LEEDS: Paceman Jamie Overton marked his England debut with a scalp while Jack Leach took a freak wicket just before tea as New Zealand slumped to 123 for five on the first day – Thursday – of the third and final Test here.
Stuart Broad bagged two wickets in the first session and left-arm spinner Leach struck with his first delivery to leave New Zealand, which won the toss, struggling at 65 for three at lunch. Devon Conway began to look dangerous upon resumption of play, but was bowled by Overton for 26, the ball clattering into his stumps off an inside edge.
The New Zealand combination of Henry Nicholls and Daryl Mitchell (25 not out) loosened England’s grip until the former fell in extraordinarily unlucky fashion for 19. Leach floated one up and Nicholls advanced to middle a drive that hit the bat of his partner Mitchell. The ball ricocheted to the aler Alex Lees at mid-off.
Nicholls, who had shown great resilience during his 99-ball innings, walked off scratching his head while Leach looked equally bemused. New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, back after missing the second Test because of COVID-19, had won the toss and elected to bat first on a flattish pitch, but England had seized the initiative.
Broad removed Tom Latham (0) with the final ball of the first over, extracting enough movement off the pitch to have the opener edge to Joe Root at second slip. New Zealand recovered from the early setback but Will Young, having reached 20, fell in Leach’s first ball of the day in the 13th over of the match.
Williamson and Conway looked fluent, however, as New Zealand attempted to take the contest to England. Broad, though, made sure the opening session belonged to the host when he returned to dismiss Williamson for 31.
BRIEF SCORES (AT TEA): New Zealand (1st innings) 123/5 in 55.2 overs vs England
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