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Recent Match Report – New Zealand vs England 1st Test 2021

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All the updates, news and stats from day two of the first Test at Lord’s

Welcome to day one of our live report of the first Test between England and New Zealand from Lord’s. Join us for updates, analysis and colour. You can find our traditional ball-by-ball commentary here.

*Most recent entry will appear at the top, please refresh your page for the latest updates. All times are local

11.15am: Fifty for Nicholls

A crisp punch down the ground off Broad, the ball rolling gently up the slope towards the pavilion, takes Nicholls to a compact half-century. He has played his part to perfection so far, continuing a run of fine form that began with a career-best 174 versus West Indies in December.

Conway, meanwhile, has pinged a couple of sumptuous drives through the covers off Anderson, and is closing in on the highest score by a Test debutant in England – only WG and Ranji above him, as things stand.

NZ straight back up to cruising speed this morning.

11.05am: You Have to Answer

4:19

Henry Nicholls: Kohli or Babar's cover drive?

Henry Nicholls: Kohli or Babar’s cover drive?

Conway has survived a maiden from James Anderson, starting from the Nursery End again this morning. Stuart Broad is back in harness, too. Henry Nicholls, meanwhile, resumes in sight of a half-century – both of England’s senior seamers will be hoping to ask questions of him, though nothing so fiendish as “Kohli or Babar”, you’d imagine.

10.55am: Back to Plan A… ¯_(ツ)_/¯

England’s Mark Wood, one of those fast bowlers who’s got to strap on the spikes again today, has been speaking before play about the experience of bowling to Devon Conway – the two had a decent scrap, with Wood upping the pace and hitting Conway a couple of times, only for the batter to come through unscathed.

“He played some amazing shots, to play the way he did on debut was outstanding. Was a thorn in my side all day, I never felt we were on top of him. Hopefully he’s a little bit tired today, or more tired than we are and we can get him early on. We’ve got plans in the dressing room, as we do for every batsman, Plan A, Plan B. But unfortunately Plan A, B, C, D and E didn’t quite work yesterday, so maybe start on Plan A again and see if that works.”

Wood admitted it was “a tough day overall”, but said England would be aiming to control the scoring and continue to chip away. Of his own bowling, which saw the speed gun up at 96mph, he suggested that the number in the wickets column was more important.

“If we can get a couple of quick wickets this morning, the whole complexion of the match changes – they could easily have been 300-320 [yesterday] with Lord’s being fast-scoring. It was very difficult [to find] the [right] length on this wicket. At Lord’s we’ve talked about being fuller and trying to hit the knee roll, but actually the fuller length seemed to bring Conway [into it], some of his drives were beautiful. So this morning, drag that length back, still hitting the top of the stumps, I think that’ll be key.

“When it’s clicking you certainly feel it – but I’d rather bowl slower and get five wickets. The key today is not how quickly I bowl but how well I bowl, can I get some wickets and get us back in the game. I’m giving it everything I’ve got, as the speed gun suggests. If I keep giving it my all, hopefully I’ll get the rewards today.

10.35am: Conway Part Deux

1:02

Devon Conway: It'll take a few days for debut ton to sink in

Devon Conway: It’ll take a few days for debut ton to sink in

Hello, and good morning. Hope you bounced out of bed like a man sitting on 136 not out overnight… rather than a fast bowler who’s shortly got to pull their boots on and go again. If a certain Danish brewer made Test debuts, they’d still have had to pull out all the stops for Devon Conway. A century in whites for the Black Caps, almost four years after setting off on the road from Gauteng to Wellington – Conway admitted last night it was more than he could ever had dreamed of. But his fun’s not over yet, and England’s footsore seamers are going to have to have another crack, with New Zealand already well placed and looking for a first-innings position from which they can dictate the game.

Alan Gardner is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick



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PSL 2021 – Hasan Ali’s personal matter resolved, available for rest of Pakistan Super League 2021

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He will not have to quarantine since he didn’t leave the PSL bubble

Islamabad United have received a boost in their challenge for the PSL title this season with the news that fast bowler Hasan Ali will, after all, be available for the rest of their campaign. Ali was due to fly back on Sunday evening to attend to a personal family situation in Pakistan but decided against it after the matter was resolved.

“I was going through a personal family issue, which has been resolved thanks to my wonderful wife,” Ali said in a statement. “She assured me she will take care of it and wants me to concentrate on my cricket and my career. Hats off to such a wonderful partner. She has always stood by me through the hardest times and after consulting with her, I have decided to stay on with Islamabad United for the remainder of the PSL 6.”

Two-time winners United moved to the top of the table on Sunday evening after a convincing, come-from-behind win over Lahore Qalandars. United were 20 for 5 at one point before recovering to 152 for 7, thanks to 75 from Asif Ali and 49 from Iftikhar Ahmed. Their bowlers then blew apart Qalandars as Musa Khan, Shadab Khan and Fawad Ahmed induced a collapse from 86 for 2 to 100 for 9.
Despite missing a game, Ali is United’s top wicket-taker this season – and fifth in the league – with 10 wickets. His PSL returns have been in line with his performances since he returned to cricket this season after a series of injuries derailed his career. He was the highest wicket-taker in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy where he also led Central Punjab to the final (which ended in a historic tie). He then took a ten-wicket haul against South Africa in his second Test back and has since picked up wickets in all formats on Pakistan’s tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Since Ali didn’t leave the bubble, he will not need to re-enter and undergo quarantine. United are scheduled to face defending champions Karachi Kings on Monday.



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Ongoing Zimbabwe A-South Africa A four-day match suspended as Covid-19 cases rise

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Zimbabwean government instructs an end to all sporting activities; ZC appealing for match to be completed

The ongoing unofficial Test match between Zimbabwe A and South Africa A in Harare has been suspended, after a directive from the Zimbabwean government in light of rising Covid-19 cases, but Zimbabwe Cricket is appealing for the fixture to be completed. One day of the four has been completed, with the match scheduled to end on Wednesday. Zimbabwe’s Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) instructed an end to all sporting activities from Monday.

In response, Zimbabwe Cricket has agreed to put a stop to all cricket activities but will petition the government to allow the match to run to its conclusion in a biosecure environment and to permit the national men’s team to continue preparations for the tour of Ireland in August.

In a statement issued on Monday morning, ZC confirmed they have asked the SRC to consider their request to let some cricket activity continue.

“ZC has, however, lodged an urgent appeal to the Government, through the Sports and Recreation Commission, for permission to complete the ongoing four-day international match as well as to continue with preparations for other upcoming international tours that we had already committed to,” the statement read.

“As we make this request, the health and safety of our players, support staff and our communities remains our top priority.

“Having successfully hosted international and domestic tournaments at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic under the bio-secure environment – with the matches being played behind closed doors with no spectators allowed in the stadia and with all those directly involved undergoing several tests for the coronavirus and staying in secluded accommodation facilities – we believe we are well-equipped and experienced enough to safely resume with our cricket activities.”

Zimbabwe has fared relatively well in the pandemic with fewer than 40,000 cases in the country and deaths under 2,000. They have suffered a four-fold increase in case numbers over the last week and are under new restrictions to contain the spread of the virus, including a ban on all gatherings except funerals, which are limited to 30 people.

Neighbouring South Africa is also seeing a rise in Covid-19 case numbers and its National Institute for Communicable Diseases has declared the country to be in the third wave. Sporting activities are ongoing in South Africa, behind closed doors.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent



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Eng vs NZ, 2nd Test, 2021 Ajaz Patel

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‘Everyone backs everyone, it doesn’t matter which XI is playing’

On a high after their emphatic series win at Edgbaston on Sunday, New Zealand will now have plenty of selection headaches to deal with for the World Test Championship final against India starting June 18 in Southampton. With a combination of injuries and their decision to rest a few players, New Zealand made six changes to their playing XI for the second Test, and still showed enough depth in both batting and bowling to beat England by eight wickets.
If most or all of their injured players recover, New Zealand will have numerous options for only a few spots available. How are some of their players on the fringe of a permanent spot in the playing XI coping with that competition?
“I try not to put any pressure on myself,” spinner Ajaz Patel, one of the six inclusions for the second Test, said. “Faith is a big factor for me, which allows me to stay grounded and be comfortable with whatever is thrown at me. I make sure I’m still working hard, developing my game and continuing to grow so when the opportunity does come, I make the most of it.

“There is no added pressure, whenever I put the cap on, I look at it as a privilege. [I] try and have fun because that’s why we play cricket. It’s still reliving a childhood dream, representing New Zealand and putting that black baggy on. We take a lot of pride and privilege in that. Every time I get the opportunity, I try to put out there what I’ve been working on while I’ve been away. Sometimes you have to take a back seat, and sometimes you’re thrust in the front.”



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