England won the 1st Test match against New Zealand at Lords by 124 runs. The first Test match between New Zealand and England started on so called ‘ Mecca of Cricket’, Lords and things could not have been worse for the home side after they were put to bat first on a ground which was due to provide some help to the fast bowlers.
England were reduced to 30 for the loss of 4 wickets and things could have been worse for them had the umpiring decisions went into their favor. But all rounder Ben Stokes rose to the occasion and carried the ship forward, along with Joe Root, before both the batsman were dismissed in the 90s. Joe Root scored 98 runs and Ben Stokes scored 92 runs.
After both these batsman were dismissed, Jos Butler and all rounder Moeen Ali took the initiative and scored valuable 50s, with Butler scoring 67 and Ali scoring 58 runs. After Butler’s dismissal, England were soon bundled out for 389 runs on a pitch which still had a lot for the bowlers. Boult and Henry took 4 wickets each and 1 wicket each was shared by Southee and Craig.
But the way New Zealand replied put England on the back foot. After a solid 148 runs opening stand, where both the openers went on to score a half century, it was the class of Kane Williamson who was the centre of attraction. Williamson scored 132 runs and was the fulcrum of New Zealand’s batting. Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum and DJ Watling, all chipped in with some useful contributions to put New Zealand on top. New Zealand ended their innings on 523 runs, with a lead of 144 runs. Broad, Ali and debutant Wood shared 3 wickets each and Anderson managed just 1.
England were into pressure and the start made it worse for them. They were reduced to 74 for 3, from 25 for 2. Boult and Southee were on fire and the man who stepped up was none other than Captain Cook, who has been facing the music since last year, for both onfield and off-field reasons. He anchored the innings, first with Joe Root and then with Ben Stokes. Joe Root scored 84 runs and Ben Stokes went on to score a century, silencing all his critics and proving his worth again. Alastair Cook also scored a big century, 162, and with Moeen Ali chipping in with some handy runs, England managed to score 478 runs, setting a target of 345 runs for New Zealand in two and half sessions.
New Zealand then had a horrible start to their innings. Their top order was blown away by English bowlers and they were reduced to 61 for 5. None apart from Watling and Anderson looked comfortable, though Kane Williamson showed signs to score a big one. McCullum got out for a golden duck and the match was all over for New Zealand. The lower order did try their best but could only delay the inevitable, with New Zealand being dismissed for 220 runs and losing the match by 124 runs. Stokes and Broad picked 3 wickets each and rest others chipped in with a wicket each.
Ben Stokes was awarded the ‘Man of the Match’ award for his 2 valuable innings and picking up 3 wickets in the 2nd innings. Second test match of series will start from 29 May.