ENG vs NZ | Kane Williamson misfires as Mitchell and Blundell save the day for New Zealand

Yash Mittal

Yash Mittal

Author| Jun 23, 7:39 PM

PC: Twitter
PC: Twitter

Daryll Mitchell and Tom Blundell once again proved to be a thorn in England's flesh as the duo staged another remarkable comeback in the final session of the opening day of the Headingley Test to ensure the game ended on an even footing as the tourists went to stumps at 225/5.

The duo added an unbeaten 102 runs in the final session after New Zealand had slipped to 5-123 at the end of the 2nd session. Mitchell, who has already scored two hundreds in this series, ended the proceedings on 78, while Blundell ended the 2nd day at 45.

The partnership aside, England bowlers-led by Stuart Broad- dominated the proceedings for most of the day after skipper Ben Stokes lost the toss on a placid Leeds pitch.

Opting to bat first, the Kiwis found themselves in early trouble as opener Tom Latham nicked Stuart Broad in the cordon, where Root took a simple catch in the 1st over of the innings.

Will Young (20 off 42 deliveries) tried to steady the ship alongside skipper Kane Williamson. The duo added 35 runs in just over 12 overs before Jack Leach trapped Young in front.

Williamson looked promising during his 64-ball 31 but flattered to deceive as he nicked off to Broad on the cusp of Lunch, leaving the BlackCaps gasping for breath at 3-62. 

Once again, Broad was the pick of the bowlers for the home side as the veteran seamer kept a tight leash on the scoring rate besides troubling the Kiwi batters with his relentless persistence on and around off-stump.

He did not get wickets, but Matthew Potts was relentless in his line and length the whole day. The right-arm seamer gave away just 28 runs in 20 overs.

Runs proved hard to come by for the New Zealand batters after the Lunch break as the English bowlers stuck to their line and length relentlessly.

Their ploy ultimately paid off as Devon Conway (26 off 62) ran out of patience and attempted to play a cover drive away from his body off Jamie Overton, only to inside-edge it back onto his stumps, giving the debutant his maiden Test wicket.

It could have been even worse for New Zealand had Ben Stokes, and England opted to challenge umpire Marais Erasmus' on-field call to an appeal of LBW from Potts against an in-form Daryll Mitchell.

It all happened in the over when Potts got one to jag back into the right-handed Mitchell, pinning him on his pads. But Erasmus remained unmoved, and Stokes decided against challenging it. However, it proved to be a fatal case as ball-tracking confirmed that the ball would have crashed into the middle and leg stump. Mitchell was on eight at the time and registered yet another 50-plus score.

However, unfortunately for Mitchell, he was later involved in the dismissal of his partner, Henry Nicholls. The incident happened on the cusp of the Tea break when Nicholls ran down the track to drill Leach straight down the ground.

However, the ball proceeded to hit Mitchell's bat at the non-striker's end before landing straight into Alex Lees' hands at mid-off.

The bizarre dismissal brought together Mitchell and Tom Bundell, a pair which has proved to be the nemesis for England bowlers in this series. And, once again, the duo got into the act of rescuing their innings.

There were some issues with the shape of the ball in the post-Tea session, which led to a stoppage of play on multiple occasions. Joe Root bowled a decent spell to Blundell and Mitchell, but the duo negotiated it safely and eased their way to another 50-plus stand.

There was a short rain break as well, but it did nothing to break the concentration of the Kiwi pair as they ended the day unbeaten at the crease.

Brief Scores-

New Zealand 225/5 (90)


Daryll Mitchell 78* (159)

Tom Blundell 45* (108)

Stuart Broad 2-45 (17)

Matthew Potts 0-28 (20)

Jack Leach 2-75 (30)

Stumps- Day 01

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