Burns, Lawrence rescue England in 2nd Test

Burns, Lawrence rescue England in 2nd Test

A stoic knock from Rory Burns and an evening flourish from Dan Lawrence have prevented England from flopping against New Zealand in front of their biggest home crowd since 2019.

Burns compiled a hard-fought 81 and Lawrence picked up the mantle to finish with an eye-catching 67 not out from number six, leaving the hosts 7-258 on day one of the series-deciding second Test.

With 18,000 fans pouring into Edgbaston, 70 per cent of full capacity as a result of the UK government's pilot event scheme, there was a long-awaited throwback to the familiar sights and sounds of the summer game.

Alongside the loud chanting, the beer snakes and the fancy dress – all conducted without the demands of social distancing – there was a hint in the afternoon of a more vexing tradition: the English batting collapse.

After an opening stand of 72 between Burns and Dom Sibley the hosts found themselves 5-175 and in danger of ceding control to a visiting side showing six changes from the drawn first Test at Lord's.

Things would have looked even worse had it not been for a fine opener's innings from Burns, who made his runs from 187 deliveries to provide some much-needed backbone, and Lawrence, who struck 11 boundaries in a bright showing.

The day began with James Anderson overtaking Sir Alastair Cook as England's most capped Test cricketer with his 162nd appearance, though he was quickly putting his feet up in the dressing room after Joe Root won the toss and opted to bat first.

The first session was a slow burner as Burns and Sibley blocked and left against a swinging new ball, picking up a modest 25 in the first hour.

But things shifted quickly as the Black Caps took three for 13 in the first five overs after lunch. Sibley (35) was first man down, caught behind as Matt Henry's accuracy paid off.

Zak Crawley was next, bagging a four-ball duck as his run of poor form continued. Since his career-best 267 against Pakistan last August he has been dismissed in single figures nine times in 11 attempts.

If that was a blow for England, Root's departure for just four was even more worrying. His only scoring shot sailed wide of the cordon and he nicked Henry's next ball through to wicketkeeper Tom Blundell.

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