CRICKET: England cricket fans give predictions for Test Match against NZ
England cricket fans gave their predictions for the second Test Match against New Zealand outside Edgbaston before play started, with many confident of a victory.
James Anderson became England’s new record cap-holder as he lined up for the second Test against New Zealand, overtaking Sir Alastair Cook with his 162nd appearance.
The 38-year-old seamer was celebrated in the pre-match huddle, with long-time partner Stuart Broad delivering a speech to mark his 18 years at the highest level.
With Ollie Robinson suspended pending an investigation into historic racist and sexist Twitter posts, Olly Stone was recalled on his home ground in an all-pace attack that also included Mark Wood.
England captain Joe Root will be hoping his quick men have a restful first day after winning the toss and opting to bat first. New Zealand’s side showed six changes as they kept one eye firmly on next week’s World Test Championship final.
Neil Wagner was the only member of the bowling attack to keep his place from Lord’s, Tom Blundell came in as wicketkeeper after BJ Watling reported back trouble and Tom Latham led the side in Kane Williamson’s absence.
Good start undone
At lunch England were 67-0, Rory Burns one ahead of his partner Dom Sibley with 32 not out. On an even-paced pitch that represented a strong start as the hosts look to deliver on their stated aim of big first-innings runs.
However, the second session was very much that of New Zealand’s. Sibley was gone for 35 at the end of the afternoon’s first over, feeling for one outside off stump and nicking Henry to Blundell behind the stumps.
That brought the out-of-form Crawley to the middle and he was soon on his way for a four-ball duck. Having almost allowed the previous delivery from Wagner to knock over his off stump, he aimed a crooked bat at the next and sprayed a simple catch to third slip.
The arrival of Root might have calmed any growing nerves, but rather than re-asserting England’s previous control he was the latest victim of excellent bowling. He managed just four runs, courtesy of a big edge off Henry, who came back with the very next ball and got a thinner nick that ran through easily to Blundell, leaving England 87-3.
Burns grinds it out again
Rory Burns is very much England’s man-in-form with the bat and he put together a decent 42-run partnership with Ollie Pope but he fell to the bowling of Ajaz Patel for just 19. Burns went to tea on 73 not out as he provided England with some much-needed backbone.
Burns was a calm observer to the drama, sticking to his guns as he guided the total past three figures with his fifth boundary of the day and then bringing up his own half-century in 141 balls.
However, he eventually fell for 81 as Trent Boult had him caught at second slip by Tom Latham.
England were able to move the score onto 214-6 halfway through the final session as England cricket fans enjoyed the occasion of being back at a stadium operating at 70 per cent capacity.
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