That’s it then from me, the match report will land here soon. New Zealand showing just why they are contesting the World Test Championship final later this month. Thanks for the correspondence, good night!
An old fashioned, attritional day of Test cricket, dominated by Devon Conway’s superb debut century. He looked the part- calm, balanced, unfussy, yet with flair – and backed up the first-class figures which had had everyone talking beforehand. He was briefly perturbed by Mark Wood bowling at 94-95 mph at the body in the morning, but rode it out.
England’s bowlers kept plugging away. Robinson probably the pick, tireless on debut, picking up two wickets. Anderson swept up his bunny Williamson, while Mark Wood had to bowl longer spells than would be ideal. England’s decision to not play a front-line spinner could bite them later, though Root held up one end well without threatening.
86th over: New Zealand 246-3 (Conway 136, Nicholls 46) Broad runs in for one last hurrah. His fifth ball zips past Nicholls’ outside edge and is greeted by rueful grins from the slips. The New Zealanders have a hug on the pitch, Root bumps fists with Conway as he walks off and England, and the 6 and a half thousand crowd, applaud him up the empty pavilion steps. Well played!
And a final word on the lemon top as well, this from Tim Sanders:“Whitby is well-known for the lemon bun as well as the lemon-top ice cream. Presumably Whitby’s status as a busy port gave local bakers and the antecedents of Mr & Ms Whippy the opportunity to develop these culinary delights. I’ve turned up more or less conclusive evidence in a PhD thesis from 1982 by one Stephanie Jones of University College London. According to her research, 175 chests of lemons were imported into Whitby in the year 1790 alone. Those not commandeered for the prevention of scurvy at sea must have been a blessing and a boon for those we would today call artisan foodies.”
85th over: New Zealand 246-3 (Conway 136, Nicholls 46) In some sudden sun, Conway drives Anderson with a flourish, behind point for four. The penultimate over of the day ticks by.
84th over: New Zealand 242-3 (Conway 132, Nicholls 46) Three slips wait as Broad runs in to Conway, who sends the ball off his legs, through some scavenging pigeons and picks up three. Now, in answer to an earlier question from an OBO correspondent – the highest score at Lord’s on debut before today was Sourav Ganguly’s 131 – it is now Conway’s 132 not out!
83rd over: New Zealand 239-3 (Conway 129, Nicholls 46) Anderson’s palms and the inside of Bracey’s gloves are stained red from the new ball. The skies are darkening over Lord’s, and Anderson makes the ball dance, beating Nicholl’s outside edge one ball, before sending the ball zipping across his pads the next.
82nd over: New Zealand 239-3 (Conway 129, Nicholls 46) Can Nicholls clear from his mind the thoughts of a fifty? Broad tempts Conway to nibble at the new cherry, but he resists.
81st over: New Zealand 235-3 (Conway 129, Nicholls 43) Anderson rushes in with the new ball for the first time; Nicholls takes a look and swishes it off his hip for four. An lbw appeal that was too high follows, then more probing and defending – the thread of the day.
“Haiya Tanya Aldred.” Hello Sandip-bike. “Greetings from a toasty Portland in Oregon, where yes, it is 22C and rising! I felt compelled to write as there is much talk on heat on your obo. I also find the OBO (along with the other offerings at Graun, mbm, etc) are where I learn much about the rest of the world. However today, the page keeps skipping and I did wonder if Peter ‘low over rae’ Salmon has finally found home (59th over). There is a question that has kept me puzzled, and it is about the umpire reviews in regard to lines (for instance, run-out and stumping). The DRS draws lines, just like the VAR does on footy fields. Do you or any of your contributors-readers know if the line in cricket (DRS) is same thickness as the offside line that the VAR chappies draw? And now back to regularly programmed scheduling for me, which is mucking about with macros to remove unwanted cells and rows in worksheets.”
I think this might be one for Rob. I’ll forward your email to him, unless any OBO-ers can help?
80th over: New Zealand 231-3 (Conway 129, Nicholls 38) Root isn’t going to have any of his bowlers box-fresh for the new ball, but new ball it will be as Broad finishes the 80th over, with three runs off it, and the third umpire runs on with a shiny new one in his hand.
79th over: New Zealand 228-3 (Conway 129, Nicholls 36) Wood sends one wide of Conway who drives fiercely and Rory Burns makes a superb flying save that wakes the Lord’s crowd from their evening slumber.
Fantastic fact from Sky: 85 players have made their debut since Jimmy Anderson first pulled on an England shirt.
“I’ve just looked up lemon tops and now I have a different kind of ice cream envy,” writes Phil Sawyer. “I would very much like one of those right now. I’m not sure 1980s Lancashire would have been ready for them, mind.”
78th over: New Zealand 226-3 (Conway 128, Nicholls 35) It’s Broad’s turn to iron out the creases before the new ball is available in three overs. Just one from it.
77th over: New Zealand 225-3 (Conway 127, Nicholls 35) Loose-shot klaxon! Conway tries to fizzle Wood through the covers but instead gets a thick edge and screams it past his leg stump. He silently reorganises his brain cells.
76th over: New Zealand 217-3 (Conway 125, Nicholls 33) Conway slog-sweeps a wheeling Root for four. Hope all this bowling doesn’t tire him too much from his main task.
“Hi Tanya.” Hi Vincent O’Connor! “Greetings from a damp Cork city. First off, great coverage by your good self and your colleagues at the OBO, as ever. I was wondering if you could enlighten me as to the highest test debut scores, maybe ever and also specifically at Lords?”
Well, the highest maiden century, was Garry Sobers’ 365. The highest score on debut 237 by RE Foster in 1903.
75th over: New Zealand 217-3 (Conway 121, Nicholls 33) Wood again, who replaces Anderson. Breathing heavily, he walks back to his mark. He stumbles in his follow-through on one delivery, roars out an optimistic lbw appeal to another. A maiden with an iron fist for effort.
74th over: New Zealand 217-3 (Conway 121, Nicholls 33) England are keeping it tight, just like the text books say, only one off Root’s over, but Conway and Nicholls don’t seem to be feeling the pressure of slow scoring.
Derek writes from Bulgaria, “First mail of the season of the Gods. Not hadanything playing-wise to comment upon.
So as a former sun worshipper, ex Zimbabwean who could not really warm up in my 20 years in blighty, I find heat much more difficult to live with at 67.
In Bulgaria, people appear to disrobe at a certain date. My wife and I astound the locals dressing for the day. They can be wrapped up in winter clothing, maybe sweating, yet the summer has not officially started so the layers remain. The great day arrives and the clothes are shed. It must be quite a body shock to the nervous system.
The cricket season, as it is, is split into two. July and August in the high 80s Fahrenheit. I thought of suggesting the old school PE kit of white singlet (vest) and shorts but then thought the winter/summer dress code may confuse players.
OK. Kiwi’s still just 3 down. Hope I may find a comment about the match tomorrow!!!!”
73rd over: New Zealand 216-3 (Conway 121, Nicholls 32) Nicholls is quietly lining his shelves, he averages over 40 in Tests and is well on the way today.
72nd over: New Zealand 215-3 (Conway 121, Nicholls 31) Shackles burst! Conway drives Root neatly, cripsly, through the covers to bring up the 100 partnership in 205 balls.
71st over: New Zealand 210-3 (Conway 117, Nicholls 30) It’s Anderson and it’s attritional, but New Zealand have the upper hand.
“Just tuning in and seeing the over rate – 10 overs behind at drinks? Pretty poor in these conditions to be this far behind,” says Paul Bowman. What are the penalties this series for slow play given there are no WTC points at stake?”
Well they’ll be punished themselves by not getting a big burst with the second new ball this evening. Might be time to give Dan Lawrence a quick burst too, even if only to ring the changes.
70th over: New Zealand 209-3 (Conway 117, Nicholls 29) Root wheels through his ninth over and.. to the third ball after drinks…. Bracey excitedly races round for a stumping. The umpire calls for a review and – ooof – it’s close, and slick glove work, but Nicholls just got an outstretched toecap back over the line.
Andrew Benton writes: “I’ve just returned from having Covid jab number 2 to see the batters having something of a field day, which is odd since it’s England in the field. On my walk back, I found a history of the secondary school I went to in a charity shop – no famous cricketers, but one famous actor. I’m wondering which schools have nurtured the most England or county players.” Eton is usually the answer to this sort of question. Or the school of hard-knocks (the mines).
69th over: New Zealand 208-3 (Conway 117, Nicholls 28) Wondering if Root might come to tire of his vice-captain Stuart Broad and his constant helpful suggestions. Anyway, Anderson is persuaded to take on the task of bowling with an ageing orb and immediately delivers a maiden. Drinks and one last haul.
68th over: New Zealand 208-3 (Conway 117, Nicholls 28) Wood labours through another, but it feels time to give him a rest. From the New Zealand dressing-room balcony, Kane Williamson and Tom Latham chew the fat with a Fat Freddy’s Drop vibe.
67th over: New Zealand 206-3 (Conway 116, Nicholls 27) Nicholls goes down onto one knee and, with a touch of pin-stripe, sweeps Root for four.
“This heat business works the other way too, says John Starbuck. “I well remember being in Florence one March and, because it was warm, walking around with only a T-shirt on my top half. When we got to the street market I heard plenty of remarks about how I needed a proper jacket, this from people bundled up in anoraks.”
So anoraks go to Florence in March and to Headingley in April?
66th over: New Zealand 200-3 (Conway 117, Nicholls 22) This a game of patience now. Wood must be near the end of this spell, but charges in regardless. Nicholls merrily plays it out as the floodlights are switched on at a Lord’s where the clouds have drawn over.
65th over: New Zealand 198-3 (Conway 115, Nicholls 20) Root zips through a tidy but not over-threatening over. The New Zealand batters pause for refreshment.
“I remember going to a Lord’s test match way back when and, along with the rest of the crowd, getting excited when Ian Botham came out to bat,” writes Steve Colwill. “Dot ball, sumptuous cover drive for four, dot ball, caught behind. He left the wicket to a near dead silence.”
The deadly power of the silent crowd.
64th over: New Zealand 198-3 (Conway 115, Nicholls 20) A hard-working maiden from Wood.
Mark sneaks an email into the OBO post bage. “Really enjoying sneaking peeks at the obo while ‘working’…
“Seeing the picture of England players gathering around Robinson celebrating a wicket, I note the height and build of Zak Crawley; has anyone suggested looking at his bowling in the nets? Wikipedia says he bowls off-break, but with his height he might get batsmen with his bounce more than turn if he pushes it through?”
You’re right, he’s got the stature but, according to Cricinfo, he’s bowled 57 overs in first-class cricket but taken not a wicket.
63rd over: New Zealand 198-3 (Conway 115, Nicholls 20) The bottle spins and stops at Joe Root. Conway sweeps him airily, but picks up three.
“Afternoon, Tanya.” Hello, Phil Sawyer! “In unexpected news, I have ice cream envy. In my misbegotten youth I was Mr Whippy on the pier in St Annes-on-the-Sea. I never got to work with dry ice, though. Kim Thonger has lifted the lid on an impossibly rock star slant on the frozen iced product, complete with a crowd pleasing finale. All I ever got was angry tourists exclaiming ‘’Ow much?!’.”
But did you offer lemon tops? That was a new experience for me the first time I went to Whitby.
62nd over: New Zealand 194-3 (Conway 112, Nicholls 19) Conway moves into three figures with some flair, top-edging Wood for four over Bracey’s head before pulling him to the deep square boundary with a walnut-oiled roll of the wrists.
61st over: New Zealand 185-3 (Conway 103, Nicholls 19) A super innings by Conway, he looks classy and nerveless. He’s the sixth player to make a debut century at Lord’s: after Andrew Strauss, Sourav Ganguly, Matt Prior and three others who I didn’t catch.
Devon Conway makes a hundred on debut!
With a one-legged flick off Robinson, Conway sends the ball to the boundary and that’s the hundred! Well played! He removes his helmet and allows himself a modest twitch of the lip corners as on the balcony his teammates stand and applaud.
60th over: New Zealand 176-3 (Conway 98, Nicholls 15) Root whistles for Wood in an attempt to unsettle Conway. Conway pulls flamboyantly, a heart in mouth moment for the spectator, but he know what he’s doing and the ball skittles away safely for one. An exchange of singles and he retains the strike on 98.