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England in ascendancy in 1st test vs New Zealand

Stokes 91, Denly 74 and Curran with 2 wickets drive the visitors

The 1st test between two warring oppositions of 2019 , England and New Zealand at the new picturesque centre of Mount Maunganui , has so far proved to be more lucky for the visitors after 1st two days.  England batting 1st battled hard to finally attain a decent total of 353 buoyed by 50s from Burns, Denly and Stokes. Burns (52) was his usual ungainly but solid self , ensuring no clutter of early wickets while debutant Sibley (22) too showed his solidity before getting out against the run of play. At 3, Joe Denly (74) showed his capabilities once again after a successful last Ashes test at Oval . He batted solidly and produced some fine pull shots to give a good indication about his future durability at the important number 3 spot ,which has been England’s achilles heel for a long time. Ben Stokes (91) produced another classy performance with the bat ,playing some glorious drives down the ground but was pouched brilliantly by Ross Taylor in slips with 9 short of a 100. Ollie Pope (29) making a comeback could not make his good start count while the strokeful Buttler shepherded the lower half with an impressive 43 to take England to 353 . However England will be worried with the continued patchy form of skipper Joe Root (2 off 22 balls) who has not played an innings of substance for a while. For the Blackcaps , the impressive Neil Wagner (3/90) and Tim Southee (3/88) shared most of the wickets while spearhead Trent Boult looked somewhat below his best.

By the end of 2nd day , the home side is having a struggle at 144/4 with skipper Kane Williamson (55) getting dismissed against the run of play by a surprise snorter from Sam Curran to be caught in slips. Curran also snared the crucial wicket of Latham while Taylor and Raval could not thrive on their starts. With 3 days to go , England are in ascendancy.

Amitava Mukherjee

A commerce graduate with work experience in Banking sector. An avid sports enthusiast. Big fan of soccer cricket and tennis

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