Mitchell and Blundell took control of New Zealand in the second Test

After captain Ken Williamson lost to the tourists due to a positive test for Covid-19, England decided to take the field on Trent Bridge but eventually regretted that decision.

The Black Caps’ top four batsmen failed to make a positive start and the hosts were expected to reach New Zealand’s tail early when they were 169 for four.

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But Mitchell (81 not out) – a century in the first Test at Lord’s – and Blundell (67 not out) in the same form strengthened the game for New Zealand, closing 318-4.

Stand-in skipper Tom Latham (26) and Will Young (47) put on an 84-run opening partnership to lay a solid foundation for the visitors.

England had worked hard to get a win and when they arrived it quickly took a second as Young was caught in the second slip and Latham pulled James Anderson to midwicket.

Henry Nichols (30) and Devon Conway (46) somewhat repeated the opener’s performance. Ben Stokes broke the 77-run partnership when he caught Nichols back and he fell just like Conway Anderson.

Yet there was no more joy in England’s search for increasing wickets. The hosts spoiled the review and both Mitchell and Blundell enjoyed a large amount of quiet progress, which gave a big boost to New Zealand’s hopes of setting a third Test decisive at Headingley.

Another Michelle-Blundell masterclass

Mitchell and Blundell, the New Zealand duo’s second-highest partnership of 195 in England, in the Black Caps’ defeat at Lord’s.

After making an impression in Nottingham, they are on track to move on, as the duo have again crossed the 50-run mark, 19 short of the former’s second consecutive century.

Wide blunt

Less than seven years have passed since Stuart Broad’s stunning 8-15 win over Australia at Trent Bridge. If he fails to improve on his first day’s efforts, he can’t miss the Test at home, with the front-runner Seymour providing a low risk in the 0-74 figures.

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