Rain frustrates England and NZ as third day washed out


LONDON  – England and New Zealand were left kicking their heels in the Lord’s Pavilion after rain prevented any play on Friday’s third day of the first test. 

The pitch and square remained fully covered all day and the umpires, following an inspection carried out while rain was still falling, announced at 5.31pm CAT (SA, GMT+2) that there was no prospect of play before the cut-off time for a re-start of 7pm. Play is set to resume at noon on Saturday, with 98 overs – as opposed to the standard 90 – scheduled to be bowled in a bid to help compensate for Friday’s lack of action. 

The match is intriguingly poised, with England 111 for two in reply to New Zealand’s first-innings 378 that featured debutant Devon Conway’s 200 – the highest score by a batsman making his test bow in England. England, 267 runs behind, slumped to 18 for two before ending the second day with Rory Burns 59 not out and England captain Joe Root 42 not out following an unbroken stand of 93. 

New Zealand looked like batting England out of the game while South Africa-born opener Conway and fellow left-hander Henry Nicholls (61) were sharing a fourth-wicket partnership of 174. But they lost four wickets for just six runs as they slumped from 288 for three to 294 for seven, with Mark Wood, the fastest member of England’s pace quartet, instigating a collapse. 

Meanwhile, test debutant paceman Ollie Robinson led England’s attack with 4-75 in the first of this two-test series. This match at Lord’s, the northwest London headquarters of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), marks the return of spectators to international cricket in England after last season’s fixtures were all played behind closed doors because of coronavirus restrictions. 

BRIEF SCORES 

NEW ZEALAND 314/7 (D Conway 200, H Nicholls 61, O Robinson 4/75, M. Wood 3/81) against ENGLAND 111/2 (Rory Burns 59*, Joe Root 42*).  





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