New Zealand have bundled out in 3 days in the first Test against England. The Second Test at Wellington also started on the same tune. England scored 435/8 in 87.1 overs, after a 21/3 start. New Zealand bowlers did not have answers for Harry Brook and Joe Root stroke play. Joe Root with 153 stayed not out while Harry Brook after creating world record fell on 186. Matt Henry (4/100), Michael Bracewell (2/54), Tim Southee (1/93), Neil Wagner (1/119) took wickets but gave away many runs putting New Zealand on back foot.
James Anderson started the first innings with great swing bowling for England. New Zealand also found themselves in doldrums with 3/21 on board. Henry Nicholls (30), Tom Latham (35) tried to salvage the situation but Jack Leach got 3 wickets quickly. Next morning, Stuart Broad finished the innings quickly but New Zealand captain Tim Southee scored 73 to push their score to 209 from 53.2 overs. Stuart Broad (4/61), James Anderson (3/37), Jack Leach (3/80) commanded New Zealand downfall in the first innings.
England Captain Ben Stokes decided to go for follow-on with New Zealand clearly on back foot. But Tom Latham (83) and Devon Conway (61) dug-in to avoid embarrassment. They have put on 149 runs in 52.5 overs and proved that they are playing to save the Test. Kane Williamson (25) and Henry Nicholls (18) are at the crease by the end of 3rd day play with 202/3 on board. New Zealand have shown more grit in the second innings of the second Test Match, compared to whole series.
They are still 24 runs behind but England might have to chase in the fourth innings for sure. New Zealand would want to bat the entire 4th day and give England a target they might not be comfortable to chase in the fourth innings. England bowlers can find that extra swing and seam to trouble New Zealand batsmen on the fourth day. In any case, good old fashioned Test Cricket can only save New Zealand and we believe they will try their heart out not to give-up easy.
Ram Charan poses with International Award for his RRR!