|Second LV= Insurance Test, Trent Bridge (day two)|
|New Zealand 553: Mitchell 190, Blundell 106|
|England 90-1: Pope 51*, Lees 34*|
Daryl Mitchell’s superb 190 gave New Zealand complete control of the second Test against England on day two at Trent Bridge.
Mitchell’s knock, allied to 106 from Tom Blundell and 49 by debutant Michael Bracewell, carried the tourists to 553 all out.
It is the third-highest total England have ever conceded after inserting the opposition, and largest for 33 years.
Mitchell, who was dropped on three on Friday, also benefitted from being put down on 104 by Matthew Potts.
England lost Zak Crawley for only four, but recovered to 90-1, with Ollie Pope on 51 and Alex Lees 34.
Mitchell repaid England’s generosity with two drops of his own at first slip, one each for Lees and Pope.
England will begin Sunday 463 behind, looking for a way to somehow preserve their 1-0 series lead.
New Zealand cash in
After their errors of the first day – putting New Zealand into bat and then missing four catches – there was always the danger that England would be made to pay on Saturday.
Once Mitchell and Blundell came through a morning burst with a second new ball that was only seven overs old, New Zealand took full advantage of ideal batting conditions.
There were early warning signs that England could lose the plot – Potts’ drop of Mitchell was poor, mistakes crept into the ground fielding and captain Ben Stokes did not bring himself on to bowl until almost 90 minutes into the day.
However, the hosts stuck to their task, exhausting various plans in the hope they might eventually find a way through the New Zealand batting. At one stage they were rewarded with three wickets in the space of seven balls.
Even on such a flat pitch, there was the worry that England’s batting would crumble after their long stint in the field – they have wilted in similar circumstances on plenty of occasions in the recent past.
Had Mitchell held the catches the hosts would be in huge peril, but to have nine wickets in hand on the third morning gives them the opportunity to bat towards a far safer position.
Magnificent Mitchell goes big
Mitchell might not have played in this series had Henry Nicholls not been ruled out of the first Test, yet he has consecutively seized on his opportunity with centuries on Saturdays.
Blundell missed out on three figures at Lord’s, but made no mistake this time, becoming the first New Zealand wicketkeeper to make a Test hundred in England.
From 318-4 overnight, with Mitchell resuming on 81 and Blundell 67, they extended their fifth-wicket partnership to 236 – a New Zealand record against all comers.
Both were determined to attack spinner Jack Leach. Mitchell took his tally of sixes to four with two hits over long-on, where he was also dropped by Potts. Blundell completed his hundred off the same bowler before miscuing to mid-off.
Mitchell then added 91 with the assured Bracewell, the scoreboard rattling along after lunch. With fielders scattered everywhere, only when Bracewell edged James Anderson to slip did England have an opening.
Mitchell was last out, chasing a wide one from Potts as he closed in on a double century. He left with his highest first-class score, congratulations from the England players and the acclaim of the Trent Bridge crowd.
England begin long road back
Bar the Potts drop, it is difficult to think of what England could have done differently given the situation they found themselves in at the beginning of the day.
Left-armer Leach again struggled to respond to New Zealand’s assault, but at least claimed his first home wicket in exactly 1,000 days.
Broad, playing the day after the pub he part-owns was severely damaged in a fire, took the wickets of Kyle Jamieson and Tim Southee in the same over to make some amends for the two catches missed off his bowling on Friday.
Crawley’s worrying habit of edging behind continued when he nicked Trent Boult, but Lees and Pope mixed handsome shots with moments of fortune in their stand of 84.
Lees was on 12 when Mitchell put down an edge off Southee, leaving the left-hander to drive nicely in what is his highest Test score.
Pope hooked two sixes – one a top edge – before he poked at Boult on 37 and was dropped in what possibly should have been keeper Blundell’s catch.
In only his third innings in his new position of number three, Pope moved to a half-century from 66 balls, his first for England since last September.
‘The pressure is on Crawley’ – what they said
New Zealand batter Daryl Mitchell on Test Match Special: “I’m not really bothered about the double – it was just nice to get a score that contributed to us getting a score that might win us the Test match. It was very rewarding to get the individual achievement but also to help the boys out “
England batting coach Marcus Trescothick on Test Match Special: “We hope for a big first innings score. The odd occasion where they get the ball in the right area it does a little bit. You still have to work hard despite it feeling like a good pitch. You can be challenged if you don’ t concentrate.
“We have to come back tomorrow and do what we’ve done tonight.”
Former England captain Michael Vaughan on Zak Crawley: “The pressure is on him. I think he can play – he’s got a future at Test level but he does need scores.
“He’ll know in his own mind that he needs runs quite quickly.
“He’ll see out the series but he’s got three innings left and I think in those innings he might need a decent number by his name.”