England toiled in the field for over two sessions, and New Zealand’s bowlers impressed late in the day – the visitors just can’t catch a break. Taha Hashim tells the tale of day two in Hamilton, where Daryl Mitchell starred with a knock of 73.
Get your bat on it
55.6 Tom Latham b Stuart Broad 105 (172)
Tom Latham – simply sublime the day before – unfurled a picture-perfect on-drive from his third ball faced, and it seemed to be a warning sign. Was the centurion going to go big?
Stuart Broad delivered the perfect reply just three balls later. Latham had left the ball brilliantly on day one, but his decision to shoulder arms proved fatal today; Broad came from around the wicket and smashed the top of off. The man who had caused England great misery on day one was sent on his way.
A big, big wicket. pic.twitter.com/Q71bZbKBH5
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) November 29, 2019
Watling presses reset
61.4 Sam Curran to BJ Watling, one run
England had a freshness to their approach in the opening hour, and Sam Curran had the look of a man desperate to improve on his previous day’s showing. He very nearly had BJ Watling on his bike, finding the right-hander’s outside edge. Fortunately for Watling, the ball was dying on its way to the outstretched Ollie Pope. While Henry Nicholls fell victim to Curran just a few balls later, how England would have loved to have their tormentor at Bay Oval back in the dressing room. Instead, the expressionless Watling turned on his switch and settled in for the long haul.
Test cricket’s easy
108.4 Ben Stokes to Daryl Mitchell, FOUR
Alongside Watling was Mitchell, in for the injured Colin de Grandhomme and New Zealand’s first Test debutant of 2019. He looked anything but a newbie throughout his innings, happy to grind away with the painstakingly patient Watling.
But the shots were there too. An authoritative pull got him off the mark, and he bludgeoned Joe Denly for a thunderous straight six. His maiden Test fifty arrived with another strong pull shot of Ben Stokes, following on from a languid cover drive two balls earlier.
What just happened?
116.5 BJ Watling c Rory Burns b Stuart Broad 55 (192)
It really did come out of nowhere. The second session was one of turmoil, a truly difficult watch. The dots piled up, and England’s morning buzz was ancient history as they went through the motions.
And so when a venomous bouncer from Broad thudded through, Watling and every watching soul was taken by surprise. Up lobbed the ball from Watling’s bat and Rory Burns took the catch to bring on tea. It ended a partnership of 124 from 322 balls, joyous viewing for the Boycotts of this world.
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) November 30, 2019
120.4 Daryl Mitchell c Jofra Archer b Stuart Broad 73 (159)
Mitchell seemed set for a fairytale debut hundred, the television cameras panning to his mother to hone in on the narrative. But the removal of Watling had Broad’s legs pumping and he crashed the party after the break. The short ball that Mitchell had looked so comfortable against proved his downfall as an awry hook shot travelled into the safe hands of Archer at fine leg. Off he departed for 73, having made the strongest of first impressions.
2.4 Tim Southee to Dom Sibley, one leg bye
A fightback of sorts saw New Zealand dismissed for 375, and out came England’s openers to face the music. It wasn’t a pleasant time for Dom Sibley. A blow to the helmet arrived from Tim Southee, leading to a break in play as the physio ran on for a lengthy check. The Warwickshire man carried on, but Southee had his number a few overs later by trapping him lbw.
Rory Burns benefited from two dropped chances, while Joe Denly departed for 4. England trail by 336 runs and the prospect of a series-levelling victory looks all but gone.