Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell produced their third century partnership in three Tests against England to steer New Zealand to 225/5 after Stuart Broad had given England a great start to the third Test.
Broad leads from the front
Broad stood up in the absence of James Anderson and made early inroads for England in the first session of the third Test.
The pitch and overhead conditions ensured that both teams were hoping to bat first at Headingley, but losing the toss didn’t look quite such a poor outcome for the home side when Stuart Broad had Tom Latham caught by Joe Root in the cordon off the final ball of the first over the day.
With England’s record wicket-taker Anderson out through injury it fell to Broad to lead an inexperienced attack, and the 35-year-old did just that on a morning in which it was also revealed that he and his partner are expecting their first child.
Jack Leach struck with his very first ball of the Test to trap Will Young in front for 20.
But it was Broad who headlined the opening session and he ensured New Zealand went in three down when he lured an edge from Kane Williamson.
Welcome to Test cricket
History was made at the start of play in Leeds, with Craig Overton handing his brother Jamie a debut Test cap to make the brothers the first male identical twins to play Test cricket for England.
And Jamie did pick up a wicket on his first day in the whites of England, tempting a wayward drive out of Devon Conway and dismantling the stumps via the batter’s inside edge.
Overton bowled short and fast, surpassing 145kph on more than one occasion, and providing the differing threat that had earned him his first call-up.
But Conway’s wicket was his solitary scalp of the day, with the 28-year-old finishing day one with figures of 1/41 from 16 overs.
His teammate, and another recent debutant, Matthew Potts should have had a wicket of his own when he struck Daryl Mitchell on the pads, with England opting against a review that would have given the New Zealand batter out. But the Durham seamer did a tidy job nevertheless, conceding just 28 runs from his 20 overs.
A familiar partnership
Henry Nicholls fell victim to a freak dismissal after tea, seeing his drive deflect off the bat of the non-striker and fly straight to mid-off.
But Nicholls’ departure brought Mitchell and Tom Blundell together in the middle, and the pair led the recovery.
An extremely slow approach from New Zealand saw them struggling at 123/5 in the third session when Blundell came to the crease, but he and Mitchell added another 102 runs before the close to give the Black Caps a platform to build on.
Blundell and Mitchell have now registered century partnerships in all three Tests of the series, and will resume play on Friday unbeaten on 45* and 78* respectively.
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