The first Test between England and New Zealand is all heated up despite rain delaying a major part of Day three’s play. After finishing their first innings on 378, the Kiwi bowlers troubled most England batsmen. But England captain Joe Root and his opener Rory Burns in particular had answers to all the questions that the Kiwi bowlers threw at him. He even went out of his normal playing style and slog-swept New Zealand workhorse Neil Wagner for a massive six.
The only positive for the host nation in the second innings was the form that their opener Rory Burns showed. He was struggling for form lately and this fine innings from him will come in as a huge confidence booster for him and the whole England side. He batted right throughout the innings starting from ball one. Opening the innings for his team, he scored 132 runs from 297 balls and was the last wicket to fall amongst the 10 English wickets that fell in the span of two days. He fell just one run short of his highest Test score of 133*.
The most fascinating moment of his innings came in the 100th over of the match. During the fourth ball of that over, Rory Burns, who is a traditional Test batsman shuffled down the pitch and slog-swept Neil Wagner for a massive six over the mid-wicket region in perfect T-20 fashion. As it turns out it was the first six that he hit in his entire Test career.
Experienced Kiwi seamer Tim Southee was all over the English batsmen on Day 3. He bowled 25 overs in total and was economical throughout the entire innings giving away just 43 runs. In the process, he picked up 6 wickets and took the game completely away from the home team. This performance has made his case stronger for a place in the side for the WTC final against India on June 18th. He is the front runner for the fourth seamer spot in the New Zealand bowling attack against the likes of Dough Bracewell etc.
Apart from Southee, Kyle Jamieson picked up 3 wickets and Wagner picked up 1. Both teams lost a majority of Day three’s play due to rain and hence the match is approaching a draw.