England’s bowlers made to toil by New Zealand but Ollie Robinson makes breakthrough


England checked New Zealand’s progress as Ollie Robinson took his first two wickets in Test cricket as James Anderson removed the dangerous Kane Williamson.

It left the first Test at Lord’s tantalisingly poised as the tourists reached tea on 144 for three with debutant opener Devon Conway continuing to impress on an unbeaten 71.

New Zealand had made serene progress in the morning session, losing just the wicket of Tom Latham bowled by Robinson, but they were rocked in the first over after lunch. 

James Anderson celebrates taking the prize wicket of Kane Williamson at Lord's

James Anderson celebrates taking the prize wicket of Kane Williamson at Lord’s 

There was more delight for England debutant Ollie Robinson as he dismissed Ross Taylor

There was more delight for England debutant Ollie Robinson as he dismissed Ross Taylor

There was more delight for England debutant Ollie Robinson as he dismissed Ross Taylor

Debutant Ollie Robinson celebrates his first wicket in Test cricket as England broke through

Debutant Ollie Robinson celebrates his first wicket in Test cricket as England broke through

Debutant Ollie Robinson celebrates his first wicket in Test cricket as England broke through

Williamson, on 13, seemed to be late onto Anderson’s back of a length delivery, stepped back and could only deflect the ball onto the stumps with the inside edge.

It was the seventh time Anderson has dismissed the New Zealand captain in Test cricket and it offered England a timely boost.

Robinson had already impressed on his first appearance in England’s attack and when Latham pushed forward with leaden feet, he saw a hefty inside edge clatter his stumps.

And that breakthrough for the 27-year-old Sussex man was followed by another big moment when he dismissed Ross Taylor lbw for 14.

Robinson’s delivery was the ideal length and beat the inside edge to impact Taylor’s pads in line with middle stump. 

Anderson (left) celebrates with Zak Crawley and James Bracey after taking his wicket

Anderson (left) celebrates with Zak Crawley and James Bracey after taking his wicket

Anderson (left) celebrates with Zak Crawley and James Bracey after taking his wicket

Williamson was hoping to improve his previous returns at Lord's but was bowled for 13

Williamson was hoping to improve his previous returns at Lord's but was bowled for 13

Williamson was hoping to improve his previous returns at Lord’s but was bowled for 13

New Zealand put on 58 for the first wicket before Tom Latham chopped on to his stumps

New Zealand put on 58 for the first wicket before Tom Latham chopped on to his stumps

New Zealand put on 58 for the first wicket before Tom Latham chopped on to his stumps

Robinson will hope Latham is the first of many wickets as he is congratulated by team-mates

Robinson will hope Latham is the first of many wickets as he is congratulated by team-mates

Robinson will hope Latham is the first of many wickets as he is congratulated by team-mates

Opener Latham can only watch in dismay after a hefty inside edge splattered his stumps

Opener Latham can only watch in dismay after a hefty inside edge splattered his stumps

Opener Latham can only watch in dismay after a hefty inside edge splattered his stumps

Stuart Broad reacts to a close shave as New Zealand made a strong start to the opening Test

Stuart Broad reacts to a close shave as New Zealand made a strong start to the opening Test

Stuart Broad reacts to a close shave as New Zealand made a strong start to the opening Test

England were made to toil as New Zealand's openers Tom Latham and Devon Conway scored freely during the morning session

England were made to toil as New Zealand's openers Tom Latham and Devon Conway scored freely during the morning session

England were made to toil as New Zealand’s openers Tom Latham and Devon Conway scored freely during the morning session

It was left to Henry Nicholls to steady New Zealand alongside Conway, who looked right at home in the Test arena from the outset.

The tourists coasted along at almost four an over for the opening hour as James Anderson and Stuart Broad struggled to get much beyond a hint of movement from the surface.

Anderson is playing his 161st test match and the seamer equalled former captain Alastair Cook’s record for most England caps. 

Latham and Conway duly put on the first 50-run opening stand against England in England since August 2018. 

A shot by Tom Latham evades the dive of Zak Crawley in the slip cordon on the opening day

A shot by Tom Latham evades the dive of Zak Crawley in the slip cordon on the opening day

A shot by Tom Latham evades the dive of Zak Crawley in the slip cordon on the opening day

In a sign of debut nerves, Robinson overstepped his mark with his first delivery but was soon causing problems and made a much-needed breakthrough in the 16th over.

With Williamson showing no initial signs of his previous wobbles at the Home of Cricket, New Zealand could be highly satisfied at lunch at the start of a two-Test series.  

South Africa-born Conway had to wait until the start of the fourth over for his first delivery as Latham farmed the strike following the teams’ ‘Moment of Unity’ before play started.

Conway looked supreme on the front foot, driving Broad then Anderson authoritatively through the covers after they had over-pitched as England’s veteran seamers toiled away on a pitch that was offering little sideways movement. 

Robinson came in for his first bowl in the 10th over, overstepping with his first ball, but settled into a metronomic routine thereafter, and it was the Sussex seamer who came to the fore shortly after drinks.

He had cast doubt in Latham’s mind from the previous delivery, beating him on the outside, and the left-hander then got neither forward nor back as he hung out his bat, the ball taking an inside edge before hitting the stumps.

Latham’s downfall for 23 was followed by Wood’s introduction into the attack, with the quick hitting mid-90mph speeds in his first over, drawing gasps from those in attendance. 

James Anderson reacts as England's all-seam attack struggled to make inroads on day one

James Anderson reacts as England's all-seam attack struggled to make inroads on day one

James Anderson reacts as England’s all-seam attack struggled to make inroads on day one

Anderson and the England slip cordon appeal unsuccessfully for the wicket of Tom Latham

Anderson and the England slip cordon appeal unsuccessfully for the wicket of Tom Latham

Anderson and the England slip cordon appeal unsuccessfully for the wicket of Tom Latham 

England captain Joe Root converses with James Anderson, Ollie Robinson and Stuart Broad

England captain Joe Root converses with James Anderson, Ollie Robinson and Stuart Broad

England captain Joe Root converses with James Anderson, Ollie Robinson and Stuart Broad

The Durham quick operated in the mid-90mph range and twice struck Conway before lunch, after which England were gifted their second wicket when Kane Williamson chopped Anderson on to his stumps to depart for 13.

Williamson has now been snared seven times by Anderson in Test cricket – the most success any bowler has had against the New Zealander – with the Lancastrian making inroads as he became England’s joint most capped player.

Anderson and Broad offered no freebies after the resumption, meaning Conway, who went to lunch on 43 off 62 balls, had to wait a further 29 deliveries to reach his maiden fifty – another front foot drive for his sixth four.

Robinson was brought back into the attack and he made further inroads, rapping Taylor just below the knee roll. Taylor, playing across the line, did not bother to review the lbw verdict and departed for a sketchy 14.

England captain Joe Root brought himself on to bowl five overs of his part-time spin before tea but the hosts were unable to make a further breakthrough.

The opening day of the Test match summer saw 6,500 spectators watching on inside Lord's

The opening day of the Test match summer saw 6,500 spectators watching on inside Lord's

The opening day of the Test match summer saw 6,500 spectators watching on inside Lord’s 

Lord's capacity has been capped at 25 per cent for the five days of the New Zealand Test

Lord's capacity has been capped at 25 per cent for the five days of the New Zealand Test

Lord’s capacity has been capped at 25 per cent for the five days of the New Zealand Test

Those fortunate enough to secure a ticket had to observe social distancing in the stands

Those fortunate enough to secure a ticket had to observe social distancing in the stands

Those fortunate enough to secure a ticket had to observe social distancing in the stands

James Bracey is making his test debut for England after he made the cut when wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes was ruled out of the two-test series after tearing his left hamstring. 

The 6,500 spectators inside Lord’s were a welcome sight after the 2020 summer season was hallmarked by empty stands and bio-secure bubbles.

Capacity has been capped at 25 per cent for each of the five days to take account of social distancing requirements but not every ticket was sold on the opening day after some MCC members returned theirs.

All tickets for days two, three and four of the Test have, however, been sold.  

The two teams lined up pre-match in a stand against all forms of discrimination in cricket

The two teams lined up pre-match in a stand against all forms of discrimination in cricket

The two teams lined up pre-match in a stand against all forms of discrimination in cricket 

The family of Captain Sir Tom Moore; Colin, Hannah, Benjie and Georgia Ingram-Moore ring the five-minute bell on the Lord's outfield

The family of Captain Sir Tom Moore; Colin, Hannah, Benjie and Georgia Ingram-Moore ring the five-minute bell on the Lord's outfield

The family of Captain Sir Tom Moore; Colin, Hannah, Benjie and Georgia Ingram-Moore ring the five-minute bell on the Lord’s outfield 



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