Mon, May 19, 2008 - Page 20 News List

Black Caps fight back in first Test match at Lord's

AFP , LONDON

New Zealand took their first wickets in the first Test at Lord's, including the prize scalp of big-hitter Kevin Pietersen, as they fought back well against England yesterday.

England, who had been 148 for one, were 160 for three at lunch on the fourth day, still 117 runs behind New Zealand’s first innings score of 277. They had been making serene progress while left-handers Andrew Strauss (63) and Alastair Cook (61) compiled their first century stand in 23 Test innings as an opening partnership.

But they were both dismissed when well set.

Then New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori had Pietersen leg before wicket for just three runs when the batsman played down the wrong line against the left-arm spinner.

England captain Michael Vaughan was 12 not out and Ian Bell six not out.

An opening stand worth 121 ended when Chris Martin, bowling from around the wicket, squared up Cook and wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum held the outside edge.

Martin bowled intelligently during the session and deserved his figures of one for 20 in eight overs.

Cook batted for just over three hours, facing 109 balls with seven fours. Strauss and Cook’s previous Test-best as a first-wicket pair was the 95 they shared against India in Nagpur in 2005-2006.

They had been reunited at the top of the order following Vaughan’s decision to swap with Strauss at No 3 after he had only averaged a little more than 20 during England’s 2-1 series win in New Zealand in March.

Strauss then completed a 151-ball fifty with six fours.

But pace bowling all-rounder Jacob Oram had Strauss, who made a century on his Test debut against New Zealand at Lord’s four years ago, lbw for 63, to a ball that just pitched on the stumps and would have hit off.

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