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Cricket news - Quick strikes dent England

Colin de Grandhomme dismissed the English openers

New Zealand's pace pair of Colin de Grandhomme and Neil Wagner picked up a wicket each in the second session to peg England back. At Tea on Day 1 of the first Test, the tourists were 121 for 3.

At the start of the post-Lunch session, the two not out batsmen, Rory Burns (52) and Joe Denly (41*), had to paddle through a tricky period when the duo found themselves in trouble against the pace pair of Neil Wagner and Tim Southee. Wagner, renowned for his short ball tactics, banged in a well-directed bumper that smashed Burns flush on the helmet. Burns, who for a long period of time, was intent on holding the bat slightly inside the line, was perhaps a tad unnerved by the blow as he began to chase at deliveries in the channel outside the off-stump.

Southee even induced the edge from Burns only for it to fly through the small gap between first and second slip fielders - Ross Taylor and Tom Latham. Denly also poked at a few short deliveries from Wagner. However, when presented with the opportunity, he also took on the short ball. The pair negotiated the threat and looked set to share a stand of substance. Burns, though, against the run of play fell to Colin de Grandhomme by edging one behind. Wagner then got some reward for his persistence by forcing Joe Root to edge one to Tim Southee in the slips. It was a poor shot from Root as he just played away from the body.

At that stage, Ben Stokes joined forces with Denly and ensured the visitors wouldn't lose another wicket. De Grandhomme was the most impressive bowler on show for the hosts. He kept pegging away and found a hint of swing to pick up a couple of scalps so far in the day. Wagner, on the other hand, stuck to his tried and tested tactics of banging it into the pitch.

Earlier, Burns and Dominic Sibley had shared an opening stand of 52 as England made steady progress in the first session. England, who rightly opted to bat, made a fine start. Sibley, on his Test debut, opened his account in Test cricket with a boundary through midwicket off Boult. With Sibley shuffling across towards the off-stump, New Zealand's pacers made the mistake of bowling too straight and paid the price. Time and again, Sibley showcased his ability to play through the on-side with neat flicks off Wagner and Boult. Eventually, de Grandhomme, who came in as the first change bowler, made the initial incision by inducing Sibley to drive and the resultant edge was taken by Ross Taylor in the slip cordon.

Meanwhile, Burns, Sibley's former team-mate at Surrey, had a few scares at the start of his innings. He could even have been dismissed in the fifth over. Boult generated just enough away-swing and perhaps found the edge too, only for the on-field umpire to adjudge it as not out. The HotSpot suggested there was a mark, but New Zealand didn't take the review. Once Burns got set, he employed the cut and flick to collect boundaries. After Sibley was dismissed, he found an able ally in Joe Denly as the duo guided England to lunch.

Brief scores: England 121/3 (Rory Burns 52, Joe Denly 41*; Colin de Grandhomme 2-23) vs New Zealand.

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