Despite losing the toss, New Zealand were valiant in their efforts on the opening day of the first Test against England and merited more than the four wickets they had to show for their efforts. Ben Stokes was dropped at slip, which could turn out to be extremely crucial in the influence of the game.Neil Wagner was typically aggressive in his spell at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui and tried to unsettle Rory Burns until he eventually walked back to the pavilion.
“They batted well,” Neil Wagner said. “They showed lots of patience and left well. There was swing on offer throughout the day and everything we threw at them, they played quite well. At times, they had a bit of luck but you need a bit of luck sometimes in cricket. The toss was always going to be crucial. It tends to be nice to bat on day one.
“By no stretch have they got away from us so I think we’re still fairly happy with where we are at. It is frustrating when catches go down and those things happen, but we’re a close group and no-one drops a catch on purpose. It can happen.”
The edge off Burns, when the left-hander was on 10, was a thin one and elicited a half-appeal from the bowler, Trent Boult, and the slips. New Zealand decided against reviewing the not-out decision but replays showed the ball had just kissed Burns’ bat. It was the early breakthrough New Zealand was striving for but which ultimately eluded them. Dom Sibley and Burns ended up putting on 52 for the first wicket.
“When it’s windy it’s quite hard to hear those things [edges],” Wagner said. “There was a little bit of noise but it was a bob each way, you have to take that risk with reviews but also you want to keep hold of them for when you do need them. I thought we bowled well today and stuck at it. I know that our bowlers have bowled way worse than that and had more luck.”
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