England 329-8 at lunch on Day 2 of 1st test vs New Zealand
MOUNT MAUNGANUI, New Zealand (AP) — Tim Southee took three wickets in 11 balls, including the key wicket of Ben Stokes for 91, as New Zealand fought its way back into the first test against England on Friday before lunch on the second day.
Southee also claimed a catch at second slip to remove Jofra Archer (4) as England, after resuming at 241-4, cruised to 277-4 before slumping to 295-8. At lunch it was 329-8 with Jos Buttler (29) and Jack Leach (12) having added 34 for the ninth wicket.
The dismissal of Stokes started England's collapse and brought New Zealand back into a match. With Stokes and Ollie Pope seemingly set at the crease, having added 74 for the fifth wicket, New Zealand appeared set for a long day in the field to match the first day Thursday when England batted after winning the toss.
New Zealand-born Stokes has been the bete noir of his birth country in its recent meetings with England. It was his unbeaten 84 which guided England to its remarkable countback win in the 50-overs World Cup final at Lord's in July.
In reaching 67 by stumps on Thursday, Stokes built on the solid foundation laid by Rory Burns (52) and Joe Denly (74) to put England in a powerful position.
Stokes bullied the New Zealand bowlers off their lengths in the final session on the first day and seemed set to do the same thing Friday as he moved around his crease, meeting every delivery with the full face of the bat. He took boundaries from a series of superbly-timed drives on both sides of the wicket and added two fine back cuts for four when he was given length and width.
It was New Zealand, and especially Southee, who made the decisive change of length. The second new ball was only 11 overs old at the start of play and was still swinging in warm, windy conditions at the Bay Oval. Southee pitched the ball up and it began swing enough to undo a series of England batsman.
First he drew Stokes forward with a ball which swung away as the allrounder aimed a drive through cover, took the edge and was brilliantly caught by Ross Taylor at first slip, who made up for two dropped chances on the first day.
Southee then enticed Pope (29) to chase another wide ball which left him and was caught by wicketkeeper B.J. Watling running in front of the slip cordon.
The next ball swung back into Sam Curran, who was trapped in front and dismissed for a first ball duck, giving Southee three wickets in two overs.
Archer survived the hat trick ball from Southee, which clipped the back of his pads and went for four. He didn't last much longer, edging a ball from Trent Boult to Southee.