In-form Daryl Mitchell powered New Zealand’s revival after Stuart Broad struck early for England on day one of the Third Test at Headingley on Thursday. New Zealand had 225 goals from five at the end of the match, with Mitchell 78 not out after his hundreds at Lord’s and Trent Bridge. Those inspired efforts weren’t enough to prevent the World Test champions from falling 2-0 down in the three-game series. But Mitchell will be aiming to add another ton as the Black Caps try to salvage a victory in the series finale. Broad, England’s spearhead after James Anderson was ruled out with an ankle injury, took down Tom Latham in the first innings of the day and then captured the wicket of New Zealand captain Kane Williamson in a a return of two for 45 in 17 overs.
Mitchell, however, held on after coming on with New Zealand faltering at 83 for four following Williamson’s decision to strike first after winning the coin toss under blue skies and on good ground.
He again received great support from Tom Blundell (45 not out) in an unbroken stand of 102 – their third century partnership of this series.
England were looking for three wins from three under their new leadership duo of captain Ben Stokes and Test coach Brendon McCullum, a former New Zealand skipper.
They may have been without Anderson, their best Test wicket-taker of all time, but Broad fired Latham anyway for a duck on the sixth ball after spinning straight at Joe Root on the 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 damage after meeting none for one.
Williamson, at a ground where he had played for Yorkshire, led Broad for four and Young cut a limit to Jamie Overton, with the Surrey debutant quickly favoring twin brother Craig as Anderson’s replacement.
Spin, however, ended a promising partnership, when left arm Jack Leach hit with his first pitch, spinning and straightening a delivery to have opener Young lbw for 20.
Broad then fired Williamson, whose fluid 31 had included five fours, when the star batsman edged an excellent leg cutter to wicketkeeper Ben Foakes as the setter won his 548th Test wicket.
Williamson, in a rare show of emotion, ripped off his glove in disgust.
Overton, presented with his England cap at the start of the day by his twin, entered the scene after lunch with his first Test wicket.
Devon Conway played for 26, trying to drive an Overton ball the full length, to leave New Zealand struggling at 83 for four.
The struggling Henry Nicholls had hit 19 out of 99 when he fell unnaturally on a tea shot.
Nicholls drove powerfully to Leach only for the ball to deflect off non-striker Mitchell’s bat and loop gently towards Alex Lees halfway through.
Mitchell might have been out for eight years, however, but England, in one of many poor review choices, decided not to contest Matthew Potts’ rejected lbw appeal, with replays confirming the drummer would have been absent.
Mitchell celebrated that breakout by throwing Leach for a straight six and then made a fifty on exactly 100 balls.
England thought they had taken Blundell behind part-time spinner Root for 31 years, but examination of the batsman showed no contact with the ball.
There was more frustration for England when, after a brief rain break, Overton believed he had caught Mitchell in the leg by Foakes for 60, only for England’s review to reveal the batsman had missed the ball.
England took the new ball as soon as they could, with New Zealand 203 for five from 80 overs, but were unable to manage another breakthrough.
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