Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell once again shared an excellent partnership to leave New Zealand in a strong position in the second Test against England at 318-4, with the visitors looking to level the series.
However, things could have been very different had England held their catches, with at least four clear-cut chances going down, including one that would have removed Mitchell for just three. After winning the toss and opting to bowl first, England failed to make early inroads as Tom Latham and Will Young staged an impressive opening partnership.
Both players failed in both innings at Lord’s, but made an excellent start at Trent Bridge. Together, they put on a brilliant 84-run partnership before England captain Ben Stokes made the first breakthrough.
After looking fluent on his way to 47, Young edged one low to Zak Crawley at second slip. It was a timely wicket for England and they immediately made a second breakthrough as James Anderson dismissed Latham the very next ball.
It was not a great delivery from Anderson, but Latham managed to pull a catch straight to Matthew Potts at midwicket. And suddenly, things were looking very different with New Zealand 84-2.
However, Devon Conway and Henry Nicholls, back in the side after captain Kane Williamson contracted Covid-19 on the eve of the Test, proceeded to stage an impressive partnership of their own.
Together, the pair added 77 for the third wicket before Stokes once again made the breakthrough, getting Nicholls caught behind for 30. Anderson then produced a brilliant delivery to get Conway caught behind for 46, leaving New Zealand 169-4.
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However, much like they did at Lord’s, Mitchell and Blundell combined brilliantly to guide New Zealand to 318-4 at the close of play. Mitchell was the first to bring up his half-century, but Blundell followed suit soon after.
At the end of the day, Mitchell was on 81 not out while Blundell had moved to 67 not out to leave the visitors in the driving seat heading into day two. However, England will draw hope from the way they ran through New Zealand after breaking Mitchell and Blundell’s partnership at Lord’s.
After Broad got Mitchell caught behind for 108, England quickly took the remaining five wickets for just 34 runs to set up their eventual victory. New Zealand, meanwhile, will be keen to drive home their advantage and score as many runs as possible in their first innings.