NOTTINGHAM: Devon Conway scored 52 as New Zealand reached 114-2 at tea after England’s James Anderson claimed his 650th Test wicket on the fourth day of the second Test.
Anderson was gifted his landmark wicket as New Zealand opener Tom Latham left a straight ball that clattered into his stumps.
The 39-year-old fast bowler is just third man ever to reach the landmark after spin legends Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan.
Anderson’s milestone came just months after he admitted he was “praying” his international career was not over following the decision to drop him for the West Indies tour.
Restored to the team by new captain Ben Stokes, Anderson looks as good as ever and his experience will be crucial if England are to win their first Test series since January 2021.
England are locked in an intriguing battle with New Zealand after being dismissed for 539 in Monday’s morning session at Trent Bridge.
Joe Root scored a majestic 176 and Ben Foakes added a lively 56 to ensure New Zealand held only a 14-run lead following their own mammoth first innings total of 553.
A draw remains the most likely result after New Zealand moved 128 runs ahead of England, with Will Young 49 not out and Henry Nicholls unbeaten on three.
England had bludgeoned 383 runs on Sunday, starting day four on 473-5 after Root’s fastest Test century and 145 from Ollie Pope.
Root resumed on 163 and Foakes on 24, while New Zealand suffered a blow when Kyle Jamison was ruled out of day four while the pace bowler awaited the results of scans on the back injury he sustained on Sunday.
Foakes took the attack to Tim Southee in the first over of the day, smashing two boundaries as the bewildered pace bowler was plundered for 12 runs.
That blistering start was in keeping with new coach Brendon McCullum’s desire for England to play aggressively at all times.
Root joined the party with an outrageous reverse scoop off Southee that flew high over the slip cordon for his first Test six since February 2021 in India.
Foakes crushed a four to reach a blistering hundred partnership with Root and then blasted another boundary to get his 50 in what felt like the blink of an eye.
Trent Boult finally stemmed the bleeding as he dismissed Root, who chipped to Southee at cover after chasing a wide delivery.
Slamming the bat against his pads in frustration, Root departed to spark a collapse of five wickets for 23 runs.
Stuart Broad perished trying to wallop Michael Bracewell as his outside edge produced a one-handed diving catch from Daryl Mitchell, a superb piece of fielding at odds with a host of drops from both teams over the first three days.
Foakes was next to go, easily run out by Nicholls and Bracewell after Matthew Potts turned back having initially set off for a quick single.
Boult claimed his fifth wicket by clean bowling Potts with a full, swinging delivery, before Bracewell had Anderson stumped to end the innings.
England made a flying start to New Zealand’s second innings when Latham (4) bizarrely left a straight ball from Anderson and watched his stumps go flying.
Anderson raised the ball to the crowd to acknowledge the raucous cheers for the Lancashire paceman’s milestone wicket.
Young survived a series of edges off Broad immediately after lunch, but New Zealand gradually rediscovered their first innings rhythm.
Conway crushed Jack Leach’s spin to the boundary with contemptuous ease as the second wicket stand moved past 50.
Leach was coming in for heavy punishment, conceding five boundaries in nine balls.
Young took nine off an over from the spinner before Conway broke out the reverse sweep for successive fours.
Conway reached his half-century with yet another reverse sweep off Leach.
But Leach had the last laugh as Conway top-edged a sweep towards Bairstow, who ran in from the square-leg boundary to take the catch.
NEW ZEALAND (1st Innings) 553
ENGLAND (1st Innings, overnight 473-5):
A. Lees c Mitchell b Henry 67
Z. Crawley c Blundell b Boult 4
O. Pope c Henry b Boult 145
J. Root c Southee b Boult 176
J. Bairstow c Blundell b Boult 8
B. Stokes c Boult b Bracewell 46
B. Foakes run out (Nicholls/Bracewell) 56
S. Broad c Mitchell b Bracewell 9
M. Potts b Boult 3
J. Leach not out 0
J. Anderson st Blundell b Bracewell 9
EXTRAS (B-12, LB-3, W-1) 16
TOTAL (all out, 128.2 overs) 539
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-6 (Crawley), 2-147 (Lees), 3-334 (Pope), 4-344 (Bairstow), 5-405 (Stokes), 6-516 (Root), 7-527 (Broad), 8-527 (Foakes), 9-530 (Potts), 10-539 (Anderson)
BOWLING: Southee 32-1-154-0 (1w), Boult 33.3-8-106-5, Henry 27-5-128-1, Jamieson 16.3-3-66-0, Bracewell 17.2-2-62-3, Mitchell 2-0-8-0
NEW ZEALAND (2nd Innings):
T. Latham b Anderson 4
W. Young not out 49
D. Conway c Bairstow b Leach 52
H. Nicholls not out 3
EXTRAS (B-4, NB-2) 6
TOTAL (for two wickets, 37 overs) 114
STILL TO BAT: D. Mitchell, T. Blundell,
M. Bracewell, K. Jamieson, T. Southee,
M. Henry, T. Boult
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-4 (Latham), 2-104 (Conway)
BOWLING: Anderson 8-1-18-1, Broad 7-1-23-0, Potts 7-4-6-0, Leach 11-2-53-1, Stokes 4-1-10-0 (2nb)
Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2022