It’s always frustrating when work and other bits get in the way of watching cricket, but that’s where we are currently. Due to a rather nasty sickness bug, I only managed to watch the first half hour of the match and haven’t seen the highlights yet and no doubt the other editors are in similar positions.
241-4 at the end of a full days play is a very unusual score for this England side, we’re more used to them either scoring at 4 runs an over or being blown away for under a 100, but from the sounds of it, the English batting unit used their nouse on a good, but slow pitch. Whether this is the sign of things to come I’m not too sure, but as someone who loves Test Match cricket, then I have no problems with the top order being slightly attritional and taking the shine off the ball whilst putting miles into the bowlers legs. This used to be the hallmark of Test Match batting after all.
The key question is whether they can now go on and make some big runs on Day 2 to put some real pressure on the New Zealand batting line up. Stokes looks like he has continued his rich vein of form with the bat, despite offering a couple of chances late on to a tiring Kiwi fielding unit, whilst Pope is there alongside him hoping he can make a statement about his role in the England Test side for the foreseeable future.
If England survive the first hour relatively unscathed then 450 should be a minimum, though from past experience, this can be a very big if with this England team.
As ever, please leave any thoughts and comments on the day’s play below: