New Zealand overcame Rain and English defiance in the second innings to register an innings and 49 runs win over England in the first Test of the series played at the Eden Park, Auckland. This was the first-ever day-night Test hosted by New Zealand and it was decided in the third session on the last day as Wagner and Astle wrapped up the English tail.
After the horrendous first day session where England was shot out for its sixth-lowest score in Test cricket, a hope was ignited on the fifth day to salvage a draw as the English batsmen held the fort. Being bowled out for 58 in the first innings, the English came back strong in the second dig and batted for 126 overs, falling only 19 overs short of a draw in a match where the rain eked out around 120 overs.
A steady start from the top order placed England a 132/3 at the end of the fourth day with 90 overs remaining to be bowled on the fifth day. Quite extraordinarily, on the same day and at the same ground, England had batted out 90 overs and survived the Test five years ago. They fell short this time.
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Ben Stokes alongside Bairstow led the recovery as the duo faced 127 balls unharmed. Introduction of Todd Astle led to Bairstow’s wiring being disturbed and he gifted his wicket in a bizarre fashion. Moeen Ali was trapped LBW by Trent Boult. Woakes and Stokes then again stood solid and batted out almost entire second session, almost.
In the last over before Dinner, Ben Stokes batting 66*off 187 played a very loose shot and got out caught to leave New Zealand only three wickets away from the win. Soon in the last session played under the lights, Woakes was caught by Nicholls fending off a short delivery from Wagner. Anderson was out five balls later to hand an innings and 49 runs victory to New Zealand.
New Zealand win the day/night Test in Auckland!
Stokes and Woakes give it a shot, but they can't quite pull it off. England bowled out for 320, as New Zealand win by an innings and 49 runs.#NZvENG SCORECARD ➡️ https://t.co/FDVkYrjU8k pic.twitter.com/44w1uQKOyl
— ICC (@ICC) March 26, 2018
Trent Boult who in the first innings registered his career-best bowling figures of 6/32 won the Man of the Match award. England has now lost 10 out of their last 12 away Tests, a record that is only better than Zimbabwe amongst Test-playing nations.
The second and last Test of the series begins on 30th March at Hagley Oval, Christchurch.