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Cricket news - Lawrence fifty steers England back to parity

Dan Lawrence stroked his third Test fifty

Dan Lawrence stroked his third Test fifty

Daniel Lawrence's unbeaten half-century helped England reach some parity on the opening day of the second Test after New Zealand had their noses ahead and tails up. Trent Boult had levied a double blow in the final session to power his team ahead, but Lawrence put his head down and ground it out in the middle, helping England reach 258 for 7 at stumps on Thursday (June 10), ending an even day of cricket.

A 47-run stand for the seventh wicket between Lawrence and Ollie Pope was crucial for England, who were reduced to 175 for 6 at one stage. Mark Wood then kept Lawrence company in the middle as the pair took England to safety. Wood remained unbeaten on 16, while Lawrence ended the day on 67, having added 36 runs for the eighth wicket.

New Zealand made a marvellous comeback after having gone wicketless in the opening session. The pacers used the swing on offer and with their immaculate lengths and lines, sent back the cream of England's batsmen. Boult struck in successive overs after Tea to get the set Rory Burns for 81 and James Bracey for a golden duck - his second in two games after one on debut at Lord's. He set up Burns beautifully bowling two straighter deliveries before the one swinging away. No footwork meant Burns ended up with an edge. Bracey too, went after a fuller and wider one that was edged to slip.

Lawrence and Pope had their nervy moments, but kept New Zealand's bowlers at bay. In the final hour of play, Ajaz Patel trapped Stone leg before as the batsman went down on a knee attempting the sweep. Patel picked up his second wicket for the game, creating a problem of plenty for New Zealand's selectors. After a morning session that belonged to England, New Zealand roared back into the contest after Lunch with four wickets. England lost 3-13 in the first few overs after Lunch with Burns once again left to battle through. It was the first time since 2011 that an England opening pair batted out an opening session of a home Test with Burns and Dom Sibley navigating New Zealand's attack with ease after opting to bat.

On the last ball of the first over after Lunch, Matt Henry struck with a short-of-a-good-length ball that straightened slightly to take the edge as Sibley was dismissed for 35, ending their 72-run stand. Neil Wagner then struck an over later too, adding to Zak Crawley's woes, forcing him to edge one after an inswinger was followed up with an away-angling fuller delivery. New Zealand's pacers had their tails up after they were able to find more movement through the air after the break. The bowled immaculate lines and lengths and tested the England batters. Henry then outdid Joe Root with a good length ball just outside off as the batsman succumbed to late away-swing as England were falling in a heap.

Burns, with a calm head, revived England's innings with Ollie Pope as the fourth-wicket pair added 42. Pope and Burns kept the scorecard ticking and patiently built their stand. Burns reached a 50 for the second time in three innings, following up from his century at Lord's, once again standing tall with wickets falling at the other end. It wasn't until Pope went after a short and wide delivery from Ajaz to get a feather to the 'keeper that the partnership was broken with Tea within sight.

In the final half hour of play, runs came thick and fast as the new ball found the boundaries fluently. New Zealand lost both their remaining reviews in a bid to end the swelling stand, but England's batsmen ensured no further damage was done.

Brief scores: England 258/7 (Dom Sibley 35, Rory Burns 81, Dan Lawrence 67*; Trent Boult 2-60, Matt Henry 2-66, Ajaz Patel 2-34) vs New Zealand.