LONDON :England offered stiff resistance in the final session to secure a tedious draw against New Zealand on day five of the first test at Lord’s on Sunday.

First Test - England v New Zealand

Cricket – First Test – England v New Zealand – Lord’s Cricket Ground, London, Britain – June 6, 2021 New Zealand’s Tim Southee appeals for the wicket of England’s Dom Sibley Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

LONDON -England offered stiff resistance in the final session to secure a tedious draw against New Zealand on day five of the first test at Lord’s on Sunday.

Having lost day three’s play due to rain, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson made a bold declaration at 169-6 at lunch to set England a target of 273.

But England openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley arrived at the crease focused only on blunting the new-ball bowling attack in a bid to save the test match.

Sibley spent over five hours in the middle for his unbeaten 60 off 207 balls, while Ollie Pope was unbeaten on 20.

The hosts finished with 170-3 in 70 overs before both sides shook hands on a draw late in the evening.

England captain Joe Root, who showed incredible patience for his 40 in the final session, said they adopted a cautious approach given the quality of the visiting bowling attack on a deteriorating surface.

“It was slow and hard to time the ball and get any sort of rhythm,” Root told the BBC. “You look at the target and amount of overs you have, it wasn’t quite as straightforward as that.

“Of course it will disappoint a few people but from our point of view, we’re very much in this series.

“We leave here level and give ourselves a great chance to win the series at Edgbaston.”

‘SPECIAL’ CONWAY

New Zealand may have missed an opportunity to put England on the ropes ahead of the second test at Edgbaston, but captain Williamson can take plenty of positives from Lord’s.

Devon Conway produced a masterful double hundred on debut, while Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson proved difficult to contain with the new ball and combined for 10 wickets in the match.

“Special performance from Conway, a special player,” Williamson said. “He showed his class on his debut test at the home of cricket.

“Special performance from Tim as well, he led the attack beautifully, and (the other) guys complemented him well. We had to be patient on this pitch, and we got rewards for that.”

Meanwhile, England must make a difficult decision on the immediate international future of debutant Ollie Robinson, who was forced to apologise after historical tweets of a racist and sexist nature were revealed on the opening day.

“Ollie’s learned a hard lesson. It’s unacceptable what he’s done,” Root said. “He’s fronted up to the dressing room and the world.

When asked if fast bowler Robinson will be available for the second test, Root said: “Not sure. Can’t answer that.”

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Ken Ferris)



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