Recent Match Report – New Zealand vs England 1st Test 2022

England 116 for 7 (Foakes 6*, Broad 4*) trail New Zealand 132 (de Grandhomme 42*, Potts 4-13, Anderson 4-66) by 16 runs

If the mantra of this England Test side, coached by Brendon McCullum and captained by Ben Stokes, is about “moving the game forward”, then the first day of the opening Test of the summer could scarcely have gone better. But after a flying start with the ball, England went back to old habits as New Zealand exposed familiar failings with the bat. Seventeen wickets went down on an apparently true Lord’s surface, and come the close it was far from clear which side was on top.

The game began in fast-forward, New Zealand sliding to 12 for 4 inside the first hour, but gradually settled on to a more even keel. James Anderson, playing the 170th match of his Test career, and Matthew Potts, in his first, shared eight wickets between them as the tourists were rounded up in two sessions following Kane Williamson’s decision to bat first; they were in dire straits at 45 for 7 only for Colin de Grandhomme to marshall to oversee some lower-order resistance.

After an encouraging opening stand of 59 between Zak Crawley and Alex Lees, England then shipped seven wickets during the evening session to bring New Zealand roaring back into the contest. Even after Kyle Jamieson produced the initial breakthroughs, they were still well placed on 92 for 2 and with thoughts beginning to turn towards consolidation. But Joe Root, in his first Test since resigning the captaincy, steered de Grandhomme to gully and England promptly lost 5 for 8 to revive memories of the grisly collapses that have disfigured their red-ball cricket over the last year.

Crawley was the first to depart, having produced a number of eye-catching shots in his 56-ball 43. But after stroking Jamieson through the covers for four, he attempted another lavish drive off his next ball only to produce a thin edge through to the keeper.

Ollie Pope’s maiden outing in first-class cricket at No. 3 did not last long, feathering behind off a rising Jamieson delivery, but it was the dismissal of Root that really shook England’s resolve. Tim Southee struck twice in the space of consecutive overs, trapping Lees lbw shuffling across his stumps after another dogged-but-insubstantial innings, before Stokes edged behind with just a single to his name. The slide gathered momentum as Trent Boult, straight into the side after his late dash from the IPL, claimed two in three balls, Jonny Bairstow dragging on to his stumps and Potts bounced out to conclude an eventful start to his Test career.

In true McCullum style, England charged headlong into their new era – literally, in the case of Jack Leach, who suffered a concussion when throwing himself full length over the boundary rope to prevent four and had to be substituted from the game. Matt Parkinson, the Lancashire legspinner, was called in as Leach’s replacement for an unexpected Test debut, although New Zealand’s first innings was over long before he had completed his journey from Manchester to Lord’s.

England ran rampant during an exhilarating morning session that saw New Zealand totter in at lunch on 39 for 6, as Potts, the Durham debutant, struck with his fifth ball and added two during an impressive first spell in Test cricket, going on to finish with 4 for 13. If England began the series with, in Stokes’ words, a “blank canvas”, they were soon daubing pretty pictures for an expectant crowd – and such a rousing start might help squeeze a few more in through the gates in the days and weeks to come.

Only two of New Zealand’s top six made it into double figures, a grim sequence which included Williamson scoring 2 from 22 balls before edging behind off Potts, Ben Foakes swooping to his right for his maiden dismissal behind the stumps on home soil. Daryl Mitchell struck three retaliatory boundaries only to play on in Potts’ fifth over, and the new boy had a third shortly before lunch when bringing one back up the slope to clatter Tom Blundell’s off stump.

New Zealand’s position worsened when Jamieson was out hooking to fine leg in the first over after lunch, and they were grateful for a counterattacking hand from de Grandhomme, who helped eke out 87 runs for the last three wickets.

For all the buzz around England promising a fresh approach to Test cricket, it was the familiar sight of Anderson and Stuart Broad that greeted the New Zealand openers, the new-ball pair back in harness after being dropped for the tour to the Caribbean. Stokes, who wore a one-off shirt in tribute to the hospitalised former England batter Graham Thorpe at the toss, confirmed that he too would have opted to bat, but was able to settle straight into his new role orchestrating proceedings from mid-off.

It took Anderson, playing his first Test since helping to secure a draw at the SCG in January, a mere seven balls to find his groove once again. Will Young was lured into pushing outside off but might have got away with a fast, low edge had it not been for a fantastic one-handed catch from Bairstow, throwing himself to his left from third slip. Anderson bagged the wicket of Latham in his next over, with Bairstow again the catcher – this time throwing himself for the rebound after dropping the initial, chest-high chance.

Broad did not have to wait long to get amongst it either, luring Devon Conway into a hard-handed prod that again provided catching practice for Bairstow in the slips, leaving New Zealand deep in trouble at 7 for 3 in the eighth over.

Their woes were deepened by the impact of Potts, handed his cap before play by Steve Harmison after being backed by Stokes – another Durham and England man – for his debut. Potts had never played a first-class match before at Lord’s, but walked off at lunch with figures of 3 for 8 after living up to his billing as a deck-hitting catalyst of a fast bowler.

He was on the money from the outset, and his first victim could scarcely have been more illustrious, as Williamson was drawn into pushing at one in the channel. Mitchell looked more comfortable than most of his colleagues, but was undone by some extra bounce as he looked to defend from the crease, before Blundell also fell cheaply to Potts, whose relentless line left the New Zealand wicketkeeper uncertain of his response, and fatally late on an in-ducker.

Jamieson threw the bat at four of his five deliveries after the break, before picking out Potts in the deep, but Southee was more successful in pushing England back, striking four boundaries in 26 off 23 balls. He fell in identical fashion to Anderson, and the removal of Ajaz Patel by Potts with the first ball of his second spell left both seamers contemplating a spot on the honours board. Potts limped off with cramp shortly after, replaced mid-over by Stokes, and the new captain finished the frivolity – at least until England’s madcap final hour.

Alan Gardner is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick