In-form Daryl Mitchell made New Zealand’s debut force after Stuart Broad hit early for England on the first day of the third Test at Headingley on Thursday. New Zealand is 225 for five in the playoffs, with Mitchell 78 not out behind its hundreds at Lord’s and Trent Bridge. Those support efforts were not enough to prevent the World Cup champions from falling 2-0 after a three-game series. But Mitchell will aim to add a lot more as the Black Caps try to get a win back at the end of the series. Broad, England’s spearhead after James Anderson was ruled out with an ankle injury, removed Tom Latham in the first on of the day and then won the wicket prize of New Zealand captain Kane Williamson during a return of two for 45 at 17 overs.
Mitchell, however, stood firm after scoring with New Zealand wobbling at 83 for four following Williamson’s decision to lead first after defeating bibo under the blue sky and on a good pitch.
He also received good support from Tom Blundell (45 not out) in the unbeaten stand of 102 – their third year partnership of this series.
England are looking to win three-thirds under their new duo leader Ben Stokes and Test coach Brendon McCullum, a former New Zealand hero.
They may have been without Anderson, the wicket-tested manager of their entire season, but Broad also dropped Latham for the sixth ball duck after hitting directly to Joe Root in the first slip.
Will Young and Williamson, returning to action after missing the Second Test at Nottingham with a coronavirus infection, repaired some of the damage after coming together in no one.
Williamson, on the ground where he played for Yorkshire, drove Broad for four and Young cut a border off Jamie Overton, with the debutant Surrey quickly wanting to twin Craig’s brother as replacements for Anderson.
Spin, however, ended a promising partnership, when left-back Jack Leach struck with his first ball, turning and direct a delivery to open Young lbw for 20.
Broad then removed Williamson, who the 31-year-old had a five-point lead, when the batsman starred his best foot against wicketkeeper Ben Foakes as the ship took his 548th test wicket.
Williamson, in a rare emotional expression, took his hand in disgust.
Overton, presented with his England hat early in the day by his twin, entered on the action after lunch with his first Test wicket.
Devon Conway played for 26, trying to drive a long Overton ball, to leave New Zealand in trouble at 83 for four.
Henry Nicholls wrestled 19 kills 99 balls when he fell in a fashion accident on a tea tree.
Nicholls drove forcefully at Leach only for the ball to avoid a non-attacking Mitchell bat and loop gently to Alex Lees in mid-off.
Mitchell may have been out for eight, however, but England, in one of the many poor review options, decided against challenging Matthew Potts written lbw appeal, with replays confirming the batsman would be out.
Mitchell celebrated that escape by taking Leach for six straight and continuing to make fifty kills in exactly 100 balls.
England thought they had Blundell behind off part-time spinner Root for 31, but the batsman’s review showed no contact with the ball.
There was more frustration for England when, after a short rainy season, Overton believed he had Mitchell take the bottom leg by Foakes for 60, only for England’s review to prove the batsman had lost the ball.
England brought in new football as soon as they could, with New Zealand 203 for five off 80, but unable to control another improvement.
The topics mentioned in this article