England endured a frustrating day in the field at Edgbaston as a debatable umpiring decision, a dropped catch and some high-class batting left New Zealand in charge of the second Test.
Replying to England’s 303 all out, the tourists closed just 74 behind on 229 for three – with an unexpected breakthrough off the final ball of the day raising the home side’s flagging spirits.
It was taken by Dan Lawrence, who had earlier been left stranded on 81 not out in pursuit of a maiden Test century and consoled himself with a maiden Test wicket instead. With just 14 to his name in first-class cricket, he was given a late opportunity and had Will Young caught off bat and pad for 82.
Sportsmail’s DAVID LLOYD offers his views and insights on the second day of the Second Test.
New Zealand finished on 229-3 on the second day of the second Test against England
CRAWLEY’S BEEN FRAMED OVER CATCH
That old chestnut – the foreshortening lens – cropped up when England thought they had Devon Conway caught in the slips for 22.
Zak Crawley appeared to get his fingers under the ball and Stuart Broad was convinced he had his man. the umpires gave a soft signal of not out, and Michael Gough upheld that decision.
England thought they had New Zealand opener Devon Conway caught in the slips for 22
It was a clean catch all day long.
Back in the day, the batsman turned to the fielder and asked: ‘Did you catch it?’ That was a far, far better system.
TAYLOR REFUSES TO BUCKLE
England seemed passive up to the tea break, but afterwards Jimmy Anderson and Broad got to work and got the ball swinging.
Conway was dismissed, and they put Ross Taylor through the ringer. Taylor used all his experience and somehow survived. He was like a boxer on the ropes who used all his defences.
It was a thrilling passage of play.
GUESS WHO? NOT SIMON
Last week at Lord’s, I reported that I was mistaken for Aggers.
At Edgbaston, a steward called out: ‘Good morning , Simon.’ I saw him again in the coffee queue, and he added: ‘You have a great day, Simon.’ I replied: ‘I’m sorry, I’m not called Simon.’
He insisted: ‘You’re Simon Hughes…’
Former England fast bowler Steve Harmison still plays for the academy team up at Ashington
HARMY HAS STILL GOT IT
We were having dinner at the hotel on Thursday night when we were joined by Steve Harmison. He was a ferocious fast bowler in his time, but he’s really just a gentle giant.
He was telling us that he still plays for the academy team up at Ashington, and was batting the other day with his lad, Charlie. They attempted a quick single, and Harmy senior fell over in the middle of the pitch and pulled a muscle.
Needless to say, he was run out. A great man.
WARM-UP LEAVES ME COLD
Every morning, I watch the likes of Craig Overton, Haseeb Hameed, Sam Billings and Jack Leach warming up on the outfield.
It’s the height of summer, and here we have a bunch of non-playing cricketers. All I wanted to do, many years ago, was just get out there and play!
Sam Billings and Jack Leach on drinks duty during the second Test at Edgbaston
I appreciate Covid has made things difficult, but this was happening before the pandemic. This lot are being deprived of cricket.
They’re certainly not going to keep their form going with a few throwdowns and star jumps.
DRINKING PROBLEM AT LORD’S
I was watching a bit of the T20 Blast the other evening: Middlesex v Surrey at Lord’s.
You’ll know how much I go on about time-wasting, but there was a moment in this game which took the biscuit.
After four overs of a 20-over game, one of the opening batsman called for a drink! My Sky colleague Ian Ward came up with a sensible solution.
He reckons that if any batsman wants a drink outside one of the scheduled breaks, he’ll have to leave the field and go down as ‘retired out thirsty’. That should make them think twice.
HOLDING IS A GREAT MAN
When Michael Holding speaks, we listen.
Along with Ebony Rainford-Brent, he eloquently educated us all last summer as to why Black Lives Matter. His book – Why We Kneel, How We Rise – is all fact.
I urge you to get hold of a copy. He was a great bowler, and he is also a great man.