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1st Test, Lord's, June 02 - 06, 2021, New Zealand tour of England
378 & 169/6d
(T:273) 275 & 170/3

Match drawn

Player Of The Match
200 & 23

Rory Burns-Joe Root stand keeps Test evenly balanced

Pair help hosts recover from 18 for 2 after Devon Conway's double-century on debut

Alan Gardner
Alan Gardner
England 111 for 2 (Burns 59*, Root 42*) trail New Zealand 378 (Conway 200, Nicholls 61, Robinson 4-75) by 267 runs
England fought their way back into the contest at Lord's, as a fluctuating day ended with Rory Burns and Joe Root orchestrating a composed reply to Devon Conway becoming only the seventh man in Test history to score a double-century on debut. New Zealand posted 378 but the innings fell away after Mark Wood's three-wicket burst during the morning had inspired the home side.
Despite losing their last seven wickets for 90 runs either side of lunch, and failing to capitalise fully on a majestic Test bow from Conway, New Zealand tails were up after they claimed two quick breakthroughs with the new ball before tea. But following a slow start, Burns and Root mixed sound judgement with positive intent in an unbroken 93-run stand that saw England to the close without further loss.
This was an important innings for Burns, in particular, having returned to the side after playing just two Tests out of six over the winter. He weathered testing spells from New Zealand's new-ball pair of Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson, and later proved equal to a short-ball bombardment to bring up his first half-century in nine innings, going back to last summer's third Test against West Indies.
Root was also watchful early on, having come to the crease with England 18 for 2 - Jamieson striking in his second over to have Dom Sibley lbw for a duck and Southee then inducing an impetuous drive from Zak Crawley - with the third-wicket pair taking 20.2 overs to add 40 runs up to the evening session drinks break.
Kane Williamson brought on Colin de Grandhomme to bowl to Root, doubtless hoping to play on the memory of their World Cup final duel on this ground two years ago. Root was caught behind off de Grandhomme after a tortured 7 off 29 balls on that occasion; here, he carefully played out 23 dots from the New Zealand allrounder, before cuffing four through backward point and settling into the rebuilding effort alongside Burns.
Williamson also attempted to find a breakthrough via Neil Wagner's Leg Theory - which sounds like a 1970s psychedelia band but remains one of the more compelling sights in the game currently. With fine leg, deep square, forward square, leg gully and midwicket posted, Wagner hustled in and tested out the middle of the pitch only to find Burns was up to the challenge as he twice swivelled on pulls for four, before tucking Jamieson off his body to bring up fifty.
New Zealand's first-innings total was underpinned by the relentless Conway, who went to his double-century with a six off James Anderson but fell short of carrying his bat when he was run out coming back to the non-striker's for a second in the following over. He had batted for almost ten hours to score more than half of his side's runs, with Henry Nicholls' 61 the next-highest contribution.
Conway and Nicholls extended their partnership to 174 during the first hour on day two, but the introduction of Wood precipitated a New Zealand collapse of 4 for 6 in 8.4 overs. From 288 for 3, a score in excess of 400 seemed in order, only for New Zealand to stumble to 338 for 9 before some happy slapping from Wagner - who casually lofted Stuart Broad over long-off before drilling Anderson through the covers - helped add 40 for the last wicket.
Speaking before the start of play, Wood had suggested England would aim to control the scoring in the hope that "a couple of quick wickets [and] the whole complexion of the match changes". Initially that seemed little more than wishful thinking, as Nicholls punched Broad up the slope to the pavilion to raise his half-century and New Zealand runs came steadily.
But Wood made good on the prediction during a controlled spell that sparked the contest into life. First the previously unflappable Nicholls was hurried by a well-directed short ball that induced a flap to long leg; then BJ Watling, so often a one-man roadblock at No. 6, was taken at slip for 1 as Wood found seam movement up the slope to go with his pace from the Pavilion End.
Ollie Robinson, who finished with 4 for 75 to return the focus to his cricket after the off-field revelations that overshadowed his first day in Test cricket, trapped de Grandhomme lbw after a review, and when Wood had Santner caught in the covers, New Zealand had slipped to 292 for 7. At that point, Wood's figures for the morning read 6-2-7-3 and England were back in the hunt.
New Zealand's slide continued after lunch, as Jamieson was caught trying to take on Robinson's bouncer and Anderson removed Southee - who provided a maiden catch for the debutant James Bracey - but Conway continued to make serene progress even as the innings unravelled around him. He had already made the highest score by a man on Test debut in England, eclipsing WG Grace and Kumar Ranjitsinhji as he moved steadily past 150, but seemed set to be stranded short of another milestone, only for Wagner to do more than hold up an end.

Alan Gardner is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick