England v New Zealand, 2nd Test: Day 1 Report
by Andy Jalil

Ground:Headingley, Leeds
Scorecard:England v New Zealand
Player:L Ronchi, TWM Latham, JM Anderson
Event:New Zealand in England 2015

DateLine: 29th May 2015


By Andy Jalil at Headingley In association with INVESTEC


Andy Jalil - Cricket Writer and Commentator
Andy Jalil at Lord's
In association with INVESTEC
© pcboard.com.pk


New Zealand recover after early losses in second Test.


Leeds – After continuous rain from the previous night had trimmed the first day’s play to 65 overs and James Anderson had reached the milestone of 400 Test wickets, the 8th pace bowler to achieve the feat, New Zealand made excellent recovery following a lamentable batting performance after being asked to bat in overcast conditions. The revival came in the early evening sunshine through the efforts of Tom Latham and debutant Luke Ronchi.


Their partnership of 120, in contrasting batting style eventually enabled New Zealand to a respectable total of 297 for eight by close of play. While Latham held the innings together as he stood grimly while wickets had fallen earlier, Ronchi went on the attack hitting three fours in one over off Ben Stokes. In their stand of 50, Ronchi had 37. He had brought up the 200 of the innings with a six over long-on off Moeen Ali. His aggression was such that when he came to the crease Latham was on 58 and yet they were both together 72 with runs flowing rapidly for the debutant.


For the second successive innings New Zealand had lost their first two wickets within the first three overs of the innings. After losing two for nought at Lord’s they were 2 for 2 in 2.4 overs here with Martin Guptill becoming James Anderson’s 400th Test victim in his second over. Two balls later Anderson struck again having Kane Williamson held behind for a double wicket maiden over. The ball to Williamson had moved away a little taking the outside edge while the one to Guptill had moved in and had the batsman playing the wrong line to be caught behind off an outside edge.


Following that poor start, two stands of 66 and 55 took the tourists to 123 with Latham achieving his fifth Test half century and the second in successive Tests after his 59 in the first innings at Lord’s. Ross Taylor’s was the third wicket to fall when he played no stroke to a ball from Stuart Broad which came in late and hit his back pad.


Ben Stokes and Mark Wood accounted for the next two wickets after Brendon McCullum had played a typically fast scoring innings though under the circumstance the speed of scoring was unwarranted. He sent the first ball he faced for six over the cover boundary off Broad and then took two fours in Broad’s next over, whipping a shot to mid-wicket and then a fine cover drive. The 50 of the partnership came from only 51 balls with McCullum hitting 36 of those runs from just 21 balls while Latham had 13 for 30 but he moved on 42 with a beautiful square drive for four off Wood.


At tea New Zealand were 123 for 3 with Latham on 51 and McCullum on 41 but the first ball after the break dismissed McCullum when he reached to drive a ball from Stokes outside off stump and was held at mid-off by Wood who then five overs later, beat BJ Watling with an out swinger which hit the top of off stump and that was 144 for five.


Finally, New Zealand’s batsmen managed to take control with Latham and Ronchi settling into a partnership with good understanding for running between the wickets as they took every opportunity to pick up runs. The hundred of their stand came from 127 balls and the finest shot of Latham’s innings was the elegant cover drive off Broad which took him to 76. But two balls later the bowler was unlucky to see Latham dropped at first slip by Alastair Cook.


It wasn’t, however, an expensive drop as on 84, in just under four hours, Latham edged Broad to first slip and a run later on 265 Broad, in his next over, had Ronchi, on 88 from only 70 balls, held at long leg from a pull. England claimed their last wicket for the day when Tim Southee fell on the total of 281. Broad ended the day with 3 for 83.


(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2015 Andy Jalil)