33rd over: New Zealand 102-2 (Conway 47, Taylor 13) “I went to school with Aftab,” says Mark Hooper. “My memory of his Test career was him being hyped up as the saviour of the England side, treated appalling and dropped after never being given a proper chance. It felt more like a collective failure of the selectors and management set-up than to blame a kid with no Test experience.”
Yeah, barring exceptional circumstances nobody should only get two Tests. Though it’s no excuse, England were such a mess that summer – they had no coach, at least four captains and a selection policy that was inspired by childhood games of blind man’s buff.
32nd over: New Zealand 100-2 (Conway 46, Taylor 12) Taylor inside-edges Anderson to fine leg for a couple. Anderson throws his hands up in the air because he knows how close that was to an extremely good LBW shout. England would love to dismiss Taylor early, because if he gets in he can do all sorts of damage. When Anderson throws a tempter outside off stump, Taylor misses another booming drive – but then he shows his class with a graceful drive past mid-on for four.
31st over: New Zealand 92-2 (Conway 45, Taylor 5) Conway edges a drive at Broad on the bounce to third slip. They said it changes when the sun goes down around here, and the ball has nibbled a bit more since that happened 10-15 minutes ago.
30th over: New Zealand 91-2 (Conway 45, Taylor 4) “Afternoon, Rob,” says Richard O’Hagan. “David Bowden’s email (26th over) just sent me down the very short wormhole – more of a worm divot, really – of Aftab Habib’s Test career. I played in a charity game with him the week before his debut, in which he proved himself adept not only at dispatching Berkshire’s finest bowlers around the ground, but also at bowling with either arm and throwing the ball from behind his back. I have often wondered how he would’ve fared had he done some proper practice before the game – although his debut was a rare 1990s England victory, albeit a game that they somehow won after being 45 for seven in their first innings.”
My memory of his debut is that it was signposted in the press well in advance, in a matter-of-fact way, even though he’d never been on an A tour and wasn’t in particularly good form at the start of the season.
29th over: New Zealand 91-2 (Conway 45, Taylor 4) Broad appeals unsuccesfully for LBW when Taylor falls over towards the off side. It looked like it was going down, though Joe Root did discuss a review before deciding against it. Two balls later, Taylor is beaten by a jaffa that straightens sharply. He’s beaten again, recklessly chasing a wide outswinger, and then again off the last ball. That was a quite majestic maiden over from Broad.
28th over: New Zealand 91-2 (Conway 45, Taylor 4) Conway, who has been quiet either side of lunch, drives Anderson for a single. The cheap wicket of Williamson is such a bonus for England, though they still have a lot of work to do as New Zealand bat very deep. Even the No11, Neil Wagner, has a highest Test score of 66.
Jimmy Anderson, by the way, now has 615 Test wickets. He’s four behind Anil Kumble, who is No3 on the all-time list.
27th over: New Zealand 89-2 (Conway 44, Taylor 3) Broad returns to the attack, probably with Ross Taylor in mind – he has dismissed him 10 times in Test cricket, more than anyone else. England have only gone and looked at the data, haven’t they. Taylor is beaten by a good delivery and then signals to the balcony for some eye drops – either that or, as Bumble suggests on Sky, a glass of red wine.
26th over: New Zealand 87-2 (Conway 44, Taylor 1) Ross Taylor is the new batter, which means we have a 38-year-old bowling to a 37-year-old. There’s hope for
some of you.
“Hi Rob,” says David Bowden. “I suspect Robin Hazelhurst (12:39) has blocked out that 1999 series in terms of humiliations. I’d only just properly gotten into cricket on the back of the South Africa series & the Channel 4 excitement, and that series was both a crash course and agonisingly drawn out education in Watching England In The Nineties. Have been full of love and admiration for New Zealand cricket ever since but I hope our brave boys today don’t forget they’re avenging the memories of poor cowering Chris Read, the vast batless plains around Aftab Habib’s off stump & Peter Such’s battling 51-ball duck.”
Great days. My abiding memory has four words and nine syllables: Caddick, Mullally, Tufnell, Giddins.
That’s the seventh time he has dismissed Williamson in Test cricket, more than anyone else. It was a really good delivery from Anderson, which jagged back from a length. Williamson played a solid-looking defensive stroke, but he was a fraction too late and the ball deflected back onto the off stump.
Jimmy Anderson gets Kane Williamson in the first over after lunch!
The players are back out. The weather remains glorious, and there’s a century out there for someone.
“I haven’t seen any of the Test so far, just followed it on the OBO,” says Steve Hudson. “You say Wood has averaged virtually 94mph today – that’s faster than I can ever remember an English bowler bowling before. Does it LOOK that quick? Or could it be that some speedguns tend to err on the speedy side of strictly accurate? I seem to remember a few years ago South African speedguns seemed to exaggerate all bowling speeds by a few mph.”
It looks that quick, and it’s consistent with his speeds since he changed his run-up. I think the technology is pretty good these days. It’s certainly come a long way from the early speedgun that had Mark Ealham bowling faster than Wasim Akram at Lord’s in 1996.
25th over: New Zealand 85-1 (Conway 43, Williamson 13) Another yeasty over from Wood, a maiden to Williamson, takes us to lunch. It’s been a good morning for New Zealand, who won a decent toss and batted sensibly to reach 85 for one. The first session of the series was dominated by two debutants: Devon Conway played some stylish drives in his unbeaten 43, and Ollie Robinson picked up his first Test wicket when Tom Latham dragged on. See you in half an hour!
24th over: New Zealand 85-1 (Conway 43, Williamson 13) Anderson has another strangled shout for LBW against Conway. There was a late inside-edge, without which Conway would have been in big trouble. A maiden from Anderson, who has been as parsimonious as ever: 7-1-19-0.
“Andrew Moore wants us not to create a narrative that doesn’t exist,” says Felix Wood. “The day he meets humans is going to be an upsetting one for him.”
23rd over: New Zealand 85-1 (Conway 43, Williamson 13) Williamson plays a slightly loose drive at Wood, which takes a thick edge and flies wide of the slips for four. Wood’s speeds this morning have been hella (that’s right) impressive: his fastest ball was 95.2mph, and his average speed is almost 94mph.
22nd over: New Zealand 81-1 (Conway 43, Williamson 9) With 15 minutes until lunch, James Anderson replaces Ollie Robinson (6-2-17-1). Anderson has a good record against Williamson; no bowler has dismissed him as often in Test cricket. Williamson, beaten by the second ball, flicks the third into the leg side for three.
“Robinson has impressed on debut but I’ve been particularly struck by Conway, a really elegant left-hander with shades of Gower about him,” says Colum Fordham. “I realise this is a green strip, but I think England have missed a trick by not including Leach. The Kiwis have a very useful left-arm spinner in Santner and he may prove crucial as the test goes on.”
Agreed. England do have Joe Root and Dan Lawrence, and they won’t be bowling last, but it was still a bit of a surprise.
21st over: New Zealand 76-1 (Conway 41, Williamson 6) Wood hits Conway on the arm again, this time from round the wicket, and then beats him with a trampolining lifter. This is excellent stuff from Wood, the hot hot heat that England have craved. Conway responds with a stylish flick-pull for four, albeit with the aid of a misfield from Crawley on the fence at midwicket.
“As a Somerset fan, this is the worst possible scenario,” says Mark Hooper. “Leach and Overton constantly being called up for the Test squad but not playing – ditto Gregory & Banton for the short-form squads – when we potentially have our best chance of winning the Championship.”
I’m not sure how the bubbles will work this summer, particularly after 21st June, so it might not be too bad. You won’t see Leach but the others could be available.
20th over: New Zealand 72-1 (Conway 37, Williamson 6) Robinson to Williamson, round two. He continues to hammer a fifth-stump line, then starts to get closer as the over progresses. Williamson is slightly late on his defensive stroke to the fifth delivery, which prompts a few oohs and aash. Another maiden from Robinson, who has made an encouraging start.
“Hi Rob,” says Robin Hazlehurst. “Maybe England fans are not as nervous or bothered about New Zealand as about Australia because we don’t have too many memories of being humiliated by them? Losing to them yes, but not that cringing despair that Australia have inflicted at times. Even if NZ win this series 2-0 and both Tests inside three days, it probably wouldn’t feel like a humiliation, because, y’know, circumstances.”
19th over: New Zealand 72-1 (Conway 37, Williamson 6) Conway thumps Wood past mid-off for four, a lovely drive and an impressive response to being hit at the end of Wood’s first over. Then Williamson gets his first boundary with a classy square drive. This being a day of the week, he looks in excellent touch.
“A lot of people seem to be falling over themselves to claim how it is such an outrage that NZ are so underrated, yet most of the commentary and comment I have read has been about how good this side are,” says Andrew Moore. “Let’s not create a narrative that doesn’t exist.”
As we discussed earlier, I think it’s mainly an unconscious thing. That’s what it makes interesting.
18th over: New Zealand 62-1 (Conway 32, Williamson 1) Williamson is beaten by a good delivery from Robinson that holds its line outside off stump. Robinson spoke about Plan A for Williamson before the game, and it’s clear he is trying to drag Williamson across his crease. He ends a terrific over, his first maiden, by beating Williamson again outside off stump.
17th over: New Zealand 62-1 (Conway 32, Williamson 1) Now then. It’s time for a change of pace, with Mark Wood replacing Stuart Broad (7-2-22-0). His first ball, timed at 91mph, is inside edged for a couple by Conway. A single brings the new batsman Kane Williamson on strike; he leans into his first ball and drops it for a single on the off side. A lively over from Wood ends with a 95mph bumper that thumps Conway on the arm.
“There has been a lot of respect shown to NZ’s bowling attack, but not enough to the batting lineup,” says G Play. “Four guys averaging over 40, the best keeper batsman since Gilchrist, and the new Mike Hussey on debut.”
I wouldn’t go that far, though I know what you mean. I think everyone knows about Williamson’s serene genius, but Latham and Watling in particular are a bit underrated.
16th over: New Zealand 58-1 (Conway 29, Williamson 0) That was the last ball of the over. It’s been a promising start from Robinson, whose height and seam movement make him an awkward customer.
A first Test wicket for Ollie Robinson! Latham felt tentatively outside off stump and dragged the ball onto the stumps. I think he was unsettled by the previous delivery, which snapped sharply off the seam to beat the outside edge.
15th over: New Zealand 56-0 (Latham 22, Conway 28) Too straight from Broad, and Latham rolls the wrists to put him away for four. He’s a fine player, who averages 55 in his last 20 Tests, though he is beaten on the drive later in the over. After seven overs, it’s probably time for Broad to be replaced by Mark Wood.
14th over: New Zealand 51-0 (Latham 18, Conway 28) Conway drives Robinson pleasantly through mid-off for three to bring up an assured fifty partnership. At 29, Conway looks like he knows his game like the back of his bat.
13th over: New Zealand 47-0 (Latham 17, Conway 25) Latham rides a lifter from Broad and steers it to third man for his first boundary. That was a really accomplished stroke. As the clock ticks past midday, the camera cuts to a member in his egg and bacon tie, pouring some fizz into a metal beaker. It’s also time for the players to take drinks.
“Enjoying the coverage of the Test and how Conway has looked so far,” says Ben Macintyre. “I noticed you mentioned that English coverage tends to patronise NZ to which I would like – having seen the side go to #1 in the world and soundly beat India at home as well as England – to add a contrarian view. Lads, it’s England.”
I don’t think any reasonable England fan would have a problem with that, as there is a bit of Spursyness about most of our sports teams. What intrigues me about the patronising attitude towards New Zealand is that it’s almost entirely unconscious. It’s why most people at Lord’s were nowhere near as nervous before the World Cup final as they had been before the semi-final against Australia.
12th over: New Zealand 41-0 (Latham 11, Conway 25) A moment of fortune for Conway, who edges an expansive drive off Robinson for four. That could easily have gone to hand. Joe Root brings in a fourth slip as a result.
“Morning Rob,” says Brian Withington. “Gary Naylor’s examples of named player exhortations had me reflexively reaching for one of my pre-penned homages to Paul Simon, ‘Fifty Ways to Lose Your Wicket’. This includes such lines as ‘Miss a straight ball, Paul’ and ‘Pad up and pray, Ray’. As followers of CCLive! will testify, there’s plenty more where that came from …”
Both above and below the line, that bloody county blog is in serious danger of giving the internet a good name.
11th over: New Zealand 35-0 (Latham 11, Conway 19) Broad changes ends to replace Anderson (5-0-14-0) and promptly beats Latham with a nice lifting delivery. The ball has gone past the edge a few times; even so, most of the early signs point to a day of hard yakka for England’s all-seam attack.
“Have Leach and Overton been released to play for Somerset against Hampshire tomorrow?” says Sam Tarr. “Asking for a friend…”
Arf. I assume not because of the Covid bubble, or whatever we’re supposed to call it now. I’ll be honest with you, I’ve completely lost track of what you can and can’t do, and I’m also getting a bit fed up of people gawping at me when I pick my nose in Tesco’s. A bit of privacy, please.
10th over: New Zealand 35-0 (Latham 11, Conway 19) The debutant Ollie Robinson replaces Broad (4-1-12-0). He has a lot going for him – height, seam movement, accuracy and aggression – and I can’t wait to see him in action. Robinson’s languid run-up and action remind me a bit of Derek Pringle, though Angus Fraser is the most common comparison.
His first delivery is a no-ball, but his line and length are spot on from the start. Conway flicks off the pads for a couple and then fences a legcutter through gully for two more.
9th over: New Zealand 30-0 (Latham 11, Conway 15) There’s a strangled LBW shout when Anderson swings one back into Conway’s pads. It was comfortably missing leg stump. He switches around the wicket to Latham, who offers no stroke a delivery timed at 88mph. Anderson turns 39 next month and he’s still capable of bowling at 88mph.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. These cookies ensure basic functionalities and security features of the website, anonymously.
|cookielawinfo-checbox-analytics||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".|
|cookielawinfo-checbox-functional||11 months||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".|
|cookielawinfo-checbox-others||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".|
Functional cookies help to perform certain functionalities like sharing the content of the website on social media platforms, collect feedbacks, and other third-party features.
Performance cookies are used to understand and analyze the key performance indexes of the website which helps in delivering a better user experience for the visitors.
Analytical cookies are used to understand how visitors interact with the website. These cookies help provide information on metrics the number of visitors, bounce rate, traffic source, etc.
Advertisement cookies are used to provide visitors with relevant ads and marketing campaigns. These cookies track visitors across websites and collect information to provide customized ads.
Other uncategorized cookies are those that are being analyzed and have not been classified into a category as yet.