Friday December 03, 2021

Henry strikes as England collapse against NZ in second Test

June 11, 2021

BIRMINGHAM: Matt Henry struck twice on his return to international cricket as a much-changed New Zealand reduced England to 152-4 at tea on the first day of the second Test at Edgbaston on Thursday.

England, who had been 72-0, lost three wickets for 13 runs shortly after lunch as they slumped to 85-3, with captain Joe Root out for just four.

But opener Rory Burns, fresh from his hundred in the drawn first Test at Lord’s last week, was still there on 73 not out.

Henry, one of six changes to New Zealand’s side, deserved his interval figures of 2-36 in 13 overs.

The paceman, in for the veteran Tim Southee — one of three New Zealand players rested ahead of next week’s inaugural World Test Championship final against India at Southampton — started the slump.

Dom Sibley tried to leave a Henry away-swinger but was caught behind for 35.

England’s 72-1 became 73-2 when Zak Crawley’s miserable run continued with a duck, the batsman caught in the slips after a loose shot off left-arm paceman Neil Wagner — the only surviving member of New Zealand’s attack from Lord’s.

It was Crawley’s ninth single-figure score in 11 Test innings since his stunning 267 against Pakistan last year.

Henry then captured the prize wicket of key batsman Root, caught behind off an excellent outswinger that moved late.Root had won the toss and batted despite overcast conditions that appeared to favour his attack, once again without a specialist spinner.New Zealand had to make three injury-enforced changes, with captain and key batsman Kane Williamson (elbow), spinner Mitchell Santner (cut finger) and BJ Watling (sore back) all missing from the side.

Their places were taken by Will Young, Ajaz Patel and Tom Blundell respectively, with Tom Latham captaining the team.

Experienced left-arm seamer Trent Boult, back in the team after family leave, was wicketless after conceding a mere 28 runs in 14 overs.

Meanwhile, James Anderson’s 162nd appearance saw him become England’s most-capped Test player, breaking the record he had shared with retired former captain Alastair Cook.

England made one change, with fast bowler Olly Stone replacing Ollie Robinson who, following a successful on-field Test debut at Lord’s, was suspended from international cricket after the emergence of historic racist and sexist Twitter posts.

Despite the furore over Robinson’s tweets, both teams again stood for a ‘moment of unity’ before play designed to show their opposition to discrimination within cricket.

And they were roared on to the field by a crowd of some 17,000 — two-thirds of Edgbaston’s capacity — as part of the British Government’s easing of coronavirus restrictions.