New Zealand v England – the story of day two

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Stuart Broad earned England a tenuous advantage in a fluctuating second Test despite New Zealand’s fightback in Christchurch.

Broad (four for 38) and James Anderson put the home reply to 307 all out in big trouble on 36 for five early on the second afternoon, only for Colin de Grandhomme (72) and BJ Watling (77no) to reprise the resistance led 24 hours earlier by England’s centurion Jonny Bairstow.

Their record stand of 142 helped New Zealand to 192 for six by stumps – and whatever the remaining twists and turns, they had already ensured no one-way traffic here as they bid for a famous series win and England try to avoid ending their conspicuously unsuccessful winter on another low note.

Is Broad back?

Before the first Test, and his 400th wicket in Auckland, Stuart Broad insisted – even as plans appeared to be afoot to relieve him of the new ball – that he is still well capable of the devastating, game-changing bursts which were for so long his trademark. He was about to ‘do some damage’, and confident his ‘time was coming’ again after a month of hard work in the Trent Bridge indoor nets, following the Ashes. There was much in his new-ball spell here that suggested it was not all just hot air.

Tweet of the day

“I think that’s the outest looking not out LBW I’ve ever seen” – New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neasham shows no partiality over Kiwi captain Kane Williamson’s DRS escape when he had nine runs out of his team’s 15 for two. It must have been a relief to England that the close call did not cost them dear, especially considering the home fightback which turned out to be on its way.


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BJ Watling will return for day three on 77 (Mike Egerton/PA)

BJ Watling will return for day three on 77 (Mike Egerton/PA)[/caption]

Watling had to show significant resolve to recover his composure after being struck on the helmet by a fearsome Mark Wood from round the wicket. New Zealand’s determined wicketkeeper-batsman parted company with his stemguard, and had to have a mandatory change of helmet. But having made just 10 at the time, he proved he takes some shifting as he continued his crucial stand with De Grandhomme.

Stat of the day

173 – De Grandhomme and Bairstow have done the number seven position proud, with their aggregate score as each in turn dug his team out of big trouble.

What next?

A fluctuating contest looks set to continue as England seek to end their miserable winter on a victorious, series-squaring note.

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