Fans want me to play in PSL 2021: Rashid Khan
5 June 2021
A fighting hundred from opener Rory Burns and valuable partnerships from the lower-order batsmen saved England from slipping away in the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s.
For once, it appeared as if the Blackcaps duo of Tim Southee, who picked up his second five-wicket haul at Lord’s and Kyle Jamieson, who was shutting all his critics up with each dismissal will blow the hosts away in the fourth morning of the Test match, but Burns found a way around him and an able partner in Ollie Robinson to lead England’s riposte.
The partnerships chipped away at the lead which once appeared to be insurmountable for the hosts but the visitors’ bowling attack that was sharp and threatening for the large part of the day along with the whole team faltered in the last phase of England’s first innings.
New Zealand needed to avoid a collapse to ensure they would not go to Birmingham 0-1 down in the series and the opening pair of Devon Conway and Tom Latham started on a promising note once again. However, Ollie Robinson was far too accurate for them and ultimately sent the double centurion from the first innings Conway back to the pavilion to keep England in the hunt.
Williamson has been such superb form for New Zealand in the last so many years but he failed on both occasion in this Test and his overseas numbers are becoming tough to digest for a player of his calibre. He too was undone by Robinson who looked set to make the most of the opportunity in the debut Test with a suspension hanging imminently over his head due to an act of past.
England, as a bowling unit were superb in the precision with the line and length but could not breach Latham’s presence and the left-hander ensured that the Blackcaps will enter the fifth and final day of the Test with their noses in front of the hosts in the first Test.
However, for the hosts, there was no bigger hero than Rory Burns, who resurrected both his Test career and England’s chances in the Test just from the brink. He was watchful was calculative in his strokeplay on the second day of the Test and the scrip never changed in the face of extremely disciplined bowling from Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson.
Burns saw his skipper Joe Root walking back to the pavilion on the very first ball of the day that left him helpless around off stump but he was all at ease while facing the whole repertoire of an in-form Tim Southee who left no angles in the bowling crease underutilised.
The English middle order crumbled with Ollie Pope not being able to extend his innings beyond some delightful boundaries and the new number six and seven —Dan Lawrence and James Bracey not being up to the task.
Southee set Pope up with balls away from the off stump and dragging him away from the line of the stump and then hurling one back towards the middle stumps and catching him in front of the wicket on DRS. He induced a horrific drive off Lawrence who played a similar shot to one played by Zak Crawley on the second day to bring James Bracey to the centre while Southee was in mid of a dream spell. He could not deliver and did start his Test career in one of the most inauspicious manners.
After Bracey’s departure, Burns stitched a valuable partnership with Robinson and led England’s fight against the visitors however his innings was not chanceless. He wandered out of the crease against Mitchell Santner but only to BJ Watling to miss the ball while attempting to stump him and Tim Southee-Ross Taylor combo dropping a catch they could have plugged in while sleeping off Neil Wagner.
He reached his milestone in more than 200 deliveries and his contribution brought England some relief which was evident on the face of a passionate Chris Silverwood who may have enjoyed Burns’ hundred equally as the batsman.
The match is likely to be heading towards a draw but a session of mad batting or bowling can change things quickly and both New Zealand and England will be wary of that aspect leading up to an all-important fifth day.