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Daryl Mitchell posts 190 as NZ score 553 in 2nd Test

England openers play safe in reply to New Zealand mammoth total

Trent Bridge: Ollie Pope and Alex Lees on Saturday gave England a steady start, taking them to 90/1 at the end of Day 2 of the second Test here, after New Zealand posted 553, riding high on Daryl Mitchell’s fantastic 190.
England bowlers have found themselves struggling against Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell, when they bat in pairs.
In both the Tests so far, they have proved to be a stumbling block for the hosts when they gained an advantage over them.
Resuming their overnight scores of 81 and 67, Mitchell and Blundell frustrated the English bowlers. Boundaries flowed from their bats as Mitchell reached to his second century in as many matches and New Zealand steamed past 350.
A few overs later, Blundell raced past 1000 Test runs as well as his third Test hundred.
Soon, Mitchell cut loose and sent England attack to the cleaners, taking their partnership past 200.
Jack Leach gave some relief to England as Blundell miscued the ball to mid-on dancing down the pitch. This was Leach’s first wicket at home in exactly 1000 days, his last one came against Australia in the 2019 Ashes in September 2019.
That was the lone positive for England in the first session where New Zealand added 94 runs and strengthened their hold on the game.
Post-lunch too New Zealand dominated the proceedings with the first two overs of the second session fetching 26 runs.
Michael Bracewell looked to attack from the get-go while Mitchell was smashing big ones with ease against Leach. In no time, he reached 150 – a milestone he had never achieved before in Test cricket.
In the first 13.2 overs of the session, New Zealand added 69 more runs, going at more than five runs an over. Just as they threatened to take the game away completely, the rain break came at a perfect time for England, forcing players off the ground in a hurry for an early tea.
Upon their return, the two batters took their time to get their eyes in and showed very little aggression. Bracewell was just a run away from his fifty on Test debut when James Anderson struck to break the partnership for 91.
Mitchell kept losing partners as he edged closer to a double ton. Despite Trent Boult’s resistance at No.11, Mitchell was the last man out when Matthew Potts got his wicket for 190. New Zealand ended up posting a mammoth 553, their highest total on English soil.
It did not take New Zealand long to affect a breakthrough as Boult struck in the second over to send back Crawley for 4.
With the hosts 6/1, New Zealand had a good chance to drive home their advantage but failed to take control.
Alex Lees was dropped on 12 by Mitchell at first slip and took full advantage of it by playing some brilliant shots. His partner Ollie Pope too continued undisturbed, even striking Matt Henry for 16 runs in one over.
Another chance went begging when neither the keeper nor the first slip fielder reacted to an edge from Pope, which raced away to the boundary.
Pope soon brought up a fantastic fifty as the second-wicket partnership extended to 84 with England ending the day on 90/1, trailing by 463 runs. (UNI)

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