After a formidable 246/3 by New Zealand on Day 1 against England, the Kiwis’ plan of domineering the opposition was hindered by the dismissal of their middle-order batsman Henry Nicholls, who gave an easy edge of a back-off length delivery by Mark Word to Ollie Robinson at long leg.
Nicholls put a steady 175-ball 61 before taking his eyes from the ball at the last moment. The 29-year-old shared a 174 run stand with the Black Caps opener Devon Conway.
Conway looked in top form but lacked a second fiddle which could help him in his exploits. Soon NZ found themselves in tatters as they were reduced to 317/8 from 288/4. England pacers, Wood and Robinson, did the damage as they bamboozled the visitors with their pace and bounce.
Wood scalped three wickets, whereas Robinson bagged two in the process, helping their side have an extraordinary first session on Day 2. England veteran pacer James Anderson then eliminated NZ tailender Tim Southee to end Conway’s hope of having a reliable partner while the latter played his strokes undeterred from the other end.
Starting the day off at 136, Conway cruised to his double ton by hitting a towering six off a loose ball by Wood. Though the last batter Neil Wagner didn’t do much but was apt for the job of playing a small cameo to help the hero of his side reach his double hundred. Thus, Conway broke a 125-year-old record to register the highest score by a batter on his debut in England.
The NZ innings ended soon as Conway fell short off the crease while taking the second run as England skipper Joe Root dislodged the bails. Hence, NZ were skittled out for 378/10 in 122.4 overs.
In response, England had a shaky start as their opener Dom Sibley was adjudged LBW for a golden duck in the fourth over of a seaming delivery by Kyle Jamieson. The next batter Zak Crawly phased out soon since he could only score a measly 2 off ten balls.
England were mired in complications at 18/2 when their captain took charge to lead from the front and help his side recover with Rory Burns at the other end. Burns remained unbeaten on 59 with the help of 8 fours. Along with Root, he passed the test of his patience by adding a 93-run partnership for the third wicket as the hosts stood at 111/2 by the end of the day’s play.