England v New Zealand: Kiwis frustrate Cook’s men on day one
England v New Zealand: The tourists manage to limit Alastair Cook's men to 160-4 on day one of the first Test at Lord's
England’s busy summer of cricket got off to a slow and tentative start against New Zealand as they laboured to 160-4 on day one of the first Test at Lord’s.
After being outplayed in the recent drawn series in New Zealand, England captain Alastair Cook emphasised the importance of his side setting the tone when they resumed battle with the Black Caps on Thursday.
The hosts won the toss but batting was not straight forward, and they limped along at just two runs per over as New Zealand’s bowlers took full advantage to edge the tourists marginally ahead.
The Kiwis seam attack may not possess the pace and cutting edge of some of the top nations but Trent Boult continued to impress as he took 2-29.
New Zealand bowled skilfully to test England’s top order with swing and keep the scoring rate to a trickle.
Cook and Nick Compton left well against Boult and Tim Southee with the new ball, and it was not until Brendon McCullum turned to Bruce Martin’s left-arm spin that the first breakthrough came.
Compton did not get to the pitch of the ball before skewing a catch to Southee at point before Jonathan Trott was dropped by Martin off his own bowling on zero.
However, the second wicket came shortly after lunch as Cook (32) edged Boult to the diving BJ Watling.
Ian Bell joined his Warwickshire team-mate at the crease as England crawled to three figures in the 50th over.
Soon afterwards, though, Trott was on his way back to the pavilion as he was squared up by the impressive Boult to edge low to Dean Brownlie at third slip.
Another partnership threatened to flourish as the in-form Joe Root initially scored freely but as the skies darkened over Lord’s, Bell edged to Watling off Neil Wagner for a laboured 31.
With the second new ball in sight, New Zealand were denied the opportunity of a late burst at Root and the newly arrived Jonny Bairstow as the rain forced the players off and eventually ended the day prematurely with still 10 overs to be bowled.