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England fight back from 30-4 to 113-4 vs New Zealand

NZ take 4 early wickets but England fight back to score 113 by lunch on 1st day of 1st test

England fight back from 30-4 to 113-4 vs New Zealand

LONDON (AP) -- New Zealand profited from winning the toss by taking four England wickets on the first morning of the first cricket test at Lord's on Thursday.

Matt Henry took two wickets on debut, including England captain Alastair Cook, and Tim Southee and Trent Boult one each.

England, 30-4 after an hour, counterattacked in the second hour when New Zealand-born Ben Stokes joined England player of the year Joe Root, and combined for an unbeaten 83 runs at more than six per over.

England fought back to be 113-4 at lunch, Root on 49 not out, and Stokes on 36.

In a sunny first hour, without the benefit of helpful cloud cover, the Kiwi bowlers answered the call of captain Brendon McCullum, who elected to fire first at England.

In the face of relentlessly accurate seam and swing, England hunkered down and lost four wickets for 13 runs.

Adam Lyth, on debut, scored from the first delivery of the day, a single through point off Boult. He was also first out after half an hour, giving the tiniest nick to a Southee delivery straight behind. Lyth's first innings lasted 17 balls, ended by a brilliant delivery.

That brought in Gary Ballance, another Yorkshireman, and he was heading back to the pavilion two overs later. Ballance made 1 off eight balls when he drove at the ninth off Boult, and thick-edged the late swinging ball to third slip, where Southee took a superb diving catch.

Two balls later in the next over, the 11th, Cook departed. He'd been more wary than anyone, had a little luck with some shots, including three boundaries, but was surprised by a short ball from Henry.

Cook pulled, got only a top edge, and wicketkeeper BJ Watling took an easy catch. Cook made 16 off 36 balls.

Bell was next, undone by a wicked delivery from Henry clipping his off stump. Bell, who scored a pair in England's last test, the third test loss to the West Indies in Barbados at the start of the month, was gone for 1.

Henry, at that point, had two wickets in seven balls, conceding four runs.

Moeen Ali, expected in next, appeared to have finished a session in the nets, and was quickly making his way around the boundary to the dressing room as Stokes walked in.

An hour into the match, England needed to take the fight back to New Zealand, and Stokes and Root provided it.

Root got off the mark second ball with a perfect cover drive.

He and Stokes shared the strike, ran quickly, and scored at ODI pace as the New Zealand seamers began to tire.

After Henry gave up 11 runs, offspinner Mark Craig was introduced in the 23rd over and found turn immediately. Off his last ball, he had a good shout at one which hit Root's back leg. Umpire Marais Erasmus gave not out, New Zealand reviewed, and was unlucky not to get the out.

Root took Craig apart with three boundaries in his next over, to earn some satisfaction by lunch.

Updated : 2021-09-17 03:34 GMT+08:00