New Zealand sets 277 runs target for England to win Lord’s test

LONDON: Stuart Broad sparked a sensational New Zealand collapse after Daryl Mitchell made a hundred to leave England needing 277 to win the first Test at Lord’s on Saturday.

World Test champions New Zealand, who had been 251 for four, lost their last six wickets for 34 runs on the third morning — three falling to successive Broad deliveries — as they were dismissed for 285.

England, however, face a tough task if they are to go 1-0 up in this three-match series and make a winning start under their new leadership duo of captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum, the former New Zealand skipper.

There have been only three successful fourth-innings run chases of more than 200 runs in Lord’s Test history, with England’s best at the ‘Home of Cricket’ the 282 for three they made against New Zealand in 2004.

And Alex Lees, who had hit four boundaries in his 20, was then bowled leaving a Kyle Jamieson delivery that came back into the left-hander, with England 31 for one at lunch. After rain delayed Saturday’s scheduled start by 30 minutes, New Zealand resumed on 236 for four in their second innings, a lead of 227.                After waiting 366 deliveries to take the fifth wicket, England astonishingly collected three in three balls for a team hat-trick.

Broad, recalled along with James Anderson after England’s two all-time leading Test wicket-takers were controversially left out of a series loss in the Caribbean, was the man to make things happen. He dismissed Mitchell and Jamieson, either side of Ollie Pope running out Colin de Grandhomme.

Mitchell was caught behind for 108 off a Broad delivery that nipped away to end a New Zealand record fifth-wicket partnership against England of 195.

Broad’s next ball led to a huge lbw appeal against de Grandhomme, who carelessly left his crease and was run out by Pope’s direct hit from the slip cordon before the seamer bowled Jamieson for a golden duck. Blundell, who had been watching the wickets go down from the other end, took his score to 96.

But he fell short of a place on the honours board when Anderson had him plumb lbw before Matthew Potts, who took four wickets for 13 runs in New Zealand’s first innings 132, continued his fine debut by removing Ajaz Patel.

Concussion substitute and England debutant Matt Parkinson, summoned after Jack Leach was injured fielding Thursday, ended the innings with his first Test wicket when the leg-spinner had Tim Southee caught at slip.

Tom Blundell has insisted thoughts of a coveted place on the Lord’s honours board will be at the back of his mind after helping to bat New Zealand into a commanding position against England at the ‘Home of Cricket’.

Both Daryl Mitchell (97 not out) and Blundell (90 not out) are eyeing hundreds after an unbroken partnership of 180 took New Zealand to a second-innings total of 236 for four, a lead of 227 runs, at stumps on Friday’s second day of the first Test.

That stand is already worth more than either side managed in their first innings, with Mitchell and fellow 31-year-old Blundell joining forces when the World Test champions were struggling at 56 for four after the bowlers of both teams had previously held sway.

But for all that Blundell would love to score the third Test hundred of his career, the wicketkeeper is aware of the bigger picture given there could be as many as three days left to play in the opening match of a three-Test series.

“We’ve got a job to do for the team, then the milestones take care of themselves,” Blundell told reporters.

“It (a hundred) would mean a lot, but there is a long way to go in this game.

“It was a tough situation to come into, but me and Daryl showed intent and on that sort of wicket, if you show that intent the runs will come. We just spoke about trying to build a partnership and we ended the day pretty well.”

This is England’s first match since Ben Stokes took over as Test captain and Brendon McCullum, the former New Zealand skipper, was appointed as their red-ball head coach.

England have won just one of their previous 17 Tests and for all the talk of a new era, assistant coach Paul Collingwood accepted Friday the team remained a “work in progress”.

“We know that things aren’t going to change overnight,” said Collingwood. “It’s going to take some time that we get the team playing the way that we want them to play. Obviously, that’s a work in progress,” he said.

The former all-rounder, England’s captain when they won the 2010 T20 World Cup in the Caribbean, added: “Brendon’s a glass-half-full kind of man.

“He’ll stay calm, he won’t change his values and beliefs just because of one innings, that’s for sure, and neither will Ben […] This game’s not out of our reach yet.”

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