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Rory Burns 81

Burns, Lawrence half-centuries help keep England afloat

Eng v NZ, 2nd Test, day one, report

England ended the opening day of the second Test at 258/7, but New Zealand retained control by stumps on the day, despite half-centuries from Rory Burns (81) and Dan Lawrence (67*).


On a day that ebbed and flowed, the visitors are primed to bowl England out for for a total less than 300, but given the hosts were struggling at 175/6 at one point, they went into stumps confident and bolstered by Lawrence's skills and the fight shown by Mark Wood and Olly Stone. 

New Zealand, featuring a vastly different side in the second Test, partially due to injury troubles, never gave the impression they were too affected by the changes, especially in the second session when they really came into their own.  

It was England that started well, however, their openers patiently dealing with whatever was thrown at them by New Zealand pacers. Burns and Dom Sibley took the hosts to Lunch at 67/0, and it seemed England were set for a big opening stand.

However, New Zealand came out for the second session revived. On final ball of the first over after the restart, Matt Henry had Sibley caught behind for 35. The visitors sensed an opening. Neil Wagner promptly had Zak Crawley dismissed for a duck, after he chased a wide one, before Henry returned to claim the big wicket of captain Joe Root. 

The fourth wicket of the session came via the canny spin of Ajaz Patel, who had Ollie Pope snuffed out. All the while, Burns held up one end, bringing up his ninth half-century in Test cricket.

He helped take the side through to Tea at 152/4. However, New Zealand were relentless after the restart, and Burns fell to the returning Trent Boult.

Burns had scored a gritty 81 off 187 deliveries, but perished to Boult's outswinger after fending it to slips. Boult went on to snare the wicket of James Bracey soon after, and England seemed in danger of being bowled out for under 200.

However, Lawrence then found valuable support in Stone. The two steadied the ship with a 47-run stand, during the course of which Lawrence reached his third Test fifty. Patel broke the stand when he had Stone trapped in front midway through the final session, but any hope New Zealand harboured of running through England's tail thereafter were extinguished when Wood displayed grit.

Wood ended the day with a 58-ball 16* alongside Lawrence, and England will hope the duo can continue reviving the side on the second morning. 

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