the session after a tentative prod from Tom Latham knocked him over. That, after Anderson and Broad were negated by the opening pair with relative ease. They were controlled and even forced a couple of edges, but nothing threatening as Latham and Conway added 58 for the first wicket.
After the first hour where England would’ve liked more control, after Robinson picked up Latham, Mark Wood was brought in as the pair posed pertinent questions to the batsmen. A good battle between Williamson and Robinson ensued with testing lines and varied lengths resulting in plays and misses as he upped his pace. Wood was up to full pace touching 95 mph, as the pair bowled with pace and accuracy to keep the batsmen circumspect.
Brief scores: New Zealand 144/3 (Conway 71*; Ollie Robinson 2-25) vs England.