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2.20pm: Uber Stat Alert
Harry Graham (107) and Bill Lockwood (6-101) in 1893 at Lord’s.
Robinson might actually have had his fifth by now, if Broad had held on to Southee’s drive at mid-off. And Joe Root has now taken Robinson off, after a four-over spell, and gone back to Broad from the Nursery End. Gah!
2.15pm: NZ slide continues
There were groans when Robinson had a shy at the stumps with Tim Southee still in his ground, with the ball deflecting away for a run… but perhaps it was all part of a cunning plan, as Southee kept the strike and found himself in James Anderson’s sights. A little tickle at an outswinger and James Bracey, the third debutant in this Test, finally gets a piece.
“Oh Jimmy, Jimmy! Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy Anderson!” comes the cry from the crowd. Test wicket No. 616 – and 994 in first-class cricket – for England’s attack leader.
2pm: Timmy time
1.45pm: Robinson > Jamieson
England’s new boy has a fourth wicket on debut, as Kyle Jamieson joins the lower-order procession for New Zealand. Robinson went short, and the hulking Jamieson swung it high but not-so-handsome to deep square leg, where Zak Crawley did really well to hold on to a sprawling catch coming in off the rope.
1.40pm: Wood clicks
This is how Mark Wood can contribute, writes George Dobell. On a slow wicket, against stubborn batters, he has the point-of-difference skill to unlock batting line-ups. He proved that here.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: Wood’s record in England is modest. Ahead of this game he took his wickets at a cost of 44.91 in home Tests. At Lord’s the record – eight wickets in four Tests as a cost of 52.50 apiece – was even more modest. There remains a suspicion that his skills – or at least his pace – may well be neutered by the sort of slow seamers which suit the majority of English seamers.
He actually bowled well on day one here. And fast. Twice he hit Devon Conway on the body with short balls; a couple of other times he might have had him. Given how serenely Conway has batted, that is no mean achievement. Sure, the wickets didn’t come, but the performance was rather better than the results.
It was noticeable that his wicket-taking spell was slower. About 10% slower, really. But it was still sharp. And it’s unfair to think of Wood as JUST a fast bowler: he’s better than that. At the start of his career, he was used by Durham as something of a reverse-swing specialist and he can still gain movement in the air and off the seam. The ball that dismissed BJ Watling, for example, drew a false stroke by leaving the batter up the slope.
His bouncer remains a valuable weapon, though. His relative lack of height means it doesn’t bounce as high as might be expected and renders it hard to duck. The pull that cost Henry Nicholls his wicket was a good example of a batter not knowing how else to play the ball.
There’s another lesson from this spell. At one stage, Wood’s figures for it were 6-2-7-3 but, understandably, Joe Root gave him an extra over. It cost eight. Wood really does need to be used in short, sharp spells of four or five overs. With the likes of Jofra Archer or Olly Stone also in the side, that should be accommodated okay.
Is Wood the right man for all circumstances? Probably not. Even at Durham, it’s noticeable that Chris Rushworth remains at least as potent a threat in Championship cricket.
But on quick, flat tracks where England might otherwise look a bit toothless? Yes, he’s a role to play there. He really is the sort of bowler who could make the difference in an away Ashes series.
New Zealand 314 for 7 (Conway 179*, Jamieson 7*) vs England
A Mark Wood-inspired fightback lifted England off the canvas at Lord’s, even as Devon Conway continued to rewrite the record books on debut. Four wickets fell during the morning session, as New Zealand’s firm grip on proceedings loosened slightly.
Conway and Henry Nicholls had initially resumed in untroubled fashion, extending their overnight partnership to 174. But Wood hustled out Nicholls shortly after he had brought up his fifty – a well-directed short ball inducing a flap to long leg – and BJ Watling, so often a one-man roadblock at No. 6, was taken at slip for 1 as England’s fast man found some seam movement to go with his pace from the Pavilion End.
Ollie Robinson then trapped Colin De Grandhomme lbw, given after a review, and when Wood had Mitchell Santner caught in the covers, New Zealand had lost 4 for 6 in little more than eight overs. Conway, however, was immovable on 179 not out at lunch, the highest Test score by a male debutant in England.
12.40pm: Wood on fire
Now Mitchell Santner has popped a catch to extra cover! New Zealand are seven down and still shy of 300 – and with the unbeaten debutant Devon Conway having scored more than half of their runs, too. Wood’s spell so far today reads 6-2-7-3, and England’s hopes of wrapping up the innings up for a manageable total have greatly increased.
12.30pm: CDG TTFN
Never mind giving the bowlers the first hour… England gave it to New Zealand’s batters, but has since roared back with three wickets either side of drinks. This one required the intervention of DRS, after Colin De Grandhomme propped forward to be hit on the knee roll by Ollie Robinson. There was bat involved but it was definitely pad first, and ball-tracking showed it to be hitting middle and leg.
Third wicket for the traditional seam-and-swing virtues of Robinson. Who ever said this was a flat pitch?
12.15pm: Good Wood
Another one goes, as Wood knocks over perennial opposition-thwarter BJ Watling! As well as the extra pace, Wood also found some movement off the straight here, seaming the ball up the slope as Watling aimed a clip to leg, Dom Sibley pouching a safe catch at second slip. Still some batting to come, with Colin De Grandhomme walking out at No. 7 and Mitchell Santner – who put England to the sword alongside Watling in Mount Maunganui two years ago – at No. 8, but England have clawed some ground back.
11.45am: Conway out in front
11.35am: Bowling dry? Nice try
Well, England might have been hoping to “control the game, control the scoring”, as Wood put it – but they’ve not had much success so far, with Conway and Nicholls ticking along at roughly a run a minute during the first half an hour or so. Anderson delivered a maiden but then conceded driven boundaries in consecutive overs to Conway, while Broad and Joe Root seemingly couldn’t decide on their plan after another four went down to third man: one fielder went out of the cordon, then was brought halfway in; second slip was moved to midwicket and back again. In the end, not much changed.
Ollie Robinson has now replaced Anderson from the Nursery End, the second new ball still only 14 overs old. But NZ’s fourth-wicket pair currently have the sun on their backs and a gentle breeze in their sails.
11.15am: Fifty for Nicholls
A crisp punch down the ground off Broad, the ball rolling gently up the slope towards the pavilion, takes Nicholls to a compact half-century. He has played his part to perfection so far, continuing a run of fine form that began with a career-best 174 versus West Indies in December.
NZ straight back up to cruising speed this morning.
11.05am: You Have to Answer
Henry Nicholls: Kohli or Babar’s cover drive?
Conway has survived a maiden from James Anderson, starting from the Nursery End again this morning. Stuart Broad is back in harness, too. Henry Nicholls, meanwhile, resumes in sight of a half-century – both of England’s senior seamers will be hoping to ask questions of him, though nothing so fiendish as “Kohli or Babar”, you’d imagine.
10.55am: Back to Plan A… ¯_(ツ)_/¯
“He played some amazing shots, to play the way he did on debut was outstanding. Was a thorn in my side all day, I never felt we were on top of him. Hopefully he’s a little bit tired today, or more tired than we are and we can get him early on. We’ve got plans in the dressing room, as we do for every batsman, Plan A, Plan B. But unfortunately Plan A, B, C, D and E didn’t quite work yesterday, so maybe start on Plan A again and see if that works.”
Wood admitted it was “a tough day overall”, but said England would be aiming to control the scoring and continue to chip away. Of his own bowling, which saw the speed gun up at 96mph, he suggested that the number in the wickets column was more important.
“If we can get a couple of quick wickets this morning, the whole complexion of the match changes – they could easily have been 300-320 [yesterday] with Lord’s being fast-scoring. It was very difficult [to find] the [right] length on this wicket. At Lord’s we’ve talked about being fuller and trying to hit the knee roll, but actually the fuller length seemed to bring Conway [into it], some of his drives were beautiful. So this morning, drag that length back, still hitting the top of the stumps, I think that’ll be key.
“When it’s clicking you certainly feel it – but I’d rather bowl slower and get five wickets. The key today is not how quickly I bowl but how well I bowl, can I get some wickets and get us back in the game. I’m giving it everything I’ve got, as the speed gun suggests. If I keep giving it my all, hopefully I’ll get the rewards today.
10.35am: Conway Part Deux
Devon Conway: It’ll take a few days for debut ton to sink in
Alan Gardner is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick