Play called off as Kiwis dominate

England

New Zealand's bowlers enjoyed a fruitful day at Lord's on Thursday, restricting England to 160 for four on day one of the first Test before rain arrived in the 80th over to cut the slow torture short.

New Zealand's bowlers enjoyed a fruitful day at Lord's on Thursday, restricting England to 160 for four on day one of the first Test before rain arrived in the 80th over to cut the slow torture short.

TRent Boult was the pick of the fast bowlers, taking two wickets and giving hardly anything away, while spinner Bruce Martin did a superb job to send down 11 maidens in his 24 overs. The batsmen hardly got a flow going, with Jonathan Trott top-scoring with 39.

England won the toss and chose to bat first under cloudy skies, and the Kiwis bowled well early on. There was swing in the air and the openers, Alastair Cook (32) and Nick Compton (16), were careful as they negotiated the new ball.

They put on 43 for the first wicket in 22 overs, scoring singles and threes as boundaries were hard to come by, thanks to a slow outfield. Boult was the best of the pacemen in the morning, conceding just six runs in his eight overs.

The breakthrough arrived when Martin was introduced, though the wicket was more Compton's doing than the bowler's. The Somerset batsman lost patience with the slow action, and swiped across the line, sending a leading edge high to the covers for Tim Southee to catch.

Trott then joined Cook, and he was handed a lifeline before getting off the mark. Martin dropped a fairly simple catch off his own bowling, Trott hitting is straight to him. The ball did seem to swing inwards though before reaching the bowler, as replays showed a perfectly straight seam.

After lunch, where the score had been just 56 for one, Cook wasn't long for the middle, adding just two runs to his interval score before departing. He was caught behind by BJ Watling off Boult, who had bowled a perfect, nick-inducing delivery outside the off stump.

Trott continued with Ian Bell and they picked up the pace slightly, with Trott striking six boundaries in his 39. He was the picture of stubborn defence, and it took an amazing diving catch by Dean Brownlie in the slips to dismiss him, just before tea.

The evening session, which ended 10 overs ahead of schedule, saw the loss of just one wicket, that of Bell (31 off 133 balls). He and Root had batted at under two to the over for nearly 24 overs, putting on 45 together before Neil Wagner induced a feathered edge for Watling to catch.

Root continued to show his class and patience, and was on 25 off 72 balls when play was called off. Jonny Bairstow was alongside him, on three, having faced just seven balls before the black skies opened.

<b>England:</b> Alastair Cook, Nick Compton, Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Matt Prior, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Steven Finn.

<b>New Zealand:</b> Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Dean Brownlie, Brendon McCullum, BJ Watling, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Bruce Martin.

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