Three late wickets on day one of the day-night first Test match between England and New Zealand in Mount Maunganui supported England’s decision to declare on 325-9.
Tom Latham was bowled by Ollie Robinson at short leg, Kane Williamson was bowled by James Anderson and Henry Nicholls was caught at second slip, leaving the Black Caps 37-3 and 288 runs behind.
The declaration by England after 58.2 overs was the second-earliest in the first innings of a match in Test cricket history. England planned to bowl with the pink ball under floodlights.
After being given the opportunity to bat, the tourists’ opener Ben Duckett scored a smooth 84 off 68 balls in the first session, then Harry Brook added to his already impressive résumé with a stunning 89 off 81.
England’s aggression occasionally crossed the line into carelessness. Early in the day, they lost three wickets for 37 runs, and a last slip for 4-27 led to the declaration while leaving fast bowler Neil Wagner with 4-82.
New Zealand may have been in a decent position to bat during the day on Friday if England hadn’t been so incisive late in the day. The pitch appears to be suited for batting, and the ball moved the most during the night session.
Instead, England, which has won nine of its last 10 Test matches, emerged victorious.
TMS podcast: England wins the first day after a late performance
This was a fantastic opening day at a beautiful location, made much more exciting by the two teams’ contrasting playing styles and the added difficulty provided by the pink ball.
After thoroughly dismantling the visitors’ batting with an attack that featured debutants Blair Tickner and Scott Kuggeleijn, New Zealand will have been pleased with their choice to play first. Unfortunately, England came back to beat the hosts with their late wickets.
For England, it may have been even better. The majority of their batters contributed to their own demise with swings that ranged from careless to erratic.
England’s recent success can be attributed to their hyper-aggressive playing style. To enjoy the thrilling victories, one must be willing to acknowledge the occasions when the cavalier approach fails. Even yet, England may have profited more from the inexperienced home bowling lineup.
The decision to declare in the last session under floodlights was not surprising; captains less creative than Ben Stokes have taken comparable decisions in earlier day-night Tests.
From that point on, England was excellent with the ball; the only hiccup was when Zak Crawley dropped Devon Conway off Anderson at slip.
Duckett and Brook exhibit class.
Harry Brook scored 89 runs for England with 1 six, 15 fours, 2 twos, and 19 singles, according to the run map.
The top seven English players are aware that one of them will soon be out due to injury while Jonny Bairstow waits in the wings.
On a day when the others died attempting to force the score, Duckett and Brook displayed class by toying with Gilbert Jessop’s record of England’s fastest Test hundred (76 balls), which has stood for 121 years and will undoubtedly collapse shortly.
Duckett performed admirably in his debut Test outside of Asia, playing lovely drives and flicks off his pads. He had the opportunity to get a hundred in the opening session, but he drove to cover to give Tickner his first defeat.
Brook appears to be a future superstar. He started out coolly, taking 11 of his first 17 balls when England were 154-4. He hit 65 out of his next 39 when he got going.
Brook calmly caressed the ball through off, frequently with hard cuts, as New Zealand attempted to avoid his potent leg-side game. Tim Southee, the home team’s captain, was imperious with a six over long off.
Brook was on track to score his fourth hundred in as many Tests, a feat that had previously only been accomplished by Ken Barrington for England, when he was hit by Wagner’s heavy onslaught. A bottom edge struck the ground, struck Brook, and then bounced off the stumps, starting England’s last collapse.
Every game at Bay Oval
Some of England’s dismissals were ineffective even in the context of their sloppily played Test cricket.
Ollie Pope chased a wide one to be out for 42, both from Southee, and Stokes chopped a bouncer to mid-wicket to give Kuggeleijn his first Test wicket. Crawley was dropped, bowled off a no-ball, and lastly edged to second slip in the space of 14 balls.
Joe Root, who has a knack for reverse-scooping fast bowlers, had the ugliest. He had earlier done it off Wagner with success, but a second try resulted in a wide slip.
While there were times when the batting was sloppy, the bowling was anything but. In their control, Anderson, Robinson, and Stuart Broad were tenacious, making the most of the favorable circumstances.
When Anderson got one to come back into Williamson’s pad, the review revealed it was hitting leg stump. Latham inside-edged on to his pad off Robinson and was caught by Pope at short leg.
Crawley’s bad day became worse when he missed a legitimate opportunity off Conway, but he at least made up for it by keeping hold of Nicholls.
Conway, who is 18 not out, and Wagner both survived after being sent out as nightwatchmen. Wagner gave it his best with the ball.
‘Compelling stuff,’ said England batsman Harry Brook on BT Sport. “We just want to put as much pressure on the bowlers and knock away the bad balls as much as we can,’ he continued. The team filters it through.
“We had the good fortune of the draw, but we declared just in time to bowl as many overs as we could under the lights. Tomorrow is probably going to require a little bit more work.
“England absolutely didn’t miss, James Anderson was fantastic,” said former England captain Sir Alastair Cook on BT Sport.
“That’s why we enjoy Test cricket so much – watching how England approached their batting, attacking, whereas New Zealand had to simply absorb up the strain.” It was interesting material.
Chris Woakes, an all-rounder for England, said on BT Sport: “A phenomenal day for England. They’ve had the best weather all day with how it’s worked out, so it would have been interesting to watch what Ben Stokes did at the toss.
Take nothing away from England, though; they had a magnificent day and their victory was made possible by the way they bowled in the last overs.