The first Test between New Zealand and England is perfectly poised in the balance after the end of Day 2 as the visitors have taken a 92-run lead with eight wickets in hand in their second innings of batting. Meanwhile, New Zealand did fairly well in their first innings by scoring 306, in response to England’s 325/9 (declared).
Meanwhile, the series opener grabbed a lot of limelight on Friday as New Zealand’s fielder Tom Blundell and Scott Kuggeleijn reminded fans of the famous Saeed Ajmal and Shoaib Malik’s embarrassing goof-up, in the middle.
It was the final delivery of the 14th over in England’s second innings, when out as a night watchman Stuart Broad mistimed a short ball from Scott Kuggeleijn. The ball went miles up in the air but did not get any distance, eventually falling near the pitch.
Anticipating an easy catch, wicket-keeper Tom Blundell and bowler Kuggeleijn both came to catch the ball, but none of them completed the catch as a comedy of errors transpired at the Bay Oval. The moment reminded fans of Pakistan cricketers Shoaib Malik and Saeed Ajmal, who created a similar comedy of errors after West Indies’ Chris Gayle smashed a ball high up in the air in an ODI game between Pakistan and West Indies in 2008.
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However, Tom Blundell and Kuggeleijn were also engaged in a crucial 52-run partnership for the eighth wicket in New Zealand’s first innings. Their stand took the host to 234/8 from 182/7. While Ollie Robinson rattled Kuggeleijn’s stumps, Blundell held one end till the final ball of the Kiwi innings to complete this hundred. He went on to score 138 off 181 deliveries.
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For England, Ollie Robinson bagged four wickets in the game, while James Anderson picked three wickets. In England’s first innings, Ben Duckett (84 off 68) and Harry Brook (89 off 81) batted brilliantly and guided the visitors to a competitive total.