Wednesday, 6 July, 2022

Mitchell, Blundell hit tons as New Zealand turn screw on England

Mitchell, Blundell hit tons as New Zealand turn screw on England

Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell hit centuries as New Zealand pummelled England to reach 481-5 before rain forced an early tea on the second day of the second Test at Trent Bridge.

Taking advantage of a flat pitch and lacklustre England bowling, Mitchell was unbeaten on a masterful 162.

Blundell reached 106 before becoming the only wicket to fall in the opening two sessions, with Test debutant Michael Bracewell scoring a brisk 40 not out before the rain delay.

Mitchell and Blundell amassed a 236-run partnership for the fifth wicket to leave New Zealand in complete control as they bid to level the three-Test series after losing the opener at Lord's by five wickets.

A journeyman with little Test pedigree until this series, Mitchell was only given his chance in the first Test after Henry Nicholls failed to recover from Covid-19 in time.

Six years ago, Mitchell had a season playing for Blackpool in the Northern Premier League and scored just two centuries.

The 31-year-old batsman arrived in England with just one Test hundred to his name since his 2019 debut, but now he has three following his 108 at Lord's.

Mitchell's latest century, his highest in Tests, came up in 184 balls, with England dropping him for the second time in the match after his milestone moment.

New Zealand are showing why they are the Test world champions, ruthlessly pressing home their advantage after scoring 318-4 on Friday thanks to their aggressive shot-making and England's miscues.