England debutant Matthew Potts took four wickets against New Zealand only for the hosts to also collapse on the opening day of the first Test at Lord’s on Thursday. The World Test champions were sacked for 132 before England fell by punch to 116-7 in the first of this three-game streak. Prior to the match, there was talk of England getting a fresh start under new Test captain Ben Stokes and recently appointed coach Brendon McCullum, the former New Zealand skipper.
But this was a reminder that there are no quick fixes to the fundamental weakness in striking power that has helped England win just one of their previous 17 games at this level, a run that has left them at the bottom of the World Test Championship table.
Potts took an excellent four wickets for 13 runs in 9.2 overs, a reward for a challenging line and length, with recalled England pace great James Anderson figures of four for 66 in 16.
Zak Crawley launched England’s answer with a solid 43.
But the opener’s exit led to a slump that saw England lose seven wickets for just 41 runs on a good pitch under a sunny blue sky – seemingly ideal batting conditions.
Stokes himself was out for just one, with former captain and star batsman Joe Root fired for 11.
New Zealand left-armed speedy Trent Boult, who only arrived in England on Monday after playing in the Indian Premier League final, took two for 15 in 10 overs and sky-high pacer Kyle Jamieson two for 20 in seven.
Crawley had looked excellent, with the best of the seven four riding a straight from Tim Southee. But after being caught behind Jamieson, wickets tumbled.
Root hit a signature force shot for foursome all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme, but was caught in the trench and played a similar blow to the same bowler for 11.
Alex Lees struggled to make 25 from 77 before taking Stokes behind for just one from Southee.
Jonny Bairstow was also out on a single before Boult brought Potts back to earth by removing the newcomer for a duck in his first Test innings — the last of a remarkable 17 wickets that fell in the game of the day.
New Zealand had been in turmoil for seven years at 45 after captain Kane Williamson’s decision to hit first.
But all-rounder de Grandhomme’s unbeaten 42 out of 50 balls boosted their total.
Anderson and Stuart Broad, England’s two most successful Test bowlers of all time, with 1,177 wickets between them prior to this match, were both controversially left out of a 1-0 series loss in the Caribbean earlier this year.
But the 39-year-old Anderson was soon back in a familiar groove as he removed openers Will Young and Tom Latham using two slip catchers, the first a brilliant one-handed dive attempt, by Bairstow.
New Zealand’s Devon Conway, who made a double century at Lord’s on his Test debut last year, fell for just three times on Thursday when he was caught by Bairstow at Broad.
England’s Jack Leach had to leave the field half an hour after the start of the day after the spinner landed on his head and neck when stopping at a boundary.
Leach was later banned from the remainder of the match due to concussion symptoms, with England calling on uncovered Lancashire leg spinner Matt Parkinson from Manchester as a concussion substitute.
However, Potts hit with just his fifth ball when Williamson, whose elbow injury meant he had missed New Zealand’s previous five Tests, slid low to wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)