New Zealand openers survive after England enforce follow-on in second test

February 26, 2023 12:00 pm

[Source: Reuters]

New Zealand openers Tom Latham and Devon Conway survived 19 overs to push the hosts to 40 without loss in their second innings at lunch on day three of the second test after England enforced the follow-on.

Latham was 27 not out, with Conway on 13, and New Zealand needing 186 runs to make England bat again at the Basin Reserve.

England bowled New Zealand out for 209 midway through the first session in reply to the tourists’ declared first innings total of 435 for eight.

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With New Zealand having fallen 27 runs short of avoiding the follow-on, England captain Ben Stokes had little hesitation sending the Black Caps back in to bat on an overcast morning.

Latham and Conway were fortunate at times as the new ball beat their bats but they batted with commendable caution, seeing off the opening spells of pace duo James Anderson and Ollie Robinson.

New Zealand started the day on 138 for seven in their first innings, still needing 98 runs to avoid the follow-on.

They briefly held hope of mowing down the target as tail-ender captain Tim Southee went on six-hitting spree while wicketkeeper Tom Blundell played a steady hand.

Southee smashed spinner Jack Leach for three sixes in an over, the second bringing up his fifty from 39 deliveries and sending the ball onto scaffolding behind the fence at long-on.

Robinson received the same treatment as Southee hooked him over deep backward square leg for six in the next over.

On 71, Southee top-edged Stuart Broad to fine leg but Leach spilled the catch just in front of the rope.

Leach’s anguish lasted only one ball, though, as Southee sent another top-edge straight up into the air off the bowling of Stuart Broad, allowing Zak Crawley to take the chance at midwicket.

Southee’s dismissal for 73 broke an excellent 98-run partnership with Blundell and the match quickly turned.

Blundell whacked Broad straight to Leach at mid-on to be out for 38 before the England paceman wrapped up the innings by dismissing a slogging Matt Henry for six.

Broad finished with innings figures of 4-61, with Anderson (3-37) and Leach (3-80) claiming three wickets apiece.