England collapse on day two against New Zealand

England proved old habits die hard as a batting collapse on the second morning of the first Test swung momentum in New Zealand’s favour in Mount Maunganui.

Ben Stokes’s departure nine runs shy of a century was the catalyst for the floodgates to open as the relative comfort of 277 for four became 295 for eight, with four wickets falling in 21 balls.

Tim Southee took three of the wickets to fall as well as a slip catch before Jos Buttler and Jack Leach combined to take England to lunch on 329 for eight on a slow Bay Oval wicket.

New Zealand England Cricket
New Zealand England Cricket

England’s top order were disciplined on the opening day as captain Joe Root and head coach Chris Silverwood’s new vision for a more patient approach from their batsmen was carried out.

That strategy arose from a desire to eradicate the collapses which have punctuated Root’s reign, but Thursday’s good work was undermined by a procession of wickets early on day two after England resumed on 241 for four.

Stokes took to batting outside his crease as well as coming down the pitch to meet the ball, but the more purposeful tactic led to his downfall on 91 as he chased a wider one from Southee and edged into the cordon.

New Zealand England Cricket
New Zealand England Cricket

Ross Taylor atoned for dropping the all-rounder on 63 on day one with a sensational one-handed catch at first slip.

Ollie Pope had earlier successfully reviewed an lbw decision given against him on 18 but he fell for 29 after being tempted into flashing hard at one that swung gently away from him and nicking to wicketkeeper BJ Watling.

Southee had his second wicket in two balls when an in-swinger rapped Sam Curran on the pads and a review showed the ball would have clattered into middle and leg.

LUNCH! Superb second hour from the BLACKCAPS = GAME ON

🏏 Southee the pick with 4/74 🏏 Boult the other wicket-taker🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 329/8 https://t.co/KCxkXgzBiZ#NZvENG#cricketnationpic.twitter.com/8DP1JSVs4d

— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) November 22, 2019

Archer survived the hat-trick ball but Southee could not be kept out of the action, taking a fine catch at slip after Trent Boult had found the outside edge of the lower-order batsman.

Leach got off the mark with a quick single that would have had Buttler run out had Henry Nicholls hit the stumps from the off-side.

However, the English pair soaked up the initial pressure from the Kiwis and, moments before lunch, Buttler planted Boult straight down the ground for a towering six as he went to lunch on 29, with Leach on 12.