England hold out for draw with Dom Sibley's unbeaten fifty
NZ make enterprising declaration after stalemate looked set following third-day washout
England 275 (Burns 132, Southee 6-43) and 170 for 3 (Sibley 60*, Wagner 2-27) drew with New Zealand 378 (Conway 200, Nicholls 61, Robinson 4-75) and 169 for 6 dec (Latham 36, Robinson 3-26)
There are often many different ways to end up at the same destination. The first Lord's Test in two years had seemed destined for a draw after losing the entire third day to rain, and drawn it surely was as the teams shook hands at just gone 7pm on the final evening.
But there was peril and intrigue along the route, as New Zealand sprung a declaration on England after a brief shower brought about an early lunch. The carrot of chasing 273 in 75 overs had been dangled, though England were clearly wary of the offer. The home side looked outmatched for much of this first Test and the nerves were palpable when they fell to 56 for 2 shortly before tea, a wicket away from their youthful middle order being exposed.
In the end, there was not enough life in the pitch nor sand in the hourglass for New Zealand to make a concerted victory push. Dom Sibley batted more than five hours for a barnacle-encrusted half-century, as he and England's captain, Joe Root, ensured against jitters with an 80-run stand that stretched into the evening session. Even if there was no great final-day drama, the crowd were nevertheless keen to get in on the act, cheering the sweaty indefatigability of Neil Wagner - who went against type to crowbar out Rory Burns, England's first-innings centurion, and Root across two canny spells of searching swing bowling - as well as Sibley's almost heroically shot-shy approach to accumulation. Sibley ended a run of six consecutive innings without reaching double-figures to record his highest score since making 87 in Chennai earlier this year.
New Zealand have only won once before at Lord's, during their previous series victory in England back in 1999, but they resolved to give themselves a chance of another after resuming their second innings with a lead of 165. They took that on by more than 100 for the loss of four wickets during a lively morning session, which was curtailed by the arrival of rain, and then chose to set England what would have been the third-highest chase on the ground.
With Sibley searching for form and Burns playing in typically lugubrious fashion, the opening pair signalled England's intent. If not exactly shutting up shop, they were certainly prioritising a stock take out the back. Signs of variable bounce did little to coax greater intent, and Burns was struck a painful blow on the hand when Tim Southee got the ball to kick up from a length.
England had taken more than 23 overs in adding 49 for the first wicket when Wagner broke through. Following the blow from Southee, Burns almost fell to the same bowler when he gloved the ball just short of slip, and the introduction of Wagner's left-arm angle of attack only played on his uncertainty. After nine dot balls, which included an unsuccessful swipe, Burns fenced uncertainly to send an outswinger low to second slip.
With the atmosphere getting tense, Sibley edged Wagner through the cordon for four, and then with tea approaching Zak Crawley threw the bat to be caught in the gully. As in the first innings, he had fallen for 2 driving ambitiously at a full, wide delivery from Southee.
That left New Zealand needing eight wickets going into the final session, with England notionally looking to score 217 from 43 overs. Root eked his way to 4 off 38 balls, confirming that there would be no attempt to ruffle Kiwi feathers, and although he fell to Wagner, pinned on leg stump despite a review with the shadows beginning to lengthen, New Zealand could muster no further inroads.
The morning began with Wagner in the thick of the action, too, as New Zealand's nightwatchman carved and clipped a pair of boundaries in Stuart Broad's opening over. Wagner fell in the next, top-edging a pull to give Ollie Robinson his seventh wicket on debut, but frustration began to mount for Broad, who had gone five consecutive innings without success, as he saw Tom Latham dropped by the diving Crawley at midwicket. He soon had a moment of succour, though, when trapping the New Zealand opener lbw for his first dismissal in 488 deliveries.
With the watchful Latham gone, Ross Taylor upped the tempo during an innings of 33 off 35 that saw Robinson swung into the Tavern Stand and Mark Wood sliced over the rope at third man. Another swipe at Wood resulted in an edge behind, and with the players staying out during a rain shower, Henry Nicholls also fell trying to lift the scoring, as he gloved a reverse-sweep off Root's offspin. New Zealand's declaration was another enterprising move but the series will now be decided by the next week's encounter at Edgbaston.
Alan Gardner is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick