LONDON: England debutant Matthew Potts and recalled great James Anderson took four wickets apiece as New Zealand were dismissed for just 132 on the opening day of the first Test here at Lord’s on Thursday.
Potts finished with superb figures of four for 13 in 9.2 overs and Anderson, who had earlier reduced the World Test champions to two for two, four for 66 in 16 in what was England’s first match under their new leadership duo of captain Ben Stokes and red-ball coach Brendon McCullum, the former New Zealand skipper.
New Zealand were in dire straits at 45 for seven after captain Kane Williamson’s decision to bat first.
But all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme’s unbeaten 42 off 50 balls bolstered the total, along with useful contributions from pacemen Tim Southee (26) and Trent Boult (14).
Stokes, who dismissed last man Boult, might not have bowled at all but for Durham team-mate Potts going off with cramp in his left leg.
England openers Alex Lees and Zak Crawley then survived a potentially tricky six-over spell from Southee and Boult, who only arrived in England on Monday after playing in the Indian Premier League final, to take the hosts to 19 without loss at tea.
The only major downside for England so far Thursday was that Jack Leach had to leave the field barely half an hour into the day’s play after the spinner landed on his head and neck when stopping a boundary.
Leach was later ruled out of the match due to symptoms of concussion, with England summoning uncapped Lancashire leg-spinner Matt Parkinson from Manchester as a concussion substitute.
New Zealand often looked what they were — a team who had played just two warm-up matches in England ahead of this three-match series — as all of their top four, including star batsman Williamson fell in single figures.
Anderson and Stuart Broad, England’s two most successful Test bowlers of all time, with 1,177 wickets between them prior to this match, had both been controversially left out of a 1-0 series loss in the Caribbean earlier this year.
But the 39-year-old Anderson was soon back in a familiar groove as he removed openers Will Young and Tom Latham with the aid of two slip catches, the first a brilliant diving one-handed effort, by Jonny Bairstow.
All-rounder Stokes stayed true to his attacking instincts by deploying five slips and a gully early on.
New Zealand’s Devon Conway, who made a double century at Lord’s in his Test debut last year, fell for just three on Thursday when caught by Bairstow off Broad.
Potts, on as first change, then struck with just his fifth ball when Williamson, whose elbow injury meant he had missed New Zealand’s previous five Tests, edged low to wicket-keeper Ben Foakes.
England, with a mere one win in their last 17 Tests, had now reduced New Zealand to a scarcely credible 12 for four.
New Zealand did surpass their 26 all out — the lowest completed Test innings of all time — against England at Auckland in 1955 before Potts reduced them to 36 for six.
Play was briefly paused after the 23rd over as the players lined up on the outfield and a large crowd stood for a minute’s applause in the honour of Shane Warne, who wore the number 23 shirt, following the outstanding Australia leg-spinner’s death aged 52 from a suspected heart attack in March.—AFP
NEW ZEALAND (1st Innings):
T. Latham c Bairstow b Anderson 1
W. Young c Bairstow b Anderson 1
K. Williamson c Foakes b Potts 2
D. Conway c Bairstow b Broad 3
D. Mitchell b Potts 13
T. Blundell b Potts 14
C. de Grandhomme not out 42
K. Jamieson c Potts b Anderson 6
T. Southee c Potts b Anderson 26
A. Patel lbw b Potts 7
T. Boult c Pope b Stokes 14
EXTRAS (LB-3) 3
TOTAL (all out, 40 overs) 132
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-1 (Young), 2-2 (Latham), 3-7 (Conway), 4-12 (Williamson), 5-27 (Mitchell), 6-36 (Blundell), 7-45 (Jamieson), 8-86 (Southee), 9-102 (Patel)
BOWLING: Anderson 16-0-66-4; Broad 13-0-45-1; Potts 9.2-4-13-4; Stokes 1.4-0-5-1
ENGLAND (1st Innings):
Alex Lees not out 5
Zak Crawley not out 14
TOTAL (for no wicket, six overs) 19
BOWLING: Southee 3-0-12-0; Boult 3-0-7-0
STILL TO BAT: Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (captain), Ben Foakes (wicket-keeper), Matthew Potts, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, James Anderson