Mitchell and Blundell produce Trent Bridge mastery before Pope leads England reply

By Sports Desk June 11, 2022

Daryl Mitchell fell just shy of a double hundred and Tom Blundell scored a century as New Zealand left England with an uphill battle in the second Test.

The tourists resumed day one on 318-4 with Mitchell closing in on a century, and he went well beyond that mark to post 190, the third-highest Test score by a New Zealand player in England.

He was joined on three figures by Blundell, who reached 106 before falling to Jack Leach as England toiled.

Matthew Potts finally brought an end to Mitchell's remarkable stay at the crease as New Zealand were bowled out for 553, their highest Test score in England. The hosts lost Zak Crawley (four) early in their reply before Alex Lees (34 not out) and Ollie Pope (51 no) guided them to stumps on 90-1, trailing by 463.

Mitchell treated the Trent Bridge crowd to one of the great New Zealand Test knocks, though the shot that brought his 184-ball hundred was not one to remember as he edged Potts for four.

Potts then dropped Mitchell on 104 at long-on, allowing a regulation catch to go to the boundary. Mitchell and Blundell continued to punish England following that missed opportunity, the latter reaching his century in 191 balls.

Their stand of 236 marked New Zealand's highest fifth-wicket partnership in Tests and was eventually ended when Leach removed Blundell, though the same bowler was on the receiving end of a barrage from Mitchell after lunch.

Michael Bracewell (49) took over the supporting role, but the wickets tumbled after he fell to James Anderson, with Mitchell receiving acclaim from England players and fans upon his exit.

Crawley went to a superb Trent Boult delivery in the second over of the reply, before Mitchell committed a pair of drops at first slip, the first a simple catch that would have dismissed Lees and the second handing a reprieve to Pope, who reached a fluid 66-ball half-century with a cut through backward point.

Mitchell masters with the bat... but fumbles in the field

Mitchell spent 477 minutes at the crease, hitting 23 fours and four sixes, but he may have been thinking more about his sub-par efforts in the slips as the teams left the field. New Zealand will hope his drops do not facilitate England denying them victory.

Crawley crumbles again

Crawley could not do much about a peach of a delivery from Boult. However, he continues to struggle opening the batting in 2022. It is now six single-figure scores in his past nine Test innings.

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