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Cook, Bell fight back after New Zealand takes lead

England ends third day trailing by 60 runs; Williamson shines for visiting side with ton

Cook, Bell fight back after New Zealand takes lead  - Cricket News
Kane Williamson scores his tenth Test century.
England lost two second-innings wickets to the new ball, but got to the close of day three of the first Test against New Zealand at Lord's on 74 for 2, trailing the visiting side by 60 runs. 

Alastair Cook (30), the captain, and Ian Bell (29) are the men batting. 

Earlier, Kane Williamson started the day (Saturday, May 23) on 92 not out, proudly perched on top of New Zealand’s all-time Test averages list. He got his century in the second over of the day and celebrated with the air of a man who knew he had plenty more work to do. Ominously for England, it was Ross Taylor, very much the junior partner yesterday, who looked the busier early on, posting his own half-century and greeting the new ball with a punch to the point boundary in the fourth over of the morning. 

But Taylor perished to the new ball, Stuart Broad getting it to lift and take the glove, Jos Buttler sprawling to take a fine catch down the leg side. The third wicket partnership had realised 189 runs from 50 overs and taken the visiting side to within 53 runs of a first-innings lead.

Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand captain, got off the mark in typically pugnacious style, cover-driving his first ball to the Tavern Stand boundary, but Broad beat him with one that seamed away next up, showing that the battle between bat and ball was already more even than at any point on the previous day. 

McCullum eschewed orthodoxy and was fortunate to get to 42 in 38 balls before spiralling a top edge to third man where Joe Root calmly pouched a fine catch to give Mark Wood his first Test wicket.  

Extras finished the innings on 67, the fifth-highest total in 2161 Tests. 

After a two-hour rain break, the ball swung and seamed, as the bowlers “hit their areas” (as they insist they must), but it was another leg side glove and a fine catch by Buttler that saw off Corey Anderson for 9, a second wicket for the impressive Wood.

Moeen Ali dismissed both Williamson (132) and Mark Craig (0) in the second over of his spell. Tim Southee smacked a six, but went for a shot too many, scooping James Anderson to Wood at midwicket for 11.

Matt Henry and Trent Boult didn’t last long after tea, and Watling was left unbeaten on 62 as New Zealand was 523 all out with a handy lead of 134. 

Adam Lyth cracked the first ball of England’s second innings for four and added another boundary. But Boult is no punchbag and he found the opener’s edge with Taylor doing the necessary at third slip – Lyth out for 12.  Gary Ballance too was soon gone as Southee got one to leave him a little off the pitch and clip the off bail. 

It was then that Cook and Bell came together to defiantly steady the England innings.

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