6 talking points as Parkinson makes debut while New Zealand duo show England how it’s done

New Zealand are firmly in the driving seat heading into day three of the first Test against England at Lord’s after a brilliant 180-run partnership between Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell rescued the visitors from 56-4 to 263-4.

After collapsing from 92-2 to 116-7 on day one, England were only able to add another 25 runs on day two as they earned a slender nine-run first-innings lead. Tim Southee and Trent Boult quickly wrapped up the innings inside just seven overs, with Stuart Broad, Ben Foakes and Matt Parkinson all out for single-figure scores.

In response, England once again picked up early wickets with the new ball, with James Anderson and Matty Potts starring. Anderson began proceedings with the wicket of Will Young in his third over, before Potts dismissed Kane Williamson and Tom Latham before lunch to leave New Zealand 38-3.

Broad continued his excellent record against left-handers when he got Devon Conway strangled down the leg side for 13. However, with New Zealand 56-4 and Lord’s facing the prospect of hosting its first two-day Test match since 1888, Mitchell and Blundell came to the fore.

The pair put together an excellent unbeaten partnership worth 180, pushing New Zealand into a commanding 227 run lead. In a match where no other player had managed more than Zak Crawley’s 43, Mitchell and Blundell batted brilliantly.

Prior to them coming together, there had been 329 runs scored in the match for 24 wickets with the average partnership lasting just 26 balls and seeing 13.7 runs scored. The pitch has certainly flattened out, but Mitchell and Blundell put in the hard graft at the start of their innings and have deservedly reaped the rewards to leave New Zealand in charge of the Test.

Here are six talking points from the day’s play…






Ben Foakes has averaged just 17.16 since being recalled by England


Ben Foakes has averaged just 17.16 since being recalled by England
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Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Foakes’ missed opportunity

As the only recognised batter left for England, Foakes had an opportunity to make some crucial runs on day two and earn his side a somewhat substantial first innings lead. However, he only managed to add a single run when play resumed.

The wicketkeeper gifted his wicket to Southee, edging a ball to first slip that he could easily have left alone. Foakes is undoubtedly the best pure wicketkeeper in the country and he has been in very good form with the bat for Surrey.

However, he has been underwhelming for England since being recalled for the West Indies series in March, averaging just 17.16 in seven innings. Foakes’ Test match batting average of 27 is the second lowest of any England wicketkeeper to have played 20+ innings since 2000 and, with Bairstow already in the side and Rob Key talking up a potential Test return for Jos Buttler, he is in desperate need of a significant score.

England’s shocking record of collapses

After Southee and Boult wrapped up England’s first innings inside seven overs, it meant England had collapsed from 59-0 to 141 all out. It was an all-too familiar sight for England fans and the nature of the collapse further underlines the size of the task facing McCullum.

England lost 10 wickets for just 82 runs, making it the seventh time they have lost all 10 for 85 or less since the start of 2019. In the 30 years before that, England only managed it eight times.

The brittle nature of England’s top order is the main reason behind a slump which has seen them win just one of their last 17 Test matches and it will clearly take a while for England to shore up their batting.






Matty Potts has dismissed New Zealand captain Kane Williamson twice on debut


Matty Potts has dismissed New Zealand captain Kane Williamson twice on debut
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Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Potts continues to impress

As far as Test debuts go, Potts’ has gone pretty well to say the least. A beneficiary of the injury crisis that has left the likes of Jofra Archer, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Ollie Robinson, Olly Stone, Saqib Mahmood and Matt Fisher unavailable for selection, Potts has made the most of his opportunity.

He began with a stunning four-wicket haul in New Zealand’s first innings, taking 4-13 from just 9.2 overs, and followed it up with 2-50 in the second. The 23-year-old has looked right at home alongside Anderson and Broad and showcased his talent by dismissing Williamson, one of the greatest players of the modern era, out twice in this Test.

Speaking on BBC Test Match Special, former England bowler Jonathan Agnew said: “I have been really impressed with Matty Potts. He bowls with a wobble seam but he’s shown control and he’s still got the ball to swing away and he bowls a lovely length.”

New Zealand’s top four struggles

While England’s recent batting struggles have been well documented, New Zealand’s top order have had a woeful Test match. Across both innings, no member of their top four has managed to score more than 15, with Latham, Young, Williamson and Conway all failing.

It is only the second time England have managed to do that in a Test match, with the previous occasion coming back in 1888 against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground. It is a remarkable statistic and outlines just how well England’s bowlers have bowled with the new ball.

Latham and Williamson are among the best Test batters in the world, while both Young and Conway made significant scores against England last year, with Young scoring 82 at Edgbaston and Conway scoring 200 at Lord’s.






Matt Parkinson made his Test debut as a concussion replacement for Jack Leach


Matt Parkinson made his Test debut as a concussion replacement for Jack Leach
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Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Parkinson’s long-awaited debut

After Jack Leach was unfortunately withdrawn from the Test after suffering a concussion while fielding on day one, Parkinson was handed a long overdue Test debut. The 25-year-old was first named in an England Test squad back in 2019 and has carried a lot of drinks while waiting for his opportunity.

He finally got his chance as England’s first ever concussion replacement player and when he came on to bowl the 33rd over of New Zealand’s second innings, he became the first frontline England leg-spinner to bowl in a Test at Lord’s since Ian Salisbury in 1996.

However, Parkinson is yet to take a Test wicket, having bowled 14 overs on day two anding with figures of 0-43.






Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell shared an important partnership for New Zealand


Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell shared an important partnership for New Zealand
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Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Mitchell and Blundell put New Zealand on top

After New Zealand’s top four failed for the second time in the game, the visitors were facing another collapse at 56-4. However, an excellent 180-run partnership between Mitchell and Blundell means they are now firmly on top heading into day three.

The pair pushed New Zealand up to 236-4 at the close of play, earning them a lead of 227. “New Zealand are in the driving seat, for sure,” former England captain Kevin Pietersen told Sky Sports.

“England will be batting fourth, chasing a total … a little bit bigger than what we thought. New Zealand are on top because England have that many frailties at the top of the order. They’re not out of it but it’s going to be an uphill task.”

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