Wickets aplenty as England collapse after New Zealand slump

New Zealand’s Tim Southee celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of England’s Matthew Potts in the First Test between England and New Zealand at Lord’s Cricket Ground, London, Britain on 2 June 2022Reuters

England debutant Matthew Potts took four wickets against New Zealand only for the hosts to collapse as well on a dramatic opening day of the first Test at Lord’s on Thursday.

New Zealand, the World Test champions, were dismissed for 132 before England slumped to 116 for seven by stumps.

Prior to this three-match series, there had been talk of England making a fresh start under their new Test leadership duo of captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum, the former New Zealand skipper.

But this was a reminder there are no quick solutions to the batting woes that have contributed to England winning just one of their previous 17 matches at this level, a run that has left them bottom of the World Test Championship table.

Earlier, it was New Zealand’s batting that looked fallible as they slumped to 39 for six before lunch.

Potts finished with superb figures of four wickets for 13 runs in 9.2 overs, a reward for a challenging line and length, with recalled England pace great James Anderson taking four for 66 in 16.

England’s Matthew Potts celebrates with teammates after taking a catch to dismiss New Zealand’s Kyle Jamieson off the bowling of James Anderson in the First Test between England and New Zealand at Lord’s Cricket Ground, London, Britain on 2 June 2022

“It was nice to get some wickets early on and settle the nerves,” Potts, who had New Zealand captain and star batsman Kane Williamson caught behind with just his fifth ball in Test cricket, told Sky Sports.

Zak Crawley launched England’s reply with a brisk 43 before he was caught behind off Kyle Jamieson to spark a slump that saw seven wickets fall for just 41 runs on a good pitch beneath sunny blue skies -- seemingly ideal batting conditions.

New Zealand left-arm quick Trent Boult, who only arrived in England on Monday after playing in the Indian Premier League final, took two for 15 in 10 overs and the towering Jamieson two for 20 in seven.

‘Back in the game’

“We’re back in the game,” Jamieson told reporters.

“So it’s certainly nice to be sitting here after how it looked around lunchtime.”

Root struck a trademark forcing shot boundary off de Grandhomme only to be caught in the gully playing a similar stroke off the same bowler for 11.

Stokes and Jonny Bairstow both fell for just one apiece, before Boult brought Potts back down to earth by removing the newcomer for a duck in his first Test innings.

New Zealand had been in dire straits following Williamson’s decision to bat first after winning the toss.

But de Grandhomme, who unlike so many of his under-prepared team-mates had got used to English conditions by played for county side Surrey this season, made unbeaten 42 off 50 balls to bolster the total.

Anderson and Stuart Broad, England’s two most successful Test bowlers of all time, with over 1,000 wickets between them prior to this match, had both been controversially left out of a 1-0 series loss in the Caribbean earlier this year.

But the 39-year-old Anderson was soon back in the groove as he removed openers Will Young and Tom Latham with the aid of two slip catches, the first a brilliant diving one-handed effort, by Bairstow.

New Zealand’s Devon Conway, who made a double century at Lord’s in his Test debut last year, fell for just three on Thursday when caught by Bairstow off Broad.

Matt Parkinson made a four-hour car journey from Manchester having being summoned as England’s first concussion substitute in place of Jack Leach after his fellow spinner was ruled out following a fall on his head chasing a ball to the boundary in the morning session.