Eng vs NZ 1st Test 2022 – ‘Still felt like we were in the game’

Eng vs NZ 1st Test 2022 - 'Still felt like we were in the game'

As Kyle Jamieson hooked a short ball from James Anderson down the throat of Matthew Potts at deep fine leg five balls after the lunch break on the opening day of the English Test summer, with New Zealand in dire straits at 45 for 7, it appeared out of the question that the World Test champions would be ahead at stumps.

But it was Jamieson’s efforts with the ball after the tea break that helped spark an all-too-familiar collapse for England to leave the game evenly poised at the end of a 17-wicket day at Lord’s.

Zak Crawley had taken charge early in England’s innings with 43 in a 59-run opening partnership, but Jamieson immediately latched on to his propensity for a drive. After the England opener stroked one through to the cover boundary on the fifth ball of his spell, Jamieson stayed full and tempted him into another, finding an outside edge through to Tom Blundell behind the stumps.

Jamieson continued to probe from the Nursery End and after a denied lbw review against Ollie Pope in his third over, further reward came in the fifth, as the pressure built on England’s new No. 3, caught behind after a scratchy 7 off 27 deliveries.

“It was nice to find some rhythm, I felt all right for that spell, it was just nice to get into the game,” Jamieson said. “When we went out to bowl, It wasn’t ideal but we knew we had some time to get ourselves back in the game.”

After Jamieson had opened the door, Tim Southee, Colin de Grandhomme and Trent Boult walked right through it as England lost five wickets for eight runs in the space of 28 balls, sliding from 92 for 2 to 100 for 7. The Blackcaps were back in it, and Jamieson said they had always kept the belief they were one or two wickets away from putting pressure back on the hosts.

“We still felt like we were very much in game. We knew we had to bowl well, but as things tend to happen here, they tend to happen pretty quickly. We’ve seen that through the first part of the day so you know, if we put the ball in good areas we thought we had a chance.

“We thought if we get one, we can get two and then build some pressure. I think we sort of stuck with that, stuck with our lengths, stuck with our areas, we were able to reap some rewards from that and get us right back in the game.”

Jamieson revealed that at the lunch break that New Zealand had talked of 130 as a target after the top order had failed to fire, which they reached with help from an unbeaten 42 from de Grandhomme and a lively cameo by Southee.

The day had begun with Kane Williamson winning the toss and electing to bat on a sun-soaked morning at the Home of Cricket, and Jamieson was among those who couldn’t explain how it ended up as a day for the bowlers.

“I’m not too sure – I’m not very good at reading pitches either,” Jamieson replied when asked about the toss, “I’m not really too sure what the go was there – obviously a few wickets fell. It didn’t look that way initially but things unfolded the way they did.

“We were reasonably calm but it obviously wasn’t unfolding how we have it ideally wanted it to. We spoke about 130 [runs], which doesn’t necessarily sound great, but from where we were at, we though if we can get there and we get a few wickets today then we’re right in the game.”

Jamieson also dismissed the notion that New Zealand were undercooked for this encounter. Two days of their first warm-up fixture against Sussex were washed out before they fell to defeat against a County Select XI – another match which saw a top-order collapse.

“We had two games, we had plenty of times to adjust and adapt – I think we were as good as we could be going into this game.”

While New Zealand have a chance on Friday morning to claim an unlikely first-innings lead, or at least limit the hosts to a slender advantage, Jamieson acknowledged that they cannot afford another poor batting display if they are to win at Lord’s for the first time since 1999. “We’ll have to fight hard in that second innings to give ourselves a lead and give ourselves something to bowl at,” he said.

Paul Muchmore is ESPNcricinfo’s Social media editor. @paulmuchmore

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