NZ vs ENG, Third Test: Broad at the double before New Zealand lose Nicholls to freak dismissal

Trends

New Zealand were 123 for five at tea, with Stuart Broad removing Tom Latham in the first over of the match

New Zealand were 123 for five at tea, with Stuart Broad removing Tom Latham in the first over of the match

Stuart Broad led England’s attack in the absence of James Anderson before New Zealand lost Henry Nicholls in bizarre fashion on the opening day of the third Test at Headingley on Thursday.

New Zealand were 123 for five at tea, with Broad removing Tom Latham in the first over of the match prior to capturing the key wicket of New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.

On the stroke of tea, Nicholls, who struggled to 19 off 99 balls, drove powerfully at left-arm spinner Jack Leach.

The ball deflected off non-striker Daryl Mitchell’s bat and then looped gently to Alex Lees at mid-off for an unlucky dismissal.

Mitchell was 25 not out, having already scored two hundreds in a three-match series where England have an unassailable 2-0 lead.

He might have been out for eight, however, but England decided against reviewing Matthew Potts’ rejected lbw appeal.

Replays indicated that by failing to challenge umpire Marais Erasmus’s original decision, England had missed the chance to reduce New Zealand to 97 for five.

England lost the toss under blue skies and on a seemingly good batting pitch.

The hosts were looking to make it three wins out of three under their new leadership duo of captain Ben Stokes and Test coach Brendon McCullum, a former New Zealand skipper.

They were without Anderson, their all-time leading Test wicket-taker, because of an ankle injury.

But Anderson’s longtime new-ball partner Broad made up for his absence by removing Tom Latham for a sixth-ball duck after he edged a delivery straight to Joe Root at first slip.

Will Young and Williamson, back in action after missing the second Test in Nottingham with a bout of coronavirus, repaired some of the early damage after coming together at none for one.

Williamson, on a ground where he had played for Yorkshire, smashed Broad for four and Young cut a boundary off Jamie Overton, with the debutant Surrey quick preferred to twin brother Craig as the replacement for Anderson.

Spin, however, ended a promising partnership, when left-armer Jack Leach struck with his first ball, turning and straightened a delivery past Young’s bat to have the opener lbw for 20.

Broad then dismissed star batsman Williamson, whose fluent 31 had included five fours, when the star batsman edged a fine leg-cutter to wicketkeeper Ben Foakes as the seamer took his 548th Test wicket.

Williamson, in a rare show of emotion, ripped off his glove in disgust.

Overton, who was presented with his England cap at the start of the day by his twin Craig, got in on the act after lunch with his first Test wicket.

Devon Conway, on 26, played on trying to drive a full-length ball to leave New Zealand 83 for four.

https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/nz-vs-eng-third-test-broadat-the-double-before-new-zealand-lose-nicholls-to-freak-dismissal/article65558666.ece