- England v New Zealand: second Test, day two – live!
Second Test over-by-over updates on the second day at Headingley Alastair Cook becomes England’s leading Test run-scorer Email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @DanLucas86 2.33pm BST 33rd over: England 87-0 (Lyth 47, Cook 38) A double change, in fact, as Mark Craig comes on. I liked what I saw from Craig in the first Test – yes he got a bit of a pummelling, and no his First Class and Test averages are pretty ordinary, but there’s something pleasing about his slow, floaty action that suggests there’s something to work with. Lyth leaves the last ball, a straight one that passes about six inches past off stump. 2.31pm BST 32nd over: England 87-0 (Lyth 47, Cook 38) Speak of the devil; here’s a bowling change, with Matt Henry coming back into the attack with figures of 5-1-16-0 from his first spell. He was probably the pick of the bowlers in the morning session and the early signs are the same here, if only because he looks to have a bit of extra pace that might trouble the batsmen. A bouncer gets called a wide, but then a couple of balls later, after Lyth nudges into the on side for one, a good, full one beats Cook’s attempted straight drive. The batsman just went down the wrong line there. Oh also, re. the last over, congratulations, Ally. 2.27pm BST 31st over: England 85-0 (Lyth 46, Cook 38) Still no bowling change, but Southee beats Lyth with a neat off cutter. Not much else happens in the over. “It’s always a struggle to keep up with the cricket score during a marriage service,” writes Susan Perry. Fortunately fellow OBO-fan Ally Maughan has taken care of this at her wedding....” 2.24pm BST 30th over: England 85-0 (Lyth 46, Cook 38) This is all just a little bit easy now for England: a half tracker, sent down in glorious sunshine, is cut right out the middle of the bat, in front of point for four. Cap'n Cook was from the village of Great Ayton I believe @DanLucas86 2.22pm BST 29th over: England 81-0 (Lyth 46, Cook 34) After a bouncer is called a wide, Lyth stands tall to Boult and drives absolutely exquisitely. It’s worth six on aesthetics, but none in actual runs at it was straight at the fielder. He runs a single down to backward point a few balls later, before Cook keeps the strike with a flick to square leg for the same. 2.18pm BST 28th over: England 78-0 (Lyth 45, Cook 33) Like an episode of Mad Men, New Zealand opt to have a muted conversation instead of actually letting anything happen at the start of the over. Conference done, Southee comes in and, with a scrambled seam, wide delivery, beats Cook’s flashed cut shot. The next ball though is slightly fuller, wide still and Cook drives through cover point for four runs. That makes him England’s leading Test match run scorer, with 8,902, breaking Gooch’s 21-year-old record. He’s all right, I suppose. “Afternoon Dan,” writes Simon McMahon before the excitement of the Scottish Cup Final. “I’ve been to Whitby, even if Michael Holding hasn’t. Loved it. Remember lots of steps, fish and chips and a bridge that closed for boats. Also remember getting caught by the tide and having to scramble across some rocks in waist deep water with my young daughter on my shoulders. Not clever. Wasn’t Captain Cook from Whitby as well? Not Alistair - though whatever you think of his captaincy, leading English run scorer in Tests is a great achievement.” 2.12pm BST 27th over: England 74-0 (Lyth 45, Cook 29) Four more for Lyth, getting a thick inside edge on a straight one, turning it off his hips and down to long leg for four. It’s not been Boult’s day so far, but an excellent surprise bouncer has Lyth rocking back and nearly losing his balance. 2.08pm BST 26th over: England 70-0 (Lyth 41, Cook 29) Another one for Cook, whom we’ve barely seen this afternoon, pushed to cover where McCullum tumbles to his right to make a stop. The way McCullum seems to insist on diving and tumbling to stop every single thing in the field is a little reminiscent of Tim Allen in the second greatest movie of the 1990s, Galaxy Quest. Southee looks to change things up a bit, coming round the wicket to Lyth, and sends a big booming inswinger a long way down leg. Straighter next time, right on the ankles, and Lyth clips neatly through mid on for three more. Thus ends the round the wicket experiment from Southee. 2.03pm BST 25th over: England 66-0 (Lyth 38, Cook 28) Personally I think Trent Boult looks a bit like Ryan Reynolds. 2.00pm BST 24th over: England 66-0 (Lyth 38, Cook 28) Lyth goes back to a short one and cuts west, behind point. It was a bit too straight, perhaps, for the shot to be a comfortable one and as such he can’t quite get the timing needed to find the boundary. Three men give chase and three runs are scored. Cook then pulls for a single to move to within a boundary of taking the record for himself. Southee drops a touch short on leg stump and Lyth attempts to pull it round the corner; it takes the top edge, but lands safely at leg gully and they run one. @DanLucas86 Morning Dan! Enjoying the cricket here with a cheeky beer and your commentary. But re:13.26, surely you mean late-period ABBA?! 1.54pm BST 23rd over: England 61-0 (Lyth 34, Cook 27) The forecast tomorrow is apparently for heavy winds. How that suits England depends on today, really – if they’re only one or two down at the close then they’ll back themselves to see off the conditions, whereas if they’re about 250-5 it could be a real struggle. Maiden, with Cook barely having to lay bat on ball. 1.50pm BST 22nd over: England 61-0 (Lyth 34, Cook 27) Southee from the other end and Lyth pushes him nicely down to long on for a couple; McCullum chasing it down and reeling the ball back in to save two. Ooh and then an absolute cracker of an inswinger beats the inside edge, cuts the batsman in two and fizzes a couple of inches past off stump. Ronchi dives well to his right to make the stop low down after that moved a hell of a way. That’s a decent over from Southee, getting it to move both ways and getting good zip. 1.45pm BST 21st over: England 59-0 (Lyth 32, Cook 27) Lyth is on strike first up, facing Trent Boult. The Kiwi paceman will probably be a wee bit disappointed with how little swing he found this morning. The second ball is a touch wide, doesn’t swing and gets cut very nicely behind point to the boundary with wonderful timing by Lyth. A couple of balls later the bowler does find some nice shape away from the left-hander. “I ‘ate a leave,” says Botham, before Lyth works a straight one to deep fine leg for a single. 1.41pm BST Here we go. Can Ian Bell get the 1,550 runs he needs to become England’s all-time leading run-scorer? 1.30pm BST Adam Lyth a big chance here to become the new Nick Compton, Sam Robson or Michael Carberry. #ENGvNZ Ouch. He’s been a bit iffy so far this morning, but that’s to be expected. Making his debut in this series has been, as expected, a bit of a hospital pass. It’s exposed the decision not to play him in the West Indies as the foolishness we all suspected it might be. Still, he’s worth sticking with for the time being, much as I’d love to see Alex Hales open. 1.26pm BST Afternoon folks. Well that could have gone better, I guess, for England, but they won’t be too disappointed. The good news for the neutral is that this Test could still go either way, especially now that Niall has ensured that Alastair Cook will be out on the hook shortly after lunch for 30. New Zealand probably have 50 more than they should, but that’s nothing that tough, obdurate batting can’t deal with. And tough, obdurate batting is what England’s top three was made for. Play resumes in 15 minutes or so, which is plenty of time to listen to this ditty over and over again. Has there ever been as good a pop band as this incarnation? 1.21pm BST Play will resume at 1.40pm . My colleague Dan Lucas is here to guide you through the afternoon session. I’ll be back after tea, by which time Alastair Cook should be England’s all-time leading Test run scorer. Sorry for jinxing it, everyone. 1.12pm BST So, England in the end staying very much on the defensive – but after an unseemly struggle to dispose of the final New Zealand wickets, they will be content with how things stand. For Adam Lyth, on his home turf and desperate to make an impression, and for history-chasing Alastair Cook, keeping their wickets intact was imperative. They’ve done that, and despite outscoring their opponents by a solitary run in that session, they’ll be happy enough. “Surely Michael Holding, aka Whispering Death, has been to Whitby; it is the go-to northern town for goth types. Dracula and all” says Graeme Arthur. 1.04pm BST 20th over: England 54-0 (Lyth 27, Cook 27) The last over before lunch, and Mark Craig gets a chance to offer some spin, in a last, desperate attempt to dislodge one of these doughty openers. Cook and Lyth exchange tidy singles, and the captain is on strike, one big booming six from becoming England’s all-time leading Test run scorer. He bats it out. That’s lunch. 1.00pm BST 19th over: England 52-0 (Lyth 26, Cook 26) Adam Lyth is from Whitby. Bumble asks Michael Holding if he’s ever been to Whitby. Michael Holding has never been to Whitby. His loss. Lyth is looking more settled out there now, opening the face of the bat to send Southee for four, beyond third man. 12.57pm BST 18th over: England 42-0 (Lyth 21, Cook 25) Cook edging closer to Gooch’s record, with lunch fast approaching, taking three runs from Henry’s off-side delivery. Otherwise, another tight over from Henry, with Lyth forced to get the captain moving for a single to close the over. 12.53pm BST 17th over: England 42-0 (Lyth 20, Cook 22) Southee giving Lyth plenty to think about, the opener still not through that tricky settling-in period as a result. He’s nervous, and so nearly clips the ball to short midwicket – but he stays patient, and clips away a four, for his first runs in about twenty minutes. Here’s Simon McMahon on Bolt: “a fine film, made even better for having the wonderful Jenny Lewis on the soundtrack”. Fun fact about Bolt: for some reason, I have a DVD copy in my flat, but I’ve never watched it. Maybe tonight. 12.49pm BST 16th over: England 38-0 (Lyth 16, Cook 22) McCullum shifts his field, but he’s not helped by Henry, who sends down a couple of underwhelming short ones – the first is pulled through square leg by Cook for two, before the captain punishes Henry, hammering him in the same direction for four. Henry almost gets his man, finding an outside edge, but it falls short of gully. 12.45pm BST 15th over: England 32-0 (Lyth 16, Cook 16) Southee returns, and he sticks to the game plan, pitching full and outside off, hoping to find a bit of swing. Cook is having very little bother, leaving or defending as required – until, for some reason, he races after a quick single, and is almost caught out by McCullum! Well, that was unnecessary. Four straight overs with just a Cook single to show. England not exactly going for broke here. 12.40pm BST 14th over: England 31-0 (Lyth 16, Cook 15) Cook takes a single from a full Henry delivery, which means Lyth returns to the crease to face the man who’s given him the most trouble so far. Henry mixes up his length, chucking in a bouncer in the middle of several fuller balls. A bouncer sandwich, if you will. Glacial pace, but no wickets lost – in the first Test, England had lost four by this stage. 12.37pm BST 13th over: England 30-0 (Lyth 16, Cook 14) Personal battles developing out there, with Boult ready for another pop at Cook, who stays firmly on the defensive, taking just one with an outside edge to point. Cook now just three clattering sixes from surpassing Gooch’s record. Boult, who will get a rest after seven overs, has figures of 0-17; not bad, but he’ll be a touch frustrated. 12.33pm BST 12th over: England 29-0 (Lyth 16, Cook 13) Henry will get another crack at Lyth – but he’s up to the challenge, controlling a shorter ball for four behind point. Cat and mouse ensues, with Henry keeping Lyth guessing, and the batsmen, for his part, moving onto the front foot. That coaxes Henry into attempting the yorker, but Lyth (just about) keeps it at bay. 12.29pm BST 11th over: England 25-0 (Lyth 12, Cook 13) Cook’s conservatism forces Boult to offer up a straighter ball, which Cook clips serenely away for four. For a variety of reasons, the New Zealand attack will be keen to get shot of Cook – and Boult appeals heartily when the captain looks to have edged one. Replays show it caught his back leg – hence the lack of appeal from Ronchi behind the stumps. Two balls later, Boult’s at it again, calling for lbw – but it looks to be outside the line. Boult getting closer, though. 12.24pm BST 10th over: England 21-0 (Lyth 12, Cook 9) Here comes Matt Henry for his first spell. Lyth and Cook, both used to dealing with Southee’s swing, have a new challenge to puzzle out – and Henry looks dangerous, beating Lyth all ends up with a first ball that slides by outside off, and building from there. Lyth is lucky to avoid an outside edge from a fuller delivery, and suddenly looks shaky once again. A maiden, and an impressive one to boot. 12.20pm BST 9th over: England 21-0 (Lyth 12, Cook 9) Lyth picks up the habit of leaving things well alone down the off side, before snicking a single to deep square to keep the strike. That’s the sum total of the over. I can’t imagine either captain will be too deeply concerned by the opening exchanges in this innings. 12.16pm BST 8th over: England 20-0 (Lyth 11, Cook 9) Southee to Cook, and a maiden. You sense England won’t have it quite so easy for much longer, with both bowlers finding their range and doing their best to mix things up. Southee outfoxes Cook with a delivery that doesn’t swing back as expected, but it evades the edge. Otherwise, steady stuff from Cook. 12.15pm BST Laura Ashe has this: “Trent Boult looks like Bolt the Dog. This cannot be coincidence, surely?” Are you suggesting he is Bolt the Dog, Laura? I’ll let you decide – personally, he more readily brings to mind Jay from the Inbetweeners, particularly when grinning away at the crease. 12.11pm BST 7th over: England 20-0 (Lyth 11, Cook 9) McCullum has four slips, plus a gully, lined up, and Ronchi playing his first Test innings behind the stumps. Lyth has looked composed so far, biding his time with Boult searching for swing, before pushing daintily through the covers for four. Twenty from seven overs; New Zealand managed more than fifty. Diff’rent strokes, and all that. 12.07pm BST 6th over: England 16-0 (Lyth 7, Cook 9) Interesting over from Southee, starting with a filthy full toss that Cook should do better with. The captain is a pillar of patience so far, demonstrated by a couple of canny leaves before pouncing on a full delivery, driving through covers for four. Shot! McCullum chases it gamely, crashing over the rope and into an advertising hoarding at a decent lick. He seems to be OK. 12.03pm BST 5th over: England 11-0 (Lyth 7, Cook 5) Boult and Southee are both struggling for swing, making life easier for the openers. Just two singles off the over, as England try to see off the new ball. The crowd give a sleepy rendition of ‘God Save the Queen’. The day has lost a fair chunk of its earlier oomph. 11.58am BST 4th over: England 10-0 (Lyth 6, Cook 4) Lyth drives down the ground, beyond Southee’s half-hearted dive, but Brendon McCullum is on hand with a sterling piece of field work at mid-on. Just a single when it looked like a four all day long. Cook is back on strike, and Cook is leaving it, leaving it, leaving it. 11.55am BST 3rd over: England 9-0 (Lyth 5, Cook 4) I’d love to say Cook is swinging the willow at everything in sight, but that’s patently not the case. An over of leaving well alone from the England captain – if he’s going to overtake Gooch today, he’ll be doing it the old fashioned way. A maiden – the first of the day. 11.52am BST 2nd over: England 9-0 (Lyth 5, Cook 4) Southee comes in from the Kirkstall Lane End, and Lyth is off to a positive start, twice pushing pitched deliveries through the covers for a couple of doubles. The rest of the over sees Southee go fuller, with Lyth staying on the defensive. Interesting puzzle for the New Zealand pacemen, with three left-handers at the top of the order. 11.47am BST 1st over: England 5-0 (Lyth 1, Cook 4) A side note, but a pretty important one: Alastair Cook will become England’s all-time leading Test run scorer with 32 more of the things today. I mean, it doesn’t have to be today. But it would be nice. He’s in no hurry here, leaving Boult’s wide deliveries well alone, before flicking a straight delivery away to fine leg for four. 11.41am BST Only ten minutes before England get their innings off and running. “New Zealand’s run rate seems close to an English one day innings”, quips Zia Faruqui. The tourists’ rate was 4.84, and rose to 6.30 for the final ten overs. And why not – if this is a big Test match for England, it’s equally significant for New Zealand. Winning this particular Test is the difference between 3rd and 7th in the next ICC rankings, such is the congestion below South Africa and Australia. 11.35am BST Broad has had enough, and with a good length delivery outside off, he catches Boult cold, and his looping shot is easily taken by Lyth at point. So, England do tidy up the tail, but at the expense of an extra fifty runs. Stuart Broad collects a five-wicket haul, but he won’t be celebrating too wildly. 11.32am BST 72nd over: New Zealand 350-9 (Craig 41, Boult 15) Trent Boult may never face a field like this again, but he and Craig have earned England’s respect with this start. A tighter over from Stokes here, who keeps Craig guessing until the final ball, which is punched through the covers for four. That’s 350, and New Zealand will be delighted. 11.28am BST 71st over: New Zealand 346-9 (Craig 37, Boult 15) Regrettable scenes here, as Cook implores Lyth down at deep midwicket to move left to field a Craig drive. He needs, in fact, to move right, and instead stands frozen as the ball trundles away for four. It doesn’t get much more basic than that. Broad changes his line with Boult on strike – but the No11 gets back in on the boundary action, cutting away for four past third man. That was the shot that did for Boult at Lord’s – much better this time. 11.23am BST 70th over: New Zealand 337-9 (Craig 32, Boult 11) Well, this isn’t quite the start Alastair Cook had in mind. Craig punishes a wide delivery from Stokes, sending it haughtily back down the ground for another six! The pace bowlers keep firing it short and wide, and that’s the results you’re gonna get. Time for Moeen? Time for a yorker? Time for something, with New Zealand accelerating towards 350. 11.19am BST 69th over: New Zealand 328-9 (Craig 24, Boult 10) Another boundary, this time from Craig, with the left-hander sending Broad over backward point. A single puts Boult back in the spotlight, and Broad goes short – but Boult is ready for it, and smacks it over mid-on for another four. He’s grinning from ear to ear, is Boult – and he’s only denied another by exceptional fielding work from Joe Root at deep cover. 11.14am BST 68th over: New Zealand 317-9 (Craig 19, Boult 4) Craig flicks a Stokes delivery away for a couple, before the field closes in as Boult moves onto strike. He catches them cold with a canny drive through the covers for four. The tail enders enjoying themselves out here. 11.11am BST 67th over: New Zealand 310-9 (Craig 16, Boult 0) So Henry goes after a tasty cameo appearance, and here comes Trent Boult, who was good value in the first Test, facing deliveries from a starting position about a foot to the left of the stumps. 11.10am BST That was fun while it lasted, but from the final ball of the over, another short ball has Henry swiping at thin air, and he top-edges through to Buttler. 11.08am BST 67th over: New Zealand 310-8 (Craig 16, Henry 27) Stuart Broad, who went for almost six an over yesterday, is the next man in. With the field spread far and wide, Broad fires down a few feisty short ones, the third of which catches poor Henry in the ribs. Henry remains resolutely unruffled, pulling Broad dismissively into the Western Terrace for six ... 11.03am BST 66th over: New Zealand 304-8 (Craig 16, Henry 21) So it’s Ben Stokes who gets things started, from the Football Stand End. After fielding the first delivery nervously, Henry takes two with a flick to square leg, before pummelling a shorter ball in the same direction for four! No signs of slowing down from the New Zealand batsmen. That’s 300 up, and smart fielding was required to keep it to seven off the over. 10.58am BST The players are out, ready for an 11am start. Why didn’t we start a little earlier, with overs to be made up? Listen, this is England. That’s not how things are done. 10.56am BST McGrath, Walsh, Dev, Hadlee, Pollock, Akram, Ambrose. Those are the pacemen other than Jimmy Anderson that have notched over 400 wickets. He’s being pressed on the issue ahead of play starting, but is staying humble. So we’ll let Vic Marks sing his praises instead. 10.49am BST Here’s Headingley helpers The Yorkies, with attire that in no way conforms to lazy linguistic stereotypes: 10.45am BST A big day for England opener Adam Lyth in prospect – he’s at his county ground, playing his second Test after knocks of 7 and 12 at Lord’s, looking for a marked improvement with the Ashes looming. No pressure, then. 10.31am BST So, New Zealand start the day on 297/8, with Mark Craig and Matt Henry at the crease. Now, nothing says heavy metal like Saturday morning cricket – so here’s one for Luke Ronchi after yesterday’s efforts: 10.19am BST Preamble Hello. I’ll cut straight to the chase – what we have here is a Test match that’s beautifully poised, even as early as the second morning. Continue reading... How ornate.How ornate.New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult.New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult.Adam Lyth bats on day two against New Zealand.Adam Lyth bats on day two against New Zealand.Stuart Broad gets the treatment on day two.Stuart Broad gets the treatment on day two.Alastair Cook pulls a short ball towards the boundary during day two.Alastair Cook pulls a short ball towards the boundary during day two.
- Chris Gayle hammers Essex as Somerset win T20 Blast match on last ball
• Essex 176; Somerset 177-7 • West Indies batsman Chris Gayle hits 92 off 59 balls Chris Gayle was Somerset’s star as they secured a thrilling last-ball, three-wicket victory over Essex in their NatWest T20 Blast match at Chelmsford. After an uncertain start the West Indies batsman hit 92 from 59 balls after Essex had been bowled out for 176. Jesse Ryder and Tom Westley scored half-centuries in a losing cause for the hosts. Continue reading... Somerset’s Chris Gayle on his way to 92 in a winning cause in the NatWest T20 blast against Essex on Friday night. Photograph: Nick Wood/ActionPlus/CorbisSomerset’s Chris Gayle on his way to 92 in a winning cause in the NatWest T20 blast against Essex on Friday night. Photograph: Nick Wood/ActionPlus/Corbis
- England’s Jimmy Anderson admits surreal feeling of 400 Test wickets
• Anderson took two wickets on first day’s play to pass milestone • Bowler credits Ben Stokes and Mark Wood for keeping him going For Jimmy Anderson, becoming the 12th bowler to reach 400 Test wickets – and the first Englishman among them – was a surreal moment. The leader of Alastair Cook’s attack admits he will soon be considered over the hill but that day is being delayed by the rejuvenating effects of playing alongside an aggressive group of young cricketers. Anderson reduced New Zealand to two for two at Headingley with the removal of Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson, the first of which chalked up the latest milestone in the right-armer’s career. Now sitting four short of the 405 Test victims of West Indies’ great Curtly Ambrose – albeit 162 wickets behind the top-ranked seamer, Glenn McGrath, in fourth place – the Lancashire bowler is proud to be in such exalted company. Continue reading... Jimmy Anderson, here against India in 2014, became the first England bowler to reach 400 Test wickets when he struck early against New Zealand. Photograph: Visionhaus/CorbisJimmy Anderson, here against India in 2014, became the first England bowler to reach 400 Test wickets when he struck early against New Zealand. Photograph: Visionhaus/Corbis
- New Zealand’s Luke Ronchi takes shine off England’s fast start
• New Zealand: 297-8 • Jimmy Anderson takes his 400th Test wicket • Ronchi, Tom Latham and Brendon McCullum lead the reply It rained at Headingley in the morning, horrible persistent heavy drizzle glistening the streets and puddling the footpaths. Hardy souls still turned up first thing to sit swaddled optimistically in the stands but with never a hope of play until, around midday, the skies brightened, then cleared and the mopping up began. By half past one, the sun now out, play was delayed not so much by the condition of the outfield away from the acreage of covers across the square itself as by the need to set up and calibrate the technology on which so much depends these days. Continue reading... England’s Stuart Broad looks on as the New Zealand batsman Luke Ronchi, on his Test debut, hits out on the first day of the Headingley Test. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty ImagesEngland’s Stuart Broad looks on as the New Zealand batsman Luke Ronchi, on his Test debut, hits out on the first day of the Headingley Test. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
- England v New Zealand: second Test, day one – as it happened
New Zealand recover from a dreadful start to close in on 300 after a rain-shortened opening day at Headingley 7.23pm BST Right, that’s it from me. Be sure to stick around on site for all the reports and reaction from Headingley, and join us again tomorrow for what should be a full day’s play. But for now, cheerio! 7.22pm BST Another terrific day in which NZ recovered from 2-2 to reach 297 for 8, from only 65 overs. Def their day. 7.21pm BST New Zealand 297-8. After the rain, another thoroughly brilliant day of Test match cricket, though at times it didn’t look much like a Test match. You have to admire this New Zealand team – they’re hugely entertaining, and they’ve got themselves to within sight of 300 after a dreadful start. 7.20pm BST 65th over: New Zealand 297-8 (Craig 16, Henry 14) The final over of the day then. Mark Wood to bowl it. Craig fends the first just short of the man at short leg. The next he wafts at outside off. And the third he pokes at, again not making contact. And Craig survives the rest with little fuss. 7.16pm BST 64th over: New Zealand 297-8 (Craig 16, Henry 14) Henry has a wild flappy pull at Stokes and is delighted to see the ball fly over the slips and away for four. But a couple of balls later he does get hold of one, a thunking pull disappearing to cow corner for four. 7.12pm BST 63rd over: New Zealand 287-8 (Craig 16, Henry 4) Wood continues but it’s all gone a bit flat out there. A maiden. 7.08pm BST 62nd over: New Zealand 287-8 (Craig 16, Henry 4) Stokes beats Craig outside off with a beauty, then offers a half-hearted appeal as he thwocks him on the pad with the next. 7.04pm BST 61st over: New Zealand 286-8 (Craig 16, Henry 4) Henry gets off the mark by hammering Wood through the covers with the power of a million suns. 7.00pm BST A double change: Mark Wood also returns to the fray. And it’s done the trick: Wood bangs one in short, Southee takes it on, and can only pick out Adam Lyth on the midwicket boundary. 6.57pm BST 60th over: New Zealand 281-7 (Craig 15, Southee 1) Ben Stokes returns for a final blast before the close. Craig keeps his powder dry on this occasion as Stuart Broad chunters at Tim Southee at the non-striker’s end. A maiden. 6.54pm BST 59th over: New Zealand 281-7 (Craig 15, Southee 1) Mark Craig can bat – he unfurls a quite glorious straight drive for four off Broad then punches another through point for three. England’s work today is not yet done. 6.49pm BST 58th over: New Zealand 273-7 (Craig 8, Southee 1) Somehow a Moeen Ali over (the 56th) has disappeared from the OBO. I can’t repeat all of what was written now, but you’ll just have to take my word for it that it was full of the usual poetry and sparkling prose that you’ve come to expect. From this Ali over, Craig whips impressively through midwicket for four then skitters through for a single. 6.47pm BST 57th over: New Zealand 269-7 (Craig 3, Southee 1) So it’s all got a little shambolic from New Zealand. Two players who would’ve been eyeing centuries fall in differing, but equally frustrating, fashions within the space of two overs. Craig drives for three to get off the mark. 6.44pm BST The Broad Bouncer Barrage continues to Ronchi … and he’s fallen into the trap. He looks to pivot-pull off one foot and picks out the finest of three fielders on the square leg boundary. As with McCullum, it’s difficult to criticise the dismissal after praising the shot-making previously in the innings. But, come on. That couldn’t have been more obvious. 6.39pm BST 55th over: New Zealand 264-6 (Craig 0, Ronchi 86) And note the moment in OBO history, that was the over in which Alan Rusbridger was “banged out” of the Guardian . The wicket came a moment later. 6.37pm BST At last England hold on to a catch, with Root (in for the injured Cook at first slip) the man to cling on to the edge. 6.32pm BST 54th over: New Zealand 263-5 (Latham 84, Ronchi 86) Twelve overs remaining and the tone of the day could still go either way really. Luke Ronchi is trying his best to ensure it’s New Zealand’s day, sending another huge slog sweep into the stands at cow corner for six, then rocking back and planting the spinner through the covers for four more. 6.28pm BST 53rd over: New Zealand 250-5 (Latham 83, Ronchi 74) Broad (10-0-66-1) continues. Soft hands from Latham on this occasion sees an edge dabbed low through gully for four. “If Luke Ronchi reaches a hundred he will be the oldest Test player to reach a century on debut when not playing in the inaugural Test match for his nation,” writes Ed Hall. “Only Dave Houghton who scored 100 in Zimbabwe’s first Test was older.” 6.25pm BST 6.23pm BST 52nd over: New Zealand 245-5 (Latham 79, Ronchi 73) Another huge sweep from Latham, who surely can’t be long for this innings, another appeal, and another shake of the head from umpire Ravi. It looked pretty close, but might’ve just been missing leg stump. He drives for a couple to bring up the 100 partnership from 127 balls. Bad few minutes for Alis. Prince Ali concedes defeat to Blatter, then Moeen has Latham dropped twice in two balls... 6.20pm BST 51st over: New Zealand 243-5 (Latham 77, Ronchi 73) Lyth does well to make a diving stop on the boundary as Ronchi is finally tempted to take the pull on against Broad. Then Broad offers the ailing Latham a wide, full one that he jabs gratefully through the covers for four. THEN HE’S DROPPED AGAIN! Broad straightens him up, finds the edge, but Cook shells another straightforward chance as first slip. “Ronchi has caught Latham, despite having come to the crease when Latham already had 57 runs to his name,” writes Tom Paternoster-howe. “Which has got me wondering what the biggest headstart a lower order batsman gas reeled in. I bet Gilchrist and King Vivid must both have bested this difference, but does anyone know?” 6.16pm BST 50th over: New Zealand 237-5 (Latham 72, Ronchi 72) Latham has looks very uncomfortable against Moeen Ali – he seems a little unsure whether to follow Ronchi’s lead and attack (which clearly isn’t his natural game) or to nudge and nurdle for ones and twos. He misses with a sweep but adds two legs byes to the total as a bit of a Brucie bonus. THEN HE’S DROPPED IN CONSECUTIVE BALLS! This is remarkable. First he sends a sweep straight at square leg, where Wood shells a low chance. Then he feathers an edge to Ballance at leg slip and again the ball goes down. Two bad drops in truth. He’s a walking wicket for Ali at the moment. 6.13pm BST 49th over: New Zealand 235-5 (Latham 72, Ronchi 72) A short-ball barrage from Broad at Ronchi. The batsman ducks a couple (there are three men on the legside boundary) then tickles one down the leg side – Buttler can’t quite get there, but he was only a whisker away. A third bouncer is called a no ball. That means Broad is forced to pitch one up … and Ronchi responds by driving over extra cover for four more. That takes his score level with Latham on 72. The opener has faced 155 balls, Ronchi has faced 56. @John_Ashdown 69% of New Zealand's runs have come in boundaries - on Day One. A record? Even England's 407 at Edgbaston 2005 was "only" 68%. 6.07pm BST 48th over: New Zealand 226-5 (Latham 72, Ronchi 64) Huge appeal as Latham is struck on the pad by Ali. The bowler signals immediately for a review … and Cook concurs, despite the spinner having used up one a moment or two ago. This looks absolutely plumb … hitting middle, two third of the way up … but the impact is umpire’s call! Well, well, well. I reckon that’s one of those occasions where the DRS has failed to overturn a pretty blatantly incorrect decision. Still, Moeen has now mowed through both of England’s reviews in the space of three overs. 6.01pm BST 47th over: New Zealand 224-5 (Latham 71, Ronchi 63) SHOT! This is sumptuous from Ronchi as Broad returns to the attack – a length-ball loosener disappears to the cover boundary as Ronchi finds the meat of the meat of the middle. And a couple of balls later he top-edges a pull down to fine leg for four more. He ends the over with a couple more swipes, neither of which make contact. What is it with New Zealand wicketkeepers? 5.57pm BST 46th over: New Zealand 216-5 (Latham 71, Ronchi 55) Latham has a jaunt down the pitch and a huge heave but Root – I think – under the lid at short leg can’t gather and effect a stumping. The opener plays pretty much a shot-a-ball this over but barely makes contact with one. 5.53pm BST 45th over: New Zealand 216-5 (Latham 71, Ronchi 55) The New Zealand plan seems to be: keep out Anderson, attack Ali. While the spinner takes a bit of tap at the other end, England’s record wicket-taker can barely draw a shot in anger from the batsmen. 5.51pm BST 44th over: New Zealand 215-5 (Latham 70, Ronchi 55) Ronchi has another heave at Ali but this time skims his drive low to mid off where Broad can’t quite get his hands to the ball, diving forward. It might’ve just about carried but it was a tough chance. Ronchi celebrates the reprieve with a magnificent slog-sweep for another six. That takes him to a 37-ball fifty, the fastest Test 50 ever at Headingley. But not quite fast enough to join this lot . 5.47pm BST 43rd over: New Zealand 205-5 (Latham 70, Ronchi 45) Great shape from Anderson from round the wicket, slanted in and swung away. Latham does well not to nibble at it. A very good probing over all in all. 5.43pm BST 42nd over: New Zealand 204-5 (Latham 70, Ronchi 44) CLONK! Ronchi smashes Ali back over his head for six (just – the ball plonked into the rope on the full). He follows that up with a firm sweep for one. Ali responds well by beating Latham with what looked to be an arm ball. Appeal. Shake of the head. Review. And the video replay shows a big inside edge onto the pad, but at least we get to hear third umpire Marais Erasmus say “Just rock and roll that”, which is always a treat. 5.39pm BST 41st over: New Zealand 197-5 (Latham 70, Ronchi 37) Anderson continues to search for wicket No402. He looks to tempt Latham outside off but the opener isn’t interested. @John_Ashdown Thanks for the name check! The proof: pic.twitter.com/UNqU18CzuI 5.36pm BST 40th over: New Zealand 197-5 (Latham 70, Ronchi 37) Ali drops a little short and is milked for a trio of singles to start the over. Then he fizzes one horribly down the leg side and watches as the ball trickles rather apologetically away for four byes. And from the last a sweep from Ronchi goes fine for four to bring up the 50 partnership. It’s come from just 55 deliveries. 5.30pm BST 39th over: New Zealand 185-5 (Latham 68, Ronchi 31) Another lucky escape for Ronchi. With two slips and a gully in place the wicketkeeper edges Anderson … straight through the gap. Replays show slip-based despair and also a beer snake shattering in the background (one of the most antisocial things you can do at a cricket ground, by the way). “I’ve just had a nosey at that 952-6 scorecard ,” writes Harkarn Sumal. “There was a chap bowling for India that I’ve not come across before – Nilesh Kulkarni. It transpires he was on debut, and took a wicket from his first ball in test cricket (the only Indian ever to have done so), rendering SL 39-1. Right then in that moment, he must’ve been swaggering about, thinking “this test cricket’s a right doddle”… Sadly he finished with figures of 70-12-197-1, and only played two more tests. She’s a cruel mistress, cricket. A cruel mistress. But he’ll always have the way he felt in that moment.” 5.27pm BST 38th over: New Zealand 180-5 (Latham 68, Ronchi 26) Time for some spin. Latham blocks out a maiden as Ali wheels in. 5.24pm BST 37th over: New Zealand 180-5 (Latham 68, Ronchi 26) Just a single for Latham off Anderson. And we get a brief clothes-washing lesson from Messrs Botham and Hussain. 5.20pm BST 36th over: New Zealand 179-5 (Latham 67, Ronchi 26) Stokes ends up taking a bump on his backside after Ronchi offers the sliver of a caught-and-bowled chance. Instead he picks up four runs. And Ronchi is sending the ball to all parts here. Well, mainly the cover boundary. A toe-ended drive flies uppishly away for four, and from the last a cracker whistles into the same area. Ronchi goes to a McCullumesque 26 from 18. 5.15pm BST 35th over: New Zealand 167-5 (Latham 67, Ronchi 14) With blood in the water, Anderson returns. Ronchi works the ball to third man for three. And from the last Latham biffs neatly – he is a neat player – back past the bowler for four. “I’d highly recommend taking young kids to the cricket,” writes David Stranger-Jones. “I took my two year old boy and four year old girl to Lord’s on Monday and spent a great day in the stands and the Nursery Ground. I’m not sure they quite appreciated the significance of what was going on, but they loved being able to shout their heads off in public with no parental reprimand. And the chips.” 5.11pm BST 34th over: New Zealand 160-5 (Latham 63, Ronchi 11) Latham, who has been starved of the strike, has a bit of an escape with an inside-edge off Stokes cannoning into his pads rather than the stumps. He celebrates the reprieve with another quietly efficient drive for four. Stokes goes round the wicket and tempts a nervy poke outside off as a result. “When Sri Lanka made their Test record 952-6 dec in 1997 against India, you’d have thought there might have been a moment where the score was 876-5 or a 765-4 – not a chance ,” writes Darren Beach. “Had they batted on just a tad longer, they could so easily have declared at a splendid 987-6.” 5.07pm BST 33rd over: New Zealand 156-5 (Latham 59, Ronchi 11) Tempting fate I know, but I reckon we might have an uninterrupted run through to the close here. The showers that were loping towards Headingley over the Dales seem to have dissipated. Ronchi hammers Wood back down the ground for four to keep the scoreboard ticking over @John_Ashdown Do you, or anybody else, fancy a game for @pulboroughcc 2nds in sunny Sussex tomorrow? 5.03pm BST 32nd over: New Zealand 150-5 (Latham 59, Ronchi 5) A couple of singles from Stokes’ latest. “Yes, take your child to Headingley and stop worrying,” writes Matthew Tom. “The blazing hot afternoon I spent as a child amongst the beery, sweaty, orange-face-painted-but-not-really-racist-honest Yorkshiremen on the Western Terrace at Headingley (England v Pakistan, 1982) is still one of my most cherished cricketing memories.” 4.59pm BST 31st over: New Zealand 148-5 (Latham 57, Ronchi 4) Ronchi almost picks up a golden duck on his Test debut. A devilish just-back-a-length delivery surprises the keeper but the edge loops over the slips. He picks up four runs but New Zealand are on the ropes. “Re Smylers’ query (27 th over),” writes Susan Perry. “I took my daughter to Lord’s on the Monday v India last year – she was six years old at the time and greatly enjoyed jumping up yelling Rooooooot whenever he got a boundary. The free card with ‘4’ and ‘6’ on it was very popular too, though I did have to explain that only one side of it was likely to be required that day …” 4.57pm BST What a delivery! The utterly out-of-sorts Wood finds a jaffer from nowhere – a fizzing delivery that was slanted in on middle, hit the deck, then jinked away to hit the top of off. Watling played all around it. And New Zealand are in some serious bother now. 4.53pm BST 30th over: New Zealand 143-4 (Latham 57, Watling 14) Stokes, who seems a transformed bowler since 2014, keeps things tourniquet-tight. “Does a scoreline of 123-4 have a name? If not I suggest ‘a dubious ascent’,” writes Nick Watts. I wonder what the highest version of that has been since in Test cricket – 456-7 and 567-8 are pretty likely. 678-9? 4.50pm BST 29th over: New Zealand 142-4 (Latham 56, Watling 14) Wood offers up some short, wide filth that Watling flat-bats through the covers for four. A couple of balls later another half-tracker gets similar treatment. Wood responds, though, with a beauty that angles in and moves away from a groping edge. The last, however, is pushed to leg and glanced away for four more. “I took my then-five-year-old daughter to a one-dayer against Australia at Old Trafford in 2013, and we had a marvellous time,” writes Paul Turp. “I dressed as Robin, she as Batman, and we spent the day in the family stand with some lovely families and older couples, who were very fond of her. My daughter only half-watched the game (and with Michael Clarke and George Bailey destroying us, that was fair enough), but she did some sketches, read her Beano annuals, and grazed on our picnic. Thoroughly recommend it.” 4.46pm BST 28th over: New Zealand 130-4 (Latham 56, Watling 2) Watling takes a single off Stokes’ next. And Latham, who has cooled his jets since a feisty start, blocks out the rest. “I would advise that three years old is a little early to endure an England batting collapse,” writes Chris Eden. 4.42pm BST 27th over: New Zealand 129-4 (Latham 56, Watling 1) Wood also continues after tea. Watling gets off the mark with a single and Latham adds one of his own before punching economically down the ground for four from the last. “Anybody got experience of taking children to cricket matches?” asks Smylers. “Would it be foolish to go to Headingley on Monday with a toddler? Prices are reasonable, and I see they have an alcohol-free family area. The nearly-3-year-old in question likes people-watching and has a reasonable record of sitting contentedly in churches services, cinemas and theatres, and on long train journeys.” 4.37pm BST 26th over: New Zealand 123-4 (Latham 51, Watling 0) Replays show McCullum wasn’t even looking at the fielder when Wood took that catch. He had already turned his back for the trudge back to the pavilion. Still, you can’t revel in the attacking shots and sing his praises but then criticise when he gets out in that fashion. It’s just a bit of a shame for the game. Anyway, he’s gone for 41 off 28 and Watling, playing as a specialist batsman, blocks out the next five. 4.34pm BST Urgh. U.G.L.Y – that shot ain’t got no alibi. McCullum looks to repeat his first-ball drive over the top from the first ball after tea but mistimes horrible and plops a gentle catch to mid off. 4.32pm BST The players are back out. A bumper 40-over final session is ahead of us. Weather-wise things are looking pretty good. 4.13pm BST New Zealand 123-3. Great fun, as pretty much every session of this mini-series has been. 4.13pm BST 25th over: New Zealand 123-3 (Latham 51, McCullum 41) Wood offers McCullum another bouncer – again he takes it on, but this time there’s a glove that beats the diving Buttler by a couple of feet at most. He has 41 from 27 at tea. “I sometimes get the impression with McCullum that we underestimate the contribution his sense of humour makes to his batting style,” writes Robert Wilson. “I get the feeling there is quite a lot of I shouldn’t play this shot or that would be going way too far just before he does both in spades. I can’t help thinking that it’s sometimes because it makes him giggle . A private chuckle is still a chuckle. I think bowlers might profitably try telling him jokes between deliveries.” 4.09pm BST 24th over: New Zealand 118-3 (Latham 51, McCullum 36) The penultimate over before tea. Ben Stokes will bowl it. He tries a bumper at McCullum, but the New Zealand captain isn’t having any of that. He swats to backward square for four. Then follows it up with another smart steer into the leg side. 4.04pm BST 23rd over: New Zealand 113-3 (Latham 51, McCullum 31) Mark Wood, who struggled for rhythm in his earlier spell of 5-2-20-0, returns. A straight drive brings two more for McCullum and a dink into the leg side brings him a single. He moves on to 31 from 18. @John_Ashdown The NZ team surrounding a batter mid-over and doing the Haka would make for one hell of a sledge. 3.59pm BST 22nd over: New Zealand 110-3 (Latham 51, McCullum 28) Bang! Another boundary for McCullum as Stokes is a foot or so off target with an attempted yorker and is punches through the extra cover. But he’s an inch away from getting Latham a few balls later. A length ball just gets a little big on the opener and catches the shoulder of the bat – Root leaps like a salmon at gully but can only get his fingertips to the ball as it loops over his head. 3.56pm BST 21st over: New Zealand 103-3 (Latham 50, McCullum 23) New Zealand bring up the 100 courtesy of a McCullum drive off Broad that squirts away off a thick edge and boings away to third man for four. This innings is rattling along at just above five an over. We have sunshine now at Headingley. Which takes me back to when I watches England take on the West Indies there a few years ago. Blustery day but clear. No sunscreen. Very red bonce. Had to usher at a friend’s wedding the following weekend. Spent the entire time glowing like a belisha beacon. 3.51pm BST 20th over: New Zealand 98-3 (Latham 50, McCullum 18) Nerves for Latham as he looks for his 50 – a wafty drive off Stokes connects with nothing but Yorkshire air. But next up he makes it to the landmark after a push for a single. And a very decent knock it has been. Tom Latham's steady progress as a Test cricketer shows that you can be anything you want to be – even if you are a Fisher Price man. #EngvNZ 3.47pm BST 19th over: New Zealand 96-3 (Latham 49, McCullum 17) McCullum mis-times a swish outside off but runs through for a single. He has nine from four deliveries and is yet to play out a dot ball. From the next an inside edge bobbles wide of Buttler. McCullum, brain fizzing at the moment, calls Latham through for a single. Buttler scampers, gathers and sends the ball towards the stumps at the bowler’s end … and watches in dismay as the ball disappears to the boundary rope for four overthrows. That takes the opener to 49. McCullum then plays out a dot before returning to type as Broad strays to leg and whipping down to cow corner for four. Another dot and then a thumping cover drive for four more. McCullum races on to 17 from eight. 3.42pm BST 18th over: New Zealand 82-3 (Latham 44, McCullum 8) Ben Stokes, the lion of Lord’s, gets a first bowl of the day and is greeted, as he will be for much of his career you imagine, with guttural beery cheers from the terraces. He can take a little while to get himself motoring and this is a bit of a tune-up over, dead-batted by Latham. @John_Ashdown The image of Daniel Vettori prancing around with his tongue out probably put NZ off doing the Haka. Maybe now he's retired... @John_Ashdown imagine Richard Hadlee doing the Haka. Such a pity. 3.38pm BST 17th over: New Zealand 82-3 (Latham 44, McCullum 8) McCullum faces his first ball … and clubs it over cover for six! The stones on this guy. It was a length ball from Broad and the New Zealand captain just plonked a foot down the track and hefted him over the rope. His first ball. Sheesh. And the batsmen add a few singles for good measure. 3.34pm BST 16th over: New Zealand 72-3 (Latham 42, McCullum 0) Wood continues. Latham latches on to another short and wide effort from the bowler and creams him square for four. England’s third seamer is struggling a the moment. 3.29pm BST 15th over: New Zealand 68-3 (Latham 38, McCullum 0) A horrible moment for Taylor. Grim stuff. “Because to do the Haka properly you need to line up your lot against the other lot, which doesn’t happen in cricket, apart from the recently-introduced official hand-shaking, which would be inappropriate at that point,” says John Starbuck. “You could do it in other sports, but in boxing it seems superfluous since you’re supposed to be actually attacking the opponent rather than just threatening them, while in rowing you’d have to do when clutching a boat on your shoulders. I reckon doing it in tennis (especially doubles) and snooker would be good.” 3.28pm BST Stuart Broad returns. Taylor stands up on his tip-toes and punches through point off the back foot for four. Broad moves his gully out to cover point as a result. Nasser isn’t happy – setting the field for a bad delivery, he reckons. This isn’t a bad delivery, though … but it’s a nightmare for Ross Taylor. He shoulders arms to one that jags back towards the stumps and the ball has barely left his pad before he’s making his way back to the pavilion. 3.23pm BST 14th over: New Zealand 64-2 (Latham 38, Taylor 16) And after a few ragged run-filled overs we have a nice, tidy maiden from Wood. 3.21pm BST 3.19pm BST 13th over: New Zealand 64-2 (Latham 38, Taylor 16) Shot! Again! And it’s Taylor this time, leaning into a cover drive beautifully. And, again, we have back-to-back boundaries with the latter part of the pair squirted through the vacant gully region. There’s a brief delay as Rod Tucker – or should that be the evil alien mastermind that lives inside Rod Tucker – has lost his hat and that’s followed by a nervous grope outside off from Taylor as Anderson lands one on the right spot. 3.14pm BST 12th over: New Zealand 56-2 (Latham 38, Taylor 8) Shot! The joyous thwack of leather on sweet spot rings around Headingley as Latham thrashes Wood through point for four. The second boundary in a back-to-back pair is much streakier, though, and squirted wide of the four-man slip cordon. That brings the New Zealand 50 up. Latham makes it three from the over by clipping to square leg for four more from the last. The drizzle returns but it’s just a quick splash-and-dash from the heavens. 3.10pm BST 11th over: New Zealand 44-2 (Latham 26, Taylor 8) Anderson offers Taylor a little too much width and gets cut through backward point for his troubles. A glance to leg and a push wide of midwicket concludes a profitable over for New Zealand. Looking at the rainfall radars, I reckon we might get through until the 4.10pm tea break without further interruption. But there’s a bit of wet stuff building up over the Dales after that. 3.06pm BST 10th over: New Zealand 36-2 (Latham 26, Taylor 2) Mark Wood continues and Latham misses with an attempted flick to fine leg – fortunately for the batsman it pings away off the thigh pad and rattles away for four regardless. Latham has a bit of a nibble at one outside off a couple of balls later. That terrifying picture of Hot Spot Rod Tucker is more than a little reminiscent of They Live (which features the acting skills of Rowdy Roddy Piper): 3.03pm BST 9th over: New Zealand 32-2 (Latham 26, Taylor 2) Hello all. John Ashdown here for the remainder of the day – do send me an email on email@example.com or get in touch via Twitter: @John_Ashdown . We’ve got 64 overs remaining in the day, though there remains a few showers around so I doubt we’ll get them all in. Tea will be at 4.10pm BST. 3.00pm BST That raindrop photo: a clarification. “Huge drops were falling from the pavilion roof on to a puddle on top of some TV equipment,” writes photographer Philip Brown. “I just captured the drops and did not thrown anything or any pebbles anywhere. Thanks for your interest.” 2.56pm BST 2.55pm BST Update: play to restart at 3pm BST, at which point John Ashdown will take over OBO duties. Bye! It’s been, well, damp. Play to start again a few minutes! Now 64.4 overs left in the day (at least we hope) #engvnz #leeds ^CE 2.52pm BST A shameless charity plug from Oliver Smiddy. “This Sunday, instead of watching the cricket I’ll be running and swimming around the Stockholm archipelago in the Uto Swimrun,” he writes. “It’s the third of three races I’m doing this year to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research – the others being a 50 mile run over the South Downs and a 100 mile run from London to Oxford. I’m nearly into four figures for donations, so if any OBOers could spare a few quid and help me over the line, they can donate at https://www.justgiving.com/osmiddyultra/ . Thank you!” You’re welcome! 2.50pm BST News! Let's not get too excited, but some of the covers coming off here in Leeds - play might not be too far away... #engvnz ^CE 2.48pm BST Thanks to Edmund King for the tip here. This is brilliant. Hotspot Rod Tucker is terrifying. #ENGvNZ pic.twitter.com/s0s7ZuWZ8o 2.43pm BST I’m not sure what’s going on in this picture. Surely it isn’t an authentic raindrop? If it is, they’ve had some absolutely killer raindrops in Yorkshire today. Or is it a photographer throwing pebbles into a puddle? 2.28pm BST Now it looks like there’s hail on its way. At least we’re playing New Zealand, another country that’s forced to deal with wildly unreliable summers. @Simon_Burnton hailing in Leeds! #EngvsNZ 2.27pm BST Three minutes later the sun is out, and the umpires are discussing with the groundsman. Their conclusion, I think, is to let the great big dark cloud that’s approaching the ground to roll over before they try to play again. And on comes some supplementary plastic sheeting. 2.23pm BST This might be one of those days. Off they trot again. 2.22pm BST 8.2 overs: New Zealand 32-2 (Latham 26, Taylor 2) Two balls later – the first of which Taylor prods through midwicket for a couple to get off the mark – it starts raining more heavily, and this time all the players leave. 2.21pm BST The umpires discuss the weather and then, to loud boos from the crowd, some of the players leave. Some of them don’t. And then the ones that did are told to come back. 2.19pm BST 8th over: New Zealand 30-2 (Latham 26, Taylor 0) Mark Wood replaces Broad, and his first ball, like the first of Broad’s third and last-for-now over, goes for four, this one cut past point. More bad news from our man at the scene (the scene being, perhaps surprisingly, a mile or so away from Headingley). Rain is falling at Headingley, but not enough of it to force them off yet: @Simon_Burnton it is raining pretty heavily up the road now 2.16pm BST 7th over: New Zealand 26-2 (Latham 22, Taylor 0) Anderson bowls five deliveries wide of Latham’s off stump, easy leaves. Then the world holds its breath and waits for No6. Will he get an inswinger to rap into the nonplussed batsman’s pad? Well kind of – it starts wide of off stump, swings in a tiny fraction, and is hit past gully for three. 2.11pm BST 6th over: New Zealand 23-2 (Latham 19, Taylor 0) Another lovely shot by Latham, still the only one of four New Zealand batsmen to score a run (He’s faced 23 deliveries so far, the rest 13). This time he hits Broad’s first delivery through midwicket for four. @Simon_Burnton Oh I agree 100%! I just wanted something on which to hang a shoutout to Dizzy, who seems as good a bloke as he was a bowler. 2.09pm BST The ball clipped his pocket, having left his bat well alone. Not at all out. 2.08pm BST There’s a noise, the ball flies through to Buttler and England celebrate. The umpire raises his finger, after a delay, but Latham reviews straight away. 2.05pm BST 5th over: New Zealand 18-2 (Latham 14, Taylor 0) Anderson tempts Latham into a drive, which he absolutely nails, the ball flying through the covers for four, and then he flicks the next off his pads to the square leg boundary. Two lovely shots. I’m afraid I’ve got to disagree with you here, Gary. I’d love a less antipathetic Ashes series. The fewer pub punches and threats of broken limbs the better, as far as I’m concerned. @Simon_Burnton Someone tell Dizzy to stop being so decent and start being more Aussie? We can't rely on Warner alone to stoke the antipathy. 2.00pm BST 4th over: New Zealand 9-2 (Latham 5, Taylor 0) Broad bowls across Latham again, and he plays at a ball he should have left alone, and is lucky to get away with it. The next ball flicks off his thigh pad and disappears past Buttler for four more leg byes, following that Lord’s first-innings LBfest. He then pushes through midwicket, the wet outfield getting the ball to stop before the rope, and Anderson to fall over as he tries to pick it up. They run three. 1.55pm BST 3rd over: New Zealand 2-2 (Latham 2, Taylor 0) So after a brief appearance away goes the rain, and in comes Kane Williamson. And then after an even more brief appearance away goes Williamson, and in comes Ross Taylor, who sees his first delivery swing wildly across him and past leg stump. @Simon_burnton and for you next update, clear skies for a while. pic.twitter.com/cxdA902OBS 1.53pm BST That’s just too good! Anderson bowls at Williamson’s off stump, forces him to raise his bat, then the ball moves away slightly and is nicked through to Buttler! 401, and counting! 1.48pm BST The covers are coming back off now, so this looks to be a mercifully brief stoppage. Fantastic achievement Jimmy Anderson to reach 400 test wickets. Congratulations. #HardWorkPaysOff #ENGvNZ 1.42pm BST A great moment for Anderson, and he doesn’t really get time to enjoy it, so quickly is he ordered to set off back to the changing rooms. 1.41pm BST A few spots of rain, umbrellas are raised, and then the players are taken off. The final action sees Anderson take his 400th Test wicket, a classic slip catch, taken high by Bell at second slip! 1.38pm BST 2nd over: New Zealand 2-0 (Guptill 0, Latham 2) A strange delivery from Broad, who gets his run-up wrong, does a few tiny little half-steps as he approaches the crease, and then completes the delivery anyway. Latham leaves it alone, and then gets a bit of a scare when the next flies across him and just past the bat. He eventually gets the first runs of the innings by working the final delivery to square leg for a couple. @simon_burnton it's now raining up the road and heading the grounds way. Just a light shower 1.33pm BST 1st over: New Zealand 0-0 (Guptill 0, Latham 0) Nice first over from Anderson, as a couple of balls angle in to Guptill before moving away, just past the bat. Maiden. “Looks like we’ve got some pretty good sunshine for a while,” Sky inform us. That’s not what my Leeds-based sources suggest, though: @Simon_Burnton this is the view of the sky about 2 miles from the ground, heading to the ground pic.twitter.com/CQmI5Fwy8Q 1.27pm BST Another update: the covers have already come off. That must be one of the all-time shortest cover-unleashments in cricket history. They were out there for less than 60 seconds. And now the players come on! 1.27pm BST As you can see from the radar, there’s still a chance of further showers, though the bad stuff has gone east. 1.25pm BST The even more latest from Headingley: the covers are coming back on! Though it’s not raining very hard, we’re told. 1.25pm BST The latest from Headingley: still cloudy, really. The sun starting to poke through here at Headingly (finally) #engvnz ^CE pic.twitter.com/CEBO6LtWiw 1.17pm BST A stat, courtesy of John Ashdown, who is sitting to my left very much looking forward to his turn in the OBO hotseat a couple of hours from now: last year’s defeat to Sri Lanka was the first time anyone had won the toss at Headingley, chosen to field, and lost since 1991 (since then there have been four wins, two draws, and that one defeat). 1.15pm BST The teams, then, look rather a lot like this: England: Alastair Cook, Adam Lyth, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, James Anderson. 1.07pm BST “It is quite dry,” reports Nasser Hussain from the wicket. “I understand why Alastair Cook has bowled first here, because he thinks it is going to be a reduced game. But, if the forecast had been for five hot, dry, sunny days, this would have been a bat first pitch, because I reckon come Tuesday it will turn. The other positive, coming from the Kirkstall Lane end there is a beautiful breeze, perfect for Anderson.” 1.02pm BST “We weren’t sure what to do, to be honest,” says Brendon McCullum. “I’m not unhappy about batting. Either way you’ve got to do well first up.” One change for the Kiwis: Luke Ronchi replaces Corey Anderson, will bat No7 and keep wicket. 1.00pm BST “Not a straightforward decision,” says Alastair Cook. “There’s been a lot of rain about. There’s a green tinge but it’s a dry wicket, so it’s interesting.” England are unchanged, apparently. 12.58pm BST So they’re about to toss a coin. Finally, some action! toss about to happen. 1.30 start. all means late finishes each day. but headingley has floodlights now. 12.56pm BST Not only is it no longer raining, it’s actually sunny. 12.51pm BST The pitch has been inspected, the umpires are happy and the coin will now be tossed at 1pm, with play to happen at 1.30pm. 12.44pm BST So the pitch is about to be inspected, after which I suppose we’ll hear about the toss, which makes a 1.10pm start seem a little optimistic. More news as I get it … 12.17pm BST The umpires have completed their pitch inspection, and enjoyed it so much they’re going to do another one: There will be a pitch inspection at 12.45pm. # ENGvNZ 12.12pm BST “I live in NZ and had never heard it!” writes Chris Bowden of the Six60 smash hit we featured earlier. “I assume you noticed the Test cricketers in the video? As well as the Highlanders rugby squad and the NZ Warriors rugby league?” Er … well … I didn’t actually watch it all. I did listen to it, promise. Anyway, I have now, and did indeed spot a bit of Boult. 12.07pm BST The good news just keeps on coming – the covers are off, and the umpires are out right now, inspecting the pitch. Those clouds look pretty angry still, mind. The covers are coming off. Lunch at 12.30pm. #ENGvNZ pic.twitter.com/W9PrPCFn1S 11.38am BST The forecast is for a lot of cloud over the next five days, with a good chance of further rain, particularly on Sunday and Tuesday. But if we’re going to have a shortened day today, with moisture on the pitch and in the air, heavy cloud cover and floodlights in play, surely it would be tempting to have a bowl? @Simon_Burnton Wonder if BMac would be bold enough to put England in a second time. No other captain would, but he might #EngvsNZ 11.18am BST Actual newsy news! An early lunch will be taken at 12.30pm, and play will get under way 40 minutes later, unless it rains some more. Here’s the latest rain radar: 11.15am BST And another one! Mopping up at Headingley and a lot brighter. 11.11am BST A vaguely optimistic update from Headingley: Less umbrellas noticeable around Headingley now. Looks to be minimal rain. #fingerscrossed 11.04am BST Here’s a minty-fresh picture from Headingley: 11.02am BST Apparently the rain has stopped and the clouds aren’t as grey and dismal as they were half an hour ago. Still no word on a start time. 10.41am BST Latest from the ground: no play for “at least an hour and a half”, according to Sky. England’s players are already kicking their heels in the dressing room, while the New Zealand side are still hanging out at their hotel. 10.33am BST Hello world! So without further ado, the key picture of the morning: 10.33am BST Simon will be here soon enough . While you wait, here is Vic Marks on why Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali showed they are true talents during England’s win over New Zealand at Lord’s but how not all players can pair versatility with quality. Enjoy. You can never have enough all-rounders in your Test team but you can have too many bits and pieces players. So what is the difference between these two categories, how is an all‑rounder defined and what do England currently have in their team? Try this definition: for someone to be a true Test all-rounder, one of the disciplines of the player concerned should be good enough to get him into the team even if he does not bat or bowl as well. There is a more exacting statistical scale which is beautifully simple. If someone’s batting average exceeds his bowling average then he is a formidable all-rounder. Continue reading... England’s captain Alastair Cook leads his team from the pitch after close of play.England’s captain Alastair Cook leads his team from the pitch after close of play.Where Adam Lyth is waiting on the boundary and takes a great catch in front of the Western Terrace.Where Adam Lyth is waiting on the boundary and takes a great catch in front of the Western Terrace.The Western Terrace at Headingley wouldn’t be the same with a beer snake.The Western Terrace at Headingley wouldn’t be the same with a beer snake.Mark Wood bowls BJ Watling ...Mark Wood bowls BJ Watling ...Start of play at Headingley is delayed due to rain.Start of play at Headingley is delayed due to rain.James Anderson bowls to Tom Latham.James Anderson bowls to Tom Latham.James Anderson celebrates number 401 after he claims Kane Williamson’s wicket.James Anderson celebrates number 401 after he claims Kane Williamson’s wicket.Not a bad likeness.Not a bad likeness.A hearty celebratory handshake for James Anderson.A hearty celebratory handshake for James Anderson.There’s quite a nice blue sky above Headingley as Joe Root enters the fray.There’s quite a nice blue sky above Headingley as Joe Root enters the fray.Water is cleared from the pitch as rain falls before play on the first day of the second Test match between England and New Zealand at Headingley.Water is cleared from the pitch as rain falls before play on the first day of the second Test match between England and New Zealand at Headingley.Jos Buttler is unable to bring in a spectacular catch as the blue skies break out over Headingley.Jos Buttler is unable to bring in a spectacular catch as the blue skies break out over Headingley.
- Trevor Bayliss asks for youthful England squad in limited-overs series
• New head coach to place emphasis on fielding prowess • Five one-day matches against New Zealand start on 9 June The incoming England head coach, Trevor Bayliss, has given his first input into selection by requesting a youthful squad is named for the limited-overs series against New Zealand, with a strong emphasis placed on fielding prowess. While the interim coach, Paul Farbrace, will continue to run the first team until the arrival of Bayliss at the end of next month, the pair have discussed plans for the white-ball sides before the five one-day internationals and Twenty20 match that follow the Tests, starting at Edgbaston on 9 June. Continue reading... The incoming England head coach, Trevor Bayliss, said he will be demanding athleticism in the field from the one-day squad. Photograph: Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP/Getty ImagesThe incoming England head coach, Trevor Bayliss, said he will be demanding athleticism in the field from the one-day squad. Photograph: Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP/Getty Images
- Jimmy Anderson takes 400th Test wicket for England but will he pass 500? | Vic Marks
In dismissing Martin Guptill on the first day against New Zealand, Jimmy Anderson joined prestigious company in the all-time Test wicket-takers There are no intruders in the 400 club. It may be mildly surprising that Harbhajan Singh is there and the absence of so many great West Indians of the 80s is a bit odd – they tended to share the wickets around in a spirit of cooperation. But it is hard to deny that anyone on that list is anything other than a true titan of the game, especially if he bowls fast. Related: Jimmy Anderson reaches milestone of 400 Test wickets at Headingley Continue reading... England’s Jimmy Anderson celebrates after dismissing New Zealand’s Martin Guptill to claim his 400th Test wicket. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty ImagesEngland’s Jimmy Anderson celebrates after dismissing New Zealand’s Martin Guptill to claim his 400th Test wicket. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
- Jimmy Anderson reaches milestone of 400 Test wickets at Headingley
• Anderson has Martin Guptill caught in slips by Ian Bell • Paceman becomes only 12th bowler in history to achieve feat • England v New Zealand: second Test, day one – live! Jimmy Anderson became the 12th man to reach the milestone of 400 Test wickets on Friday when he dismissed Martin Guptill on the delayed first day of the second Test at Headingley. After the start was put back until after lunch due to heavy rain in Leeds, England won the toss and put New Zealand in, with the Lancashire paceman striking with his eighth ball of the day when Black Caps’ opener Martin Guptill was caught at second slip by Ian Bell. Continue reading... England's Jimmy Anderson, right, is congratulated on taking his 400th Test wicket. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty ImagesEngland's Jimmy Anderson, right, is congratulated on taking his 400th Test wicket. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
- How Douglas Jardine's Scottish heritage influenced his England cricket captaincy
If we are to understand Douglas Jardine, the most divisive and controversial cricketer who ever played for England, we must understand his Scottishness By Alex Massie for The Nightwatchman , part of the Guardian Sport Network Late October 1932 and England’s cricketers are travelling from Perth to Adelaide. The journey across the red, desolate, vast expanse of the Nullarbor plain is long and tiring. Three times the party has to change trains. Boredom is an ever-present danger. No wonder discussion turns – as it so often does when cricket-minded folk are cloistered together – to the favoured parlour game of selecting mythical all-time XIs to take on visitors from other lands or even other worlds. A Greatest Englishmen squad is agreed upon – after much argument – captained by Horatio Nelson. The great hero of Trafalgar will lead a team chosen from the Duke of Wellington, Cecil Rhodes, William Gladstone, Benjamin Disraeli, Lord Shaftesbury, Lord Kelvin, Charles Dickens, Joseph Lister, James Simpson, James Watt and George Bernard Shaw. An impressive selection even if picking Shaw ahead of, say, William Shakespeare remains a hard-to-defend wildcard. Related: The art of (amateur) cricket captaincy Young man, you are already weary of me, and would yet be more so, perchance, did you know the task upon which I have been lately put. And I wonder not that it should be so, for there are times when I am weary of myself. Think you not it is a sore trial for flesh and blood to be called upon to execute the righteous judgements of Heaven while we are yet in the body, and retain that blinded sense and sympathy for carnal suffering which makes our own flesh thrill when we strike a gash upon the body of another? And think you, that when some prime tyrant has been removed from his place, that the instruments of his punishment can at all times look back on their share in his downfall with firm and unshaken nerves? Must they not sometimes question even the truth of that inspiration which they have felt and acted under? Must they not sometimes doubt the origin of that strong impulse with which their prayers for heavenly direction under difficulties have been inwardly answered and confirmed, and confuse, in their disturbed apprehensions, the responses of Truth himself with some strong delusion of the enemy? We are called upon when we have girded up our loins to run the race boldly, and when we have drawn the sword to smite the ungodly with the edge, though he be our neighbour, and the man of power and cruelty, though he were of our own kindred and the friend of our bosom. Related: Why do we play cricket? It’s ill to loose the bands that God decreed to bind; Still will we be the children of the heather and the wind. Far away from home, O it’s still for you and me. Continue reading... W M Woodfull of Australia ducks to avoid a rising ball from England’s Harold Larwood at Brisbane during the infamous Bodyline Tour.W M Woodfull of Australia ducks to avoid a rising ball from England’s Harold Larwood at Brisbane during the infamous Bodyline Tour.England players, including Wally Hammond, Harold Larwood, Tom Mitchell, Bill Voce, George Duckworth, Eddie Paynter and Freddie Brown, relax Watson beach near Sydney in 1933.England players, including Wally Hammond, Harold Larwood, Tom Mitchell, Bill Voce, George Duckworth, Eddie Paynter and Freddie Brown, relax Watson beach near Sydney in 1933.Douglas Jardine playing for England.Douglas Jardine playing for England.
- Middlesex inflict record defeat on Kent as Eoin Morgan hits half-century
• Middlesex 205-5 v Kent 90 • Morgan hits three sixes and four fours in 27-ball cameo Eoin Morgan returned to domestic duty with a half-century as Middlesex thrashed Kent Spitfires by 115 runs to claim their first win of the season in the NatWest T20 Blast. The England one-day captain, who returned this week from his stint in the Indian Premier League with Sunrisers Hyderabad, hit three sixes and four fours in a sparkling 27-ball cameo. His contribution and an even more punishing 90 from 50 deliveries by the opener Paul Stirling powered Middlesex to a score of 205 for five in front of a crowd of 13,500 at Lord’s. Continue reading... Eoin Morgan's partnership with Paul Stirling, who struck 90 from 50, saw Middlesex hammer Kent at Lord's. Photograph: Mitchell Gunn/Getty ImagesEoin Morgan's partnership with Paul Stirling, who struck 90 from 50, saw Middlesex hammer Kent at Lord's. Photograph: Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images
- England expectations buoyed by Lord’s but peaks and troughs await
With Ben Stokes – so inspirational against New Zealand in the first Test – likely to splutter among rocket-fuelled displays, patience is needed for this young side It would not do to get too carried away. The first Test at Lord’s was exhilarating, a triumph, the sort of advertisement for the game – at a time of some turmoil – that money could not buy. The new chatter has been about Ben Stokes (saddled unfortunately with the obvious comparisons, as if being the first Ben Stokes is not in itself sufficient) and new dawns breaking for England cricket. Related: New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum questions England’s approach Continue reading... Ben Stokes showed in the first Test against New Zealand that he can make devastating contributions, but his high-risk approach will falter at times. Photograph: Jon Super/APBen Stokes showed in the first Test against New Zealand that he can make devastating contributions, but his high-risk approach will falter at times. Photograph: Jon Super/AP
- New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum questions England’s approach
• Captain McCullum wonders if England ‘stumbled’ into Lord’s win • New Zealand making special plans to cope with Ben Stokes • McCullum’s relentless attack leaves England room for manoeuvre Brendon McCullum is not the type of man to express regrets – he holds none over New Zealand’s aggressive approach to Test cricket – but it appears the Kiwis’ captain is more than partial to a mind game or two. The tourists go into the second and final Test at Headingley 1-0 down and knowing anything but victory would end a two-year run in which they have been unbeaten in six series and risen to third in the ICC rankings. Continue reading... New Zealand's Brendon McCullum had his say on whether England have found a new style. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty ImagesNew Zealand's Brendon McCullum had his say on whether England have found a new style. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
- What differentiates England all-rounders from bits and pieces players?
Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali showed they are true talents during England’s win over New Zealand at Lord’s but not all players can pair versatility with quality You can never have enough all-rounders in your Test team but you can have too many bits and pieces players. So what is the difference between these two categories, how is an all‑rounder defined and what do England currently have in their team? Related: England’s Ben Stokes shows that he fully deserves the hype | Vic Marks Continue reading... Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali have demonstrated valuable versatility with bat and ball for England. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty ImagesBen Stokes and Moeen Ali have demonstrated valuable versatility with bat and ball for England. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
- Alastair Cook: England’s hiring of Trevor Bayliss as coach is great coup
• Captain hails arrival of Australian coach for Ashes series • Cook chasing Graham Gooch’s Test runs record in second Test Alastair Cook has described the appointment of Trevor Bayliss as England head coach as a coup and said the Australian’s impending arrival has his players buzzing. Speaking before Friday’s second Test with New Zealand at Headingley, where Cook could become England’s record Test run-scorer, the captain is looking forward to working alongside Bayliss when he arrives at the end of next month before the start of the Ashes in Cardiff on 8 July. Continue reading... Alastair Cook is hoping England can build on their victory in the first Test. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty ImagesAlastair Cook is hoping England can build on their victory in the first Test. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images
- Spinner Fawad Ahmed enhances Test claim as Australia toil in Antigua
Ahmed takes two wickets on first day of cricket tour of Caribbean Australia play first Test against West Indies next week A pair of wickets helped boost Fawad Ahmed’s Test chances but Australia have been made to work hard on day one of their tour match in Antigua. The tourists began their tour of the Caribbean perfectly, nabbing three quick wickets in a rain-affected opening session at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. Continue reading... Fawad Ahmed, pictured bowling for the Bushrangers during day two of a Sheffield Shield match against NSW.
- Jonny Bairstow and Adil Rashid guide Yorkshire to draw with Somerset
• Yorkshire 438 and 419; Somerset 485 and 6-1 • Match drawn Somerset might have guessed it would be Jonny Bairstow and Adil Rashid who ended their chances of a victory during a forgettable final day, although they did not really help themselves by going into the match with five seamer bowlers and without a recognised spinner in good batting conditions. Yorkshire, who started the day leading by 124 with five second-innings wickets in hand, had advanced to 419 by the time they were bowled out in the closing stages thanks mainly to half-centuries for their sixth-wicket pair. Continue reading... Adil Rashid cuts the ball on his way to becoming the second player of the match to score 99, after Tom Cooper also fell one run short of a century in Somerset's first-innings. Photograph: Harry Trump/Rex FeaturesAdil Rashid cuts the ball on his way to becoming the second player of the match to score 99, after Tom Cooper also fell one run short of a century in Somerset's first-innings. Photograph: Harry Trump/Rex Features
- Trevor Bayliss doubles his money after ‘initially rejecting’ England approach
• Andrew Strauss was rebuffed in early negotiations • Joe Root says England have early Ashes advantage • Trevor Bayliss expertise in white-ball cricket a fine fit for England England’s director of cricket Andrew Strauss had to use the strength of the pound to secure a new head coach after Trevor Bayliss reportedly said no to the job during the early stages of negotiations. The 52-year-old Bayliss was announced as the permanent replacement for the sacked Peter Moores on Tuesday after beating Yorkshire’s Jason Gillespie to the job and will take charge in time for the first Ashes Test in Cardiff on 8 July. Continue reading... England's new cricket head coach Trevor Bayliss rejected Andrew Strauss's first offer to take up the job. Photograph: Mark Metcalfe/Getty ImagesEngland's new cricket head coach Trevor Bayliss rejected Andrew Strauss's first offer to take up the job. Photograph: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
- Surrey overcome Kent thanks to Jason Roy’s late intervention
• Kent 282 and 204; Surrey 292 and 196-7 • Surrey win by three wickets For a batting line-up as strong as Surrey’s – even without you-know-who – knocking off 151 with nine wickets in hand against an attack without an international, on a pitch without demons, should not have posed too many problems on a fair final day in south-east London. But they required a stylish innings of 60 off 51 balls from Jason Roy, batting at No7, to see them home. Beckenham is an idyllic urban outground; club staff wander round, the chirps of the fielders are audible from the boundary and, on a sunny day, floppy hats cover grey hair beyond it. Alongside Crystal Palace’s training ground, there is a building site next door, giving the peaceful cricket a backdrop of hammer against slab and the siren of reversing machinery. This was the first County Championship match here since 2009 and one cannot help but wonder what the mooted downsizing of the championship– set to be introduced in 2017 – will mean for such atmospheric outposts of the county game. Continue reading... Surrey's Jason Roy hits out on his way to securing victory for his side on day four of the County Championship match against Kent at Beckenham. Photograph: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty ImagesSurrey's Jason Roy hits out on his way to securing victory for his side on day four of the County Championship match against Kent at Beckenham. Photograph: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images
- County cricket – as it happened
Will Macpherson at Kent v Surrey; Graham Hardcastle at Somerset v Yorkshire County cricket: the week’s final over 3.35pm BST Graham Hardcastle sends his last report of the day from Taunton We are heading towards tea and a draw at Taunton, where Yorkshire are still batting at 375-9 after 133 overs of their second innings, which is a lead of 328 with only 31 overs left. Both sides will come out of this match with decent hauls - Yorkshire 13 points and Somerset 12. 2.47pm BST Graham Hardcastle writes from Taunton Would you Adam and Eve it! Adil Rashid has become the second man in the match to fall for 99, caught at short fine-leg by Alfonso Thomas as he attempted to help part-time off-spinner Johann Myburgh around the corner, leaving Yorkshire at 331-8, a lead of 283 with a little under 50 overs left in the day. 2.39pm BST Will Macpherson has news of a result SURREY WIN BY THREE WICKETS 2.11pm BST News from Will Macpherson in Kent This game is very nearly over. Since lunch, Surrey have added 36 but have lost two wickets – Steven Davies caught at slip off Riley and now Gary Wilson nibbling, caught behind off Coles, who has been excellent. Gareth Batty at the crease with Jason Roy, who has been really positive since the break. 1.59pm BST Will Macpherson’s lunchtime report That’s lunch and Surrey are 141-5. Davies is looking excellent - as he has all season - but Jason Roy, playing in probably the third of his six gears, has offered chances. He edged Riley past slip for four and survived a fine last over before the break from Coles, edging through a vacant third slip and playing and missing next ball. With 54 required, this is very much Surrey’s to lose after a trickier early spell. Lunch well, all. 1.56pm BST Graham Hardcastle sends another report from Taunton One wicket in the morning session is not what the doctor ordered from Somerset’s point of view, and you would have to say that this match is now heading towards a draw with Yorkshire reaching lunch at 275-6, a lead of 228 with a minimum of 65 overs left to bowl in the day. Adil Rashid is 71 not out and Tim Bresnan unbeaten on 16. 12.32pm BST Graham Hardcastle reports on Somerset v Yorkshire Somerset will be glad to see the back of Jonny Bairstow for 66, although the damage may have already been done during a sixth-wicket partnership of 117 with Adil Rashid. Yorkshire currently stand at 235-6 with a lead of 188 and the best part of 75 overs left in the day. 12.23pm BST Will Macpherson reports from Kent v Surrey That’s a huge wicket for Kent. Surrey’s hundred is up after Dom Sibley and Steven Davies steadied the ship. Davies twice slapped Stevens through the offside in typically elegant fashion, while Sibley looked at ease against Adam Riley. But Ivan Thomas has snared Sibley, taking the edge with one that moved away, and Darren Stevens did the rest at second slip. 108-5 and Jason Roy at the crease. 11.48am BST Graham Hardcastle reports form Taunton Jonny Bairstow and Adil Rashid have safely navigated the first 45 minutes of play to take Yorkshire to 210-5, a lead of 163. The second new ball has just been taken by Alfonso Thomas. Bairstow is 50 not out, his second fifty of the match. A crucial sixth-wicket partnership between Bairstow and Rashid stands at 93. 11.37am BST Will Macpherson writes So, we’re 35 minutes in and Kent have two crucial breakthroughs. First, Rory Burns, defending deep in his crease with soft hands to Darren Stevens, found the ball spinning back at him and, as he tried to kick it away, slowly rolling up to the stumps and dislodging the bails. Burns couldn’t believe his misfortune and dragged himself very slowly from the crease. 11.03am BST Will Macpherson sends his first update of the day Good morning all from a delightful morning in South East London. Absolutely idyllic. The bell has been rung and their players are on their way out. 10.36am BST Graham Hardcastle sets up the day from Taunton Good morning and welcome to the county blog, where myself and Will Macpherson will guide you through day four at Taunton and Beckenham. 10.36am BST Morning all, Today we have Will Macpherson at Beckenham for Kent v Surrey and Graham Hardcastle at Taunton for Somerset v Yorkshire. Here are the reports from yesterday: Continue reading... Jamie and Craig Overton give Somerset a good chance of defeating Yorkshire.Jamie and Craig Overton give Somerset a good chance of defeating Yorkshire.
- Brendon McCullum’s relentless attack leaves England room for manoeuvre | Mike Selvey
The New Zealand captain is the best in international cricket but the first Test at Lord’s demonstrated the vulnerability of his aggressive field placings It has been referred to before in these columns but when it comes to Brendon McCullum it is hard to look beyond Ferdinand Foch who, during the first Battle of the Marne in 1914, is said to have sent a message to Marshal Joseph Joffre. “My centre is giving way,” it read, “my right is retreating, situation excellent, I am attacking.” McCullum probably does not have this epigram pasted inside his cricket case but there is little doubt it is an ethos to which he subscribes. Why defend when you can attack? Now I bow to no one in my admiration for McCullum, his attitude, and the manner in which he manages – through his credo – to instil a confidence in his bowlers that a more reticent approach might not bring. Related: England’s Ben Stokes shows that he fully deserves the hype | Vic Marks Related: Ben Stokes inspires England to win thrilling Test against New Zealand Continue reading... Brendon McCullum's field placings against Alastair Cook in the first Test at Lord's were ill-advised given the shots England's captain was playing. Photograph: Philip Brown/Action Images via ReutersBrendon McCullum's field placings against Alastair Cook in the first Test at Lord's were ill-advised given the shots England's captain was playing. Photograph: Philip Brown/Action Images via Reuters