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England v New Zealand

England’s last-day go-slow against New Zealand splits opinion

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

England’s decision to not go for the target of 273 in 75 overs to win the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s has split opinion among fans and pundits.

One of the most aggressive white-ball teams, England’s go-slow approach on Sunday has not gone down well with all fans, who think that the target could have been breached if they had shown a little more intent.

After the Kiwis declared at 169-6 on Day 5 of the first Test, the English openers began on a rather cautious note. The first wicket put on 49 runs but took 23.4 overs to do so, which took away the momentum from the game. Rory Burns was the first to depart after Tim Southee latched onto a brilliant catch, with the pacer bending forward at second slip to give the team the first wicket of the day.

Though Zak Crawley departed for just two, his knock came in 25 deliveries, as it became increasingly evident that the home side were looking to play out the day instead of going for the target. Joe Root made 40 off 71 with five fours, but it all seemed too late in the end.

Some felt England’s approach was dictated by the quality and the skills of the team chosen.

However, others thought that England should have had a go of some sort, with their responsibility not just to keep their chances of a series win alive, but to entertain the fans watching at home and in the ground.

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