New Zealand’s Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell scored fine centuries to put the tourists in a commanding position at 412-5 at lunch on day two of the second test against England at Trent Bridge on Saturday.
Mitchell was batting on an unbeaten 128 with Blundell having departed for 106 after the pair shared a fifth-wicket partnership of 236 runs as New Zealand looked primed to heap more misery on England in their quest to level the three-match series at 1-1.
New Zealand resumed their first innings on 318-4 and the overnight duo of Mitchell and Blundell brought up their 150-run stand in the opening over of the day thanks to a no-ball from Stuart Broad, before consolidating their advantage. Having negotiated veteran seamers James Anderson and Broad in blustery early conditions, Mitchell went on to complete his second century of the series with a low edge off Matthew Potts that went through a gap in the slip cordon.
England’s poor fielding continued on Saturday as Mitchell, who was dropped early on in his innings, was handed another life when Potts misjudged a lofted drive and conceded a four after the ball went through his hands and bounced off his knee. Blundell, who missed out on a century by four runs when his batting partner scored 108 in the second innings of the previous match at Lord’s, lifted Jack Leach over the infield for four to reach 99 before notching up his third ton in tests.
England struck shortly afterwards as Blundell fell to Leach while looking to raise the scoring rate, with his miscued shot finding Ben Stokes at mid-off and the skipper making no mistake to end the superb partnership. England won the opening game of the series by five wickets. The final test is at Headingley from June 23.