|Scorecard:||England v New Zealand|
|Player:||TA Boult, AN Cook, A Lyth|
|Event:||New Zealand in England 2015|
By Andy Jalil at Headingley In association with INVESTEC
Leeds Just over an hour into the second session, at 2.15pm, England captain, Alastair Cook, made history becoming the highest scorer of runs for his country. With a perfectly timed four to point off New Zealand pace bowler, Tim Southee, he passed his mentor Graham Goochs record of 8,900 runs which had stood for nearly 22 years.
His partner, Adam Lyth, playing in only his second Test match recorded his first hundred as they put on 177, the highest opening stand for England at this ground beating the previous highest of 168. It was Englands first century opening stand since 2011 in Edgbaston against India when Cook also hit his highest Test score of 294. As the day progressed Cook and Lyth took complete control of the game making the bowling look quite innocuous.
England innings had got off to a solid opening stand in the hour-and-three quarters they batted before lunch with 54 coming from 20 overs, Cook on 27 was just five short of the record. Lyth was on 27 as well and looking well set this time after his disappointing debut in the first Test with scores of 7 and 12 at Lords.
After the break both batsmen played cautiously and at one stage off spinner Mark Craig bowled four consecutive maiden overs. Lyth reached his half century first from 112 balls when he clipped Matt Henry to long leg. With that he also brought up the hundred of the stand. Cook, who had hit a powerful cut off the back foot to get to 38, brought up his 41st Test half century with two fours in an over off Henry.
Both batsmen gradually began to play a little more freely while the captain went to 57 with a cut to backward point off Craig, Lyth progressed to 63 with an effortless drive to extra cover off Tim Southee. The breakthrough for the tourists finally came with Cook on 75 from 187 balls falling leg before to Craig. The ball had struck the front pad and umpire Ravi had turned down the appeal. But New Zealand asked for a review and that was successful.
Lyth moved on to 82 clipping Southee to long-leg and on 90 he had a lucky escape when he played a ball from Craig which rolled on to hit his stumps but the bails didnt dislodge. With that sort of luck a century was beckoning, he drove Boult to mid-on to get to 98 and his maiden century, from 188 balls, came from a slog/sweep off Craig.
On 107, compiled in a shade under five hours, his innings came to an end when his Yorkshire team-mate Gary Ballance played to point and called him for a sharp single but he was well short of the crease. England were then 215 for two but New Zealand suddenly hit back with two wickets in six balls. Balance, on 29, was beaten and bowled by a ball that straightened from Trent Boult and a run later on 239, the fourth wicket went down with Luke Ronchi snapping up Joe Root off a ball from Southee that moved away.
The penultimate over of the day brought another wicket to the tourists with Ben Stokes hanging out his bat for a catch at second slip and Boult had 2 for 60. Ian Bell on 12 and Jos Buttler, 6, saw England to 253 for five going into the third day and trailing by 97 runs.
Earlier, New Zealand tail-enders, on resuming on the overnight total of 297 for eight, hit out merrily for half an hour before the innings was wound up. The first four overs were hit for 31 and from the 7.1 overs that were bowled they added 53 runs with the last wicket putting on 40 in 31 balls. Mark Craig remained not out on 41 and both overnight wickets fell to Stuart Broad who finished with 5 for 109, his 13th five-wicket haul in Tests.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2015 Andy Jalil)