Record-breaking Broad puts England within sight of beating New Zealand

By Sports Desk February 18, 2023

Stuart Broad's devastating bowling put England within sight of victory in the first Test against New Zealand as he snatched a wickets record from Australia greats Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath.

Set 394 for victory after England posted 374 in their second innings, New Zealand crumbled to 28-5 at one stage before adding 35 runs without further losses by the close.

In the first innings of this contest at Mount Maunganui's Bay Oval, Broad and James Anderson matched Warne and McGrath as the most successful bowling partnership in Test history, with 1,001 wickets between them when playing together.

Broad ensured the England pair would hold that record outright when he bowled four of New Zealand's top order second time around, removing Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson and Tom Blundell.

Blundell made a brilliant 138 in the first innings as New Zealand recovered from 83-5 to reach 306 all out, but he could only manage a single in his second knock of the match before Broad sent the pink ball clattering into his middle stump.

England resumed on 79-2 on Saturday, having lost Ben Duckett and Zak Crawley the previous evening, and nightwatchman Broad soon departed, but Ollie Pope lofted Neil Wagner for two sixes in an over as the tourists' 'Bazball' attacking approach resumed.

Wagner later dismissed Pope for a quickfire 49, but the same bowler continued to come in for the heavy treatment as England's assault continued.

Former captain Joe Root top-scored with 57 before he was caught out when reverse-sweeping. Harry Brook made 54 from just 41 balls, and Ben Foakes weighed in with 51, while skipper Ben Stokes (31) and Ollie Robinson (39) kept the runs flowing.

With New Zealand set a daunting target, Broad made it looked all the more distant when he got to work, bowling Conway in the fourth over to break the Warne-McGrath record.

Bowling to a superb length and with a touch of movement, Broad clattered the stumps of Williamson and Latham in his next two overs, then repeated the trip to dismiss Blundell. Robinson sent Henry Nicholls on his way amid the Broad masterclass, with England having this match in their grasp.

Broad at his best

Broad ended the day with 4-21, taking him to 571 wickets in his 160th Test. He has two six-wicket hauls in New Zealand from past series in 2013 and 2018, and his best bowling figures against the Black Caps remain the 7-44 he took at Lord's, also in 2013. Those hauls could come under threat on Sunday. He and Anderson took their first Test wickets as a pairing on a trip to New Zealand 15 years ago, and they remain the doyens of this England attack. 

England on the front foot thanks to nifty fifties

England's second innings was notable for its lack of an outstanding contribution. Collectively, the score was verging on being ideal, leaving New Zealand with a big run chase. But it was unusual for a team to score so heavily as a unit and Root's 57 to be unsurpassed. Given eight of the team made 25 or more, the absence of a statement individual innings hardly mattered in the end.

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