England lost Jonathan Trott and Alastair Cook to successive balls just before lunch as New Zealand rallied on the second day of the second and final Test at Headingley in Leeds, England, yesterday.
The hosts had recovered from the early dismissal of Nick Compton, with Cook and Trott sharing a half-century stand, before both fell late in the session to leave England 67-3 after the first day was lost to rain.
Trott (28) edged behind to wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum off Neil Wagner and from the first ball of the next over, Cook (34) was caught at third slip by Dean Brownlie to give Doug Bracewell his first wicket.
On a sunny and warm morning, Tim Southee continued his good form from Lord’s, where he took 10 wickets in a losing cause, by removing Compton for 1 in the fourth over.
Compton drove at a fullish ball that swung away late and edged head-high to Brownlie.
The opener, a late-comer to the Test arena last year at the age of 29, has scored just 47 runs in five Test innings since making centuries in the first two Tests of the drawn series in New Zealand in March.
With Kevin Pietersen’s imminent return from injury, Compton faces further questions over his technique and has come under pressure for his place ahead of the Ashes series with Australia that starts in July.
Cook looked in good touch early on with a well-timed push to the mid-off boundary off Southee, before adopting a patient approach, going 29 balls without scoring.
He emerged from his shell to strike Bracewell for successive boundaries and then in the same over he survived a leg-before appeal on review, the ball missing off-stump.
Cook and Trott shared a stand of 56, before Trott played a loose drive at a wide delivery from left-armer Wagner. Cook then poked at a fullish ball from Bracewell and Brownlie again took a comfortable catch.
England, who won the toss, named an unchanged team, while New Zealand selected Martin Guptill and Bracewell in place of injured duo B.J. Watling and Bruce Martin.