Debutant Luke Ronchi led a flamboyant counter-attack to help New Zealand post 297-8 against England at the end of a rain affected-day in the second Test at Headlingley, Leeds, on Friday.
They were on the back foot after being put in to bat on a grey and blustery day at a ground where the ball zips and swings under cloud cover. It paid immediate dividends when James Anderson required just eight balls to take his 400th Test wicket when Martin Guptill, pushing forward, edged to Ian Bell at second slip in his second over.
He is the first Englishman, and the 12th bowler in history to reach the milestone.
The morning session had been wiped out by rain, and another shower took the players off the field for 10 minutes before Anderson struck again, having Kane Williamson caught behind with the score on two, to justify Alastair Cook’s decision to bowl.
But then Tom Latham provided the anchor and shared rapid stands with Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum and Ronchi..
Latham, dropped four times, was happy to take a back seat as Ronchi contributed 87 to a sixth-wicket partnership of 120 in 24.1 overs that took their side out of trouble from 144 for five.
The wicketkeeper-batsman, playing instead of the injured Corey Anderson, smashed 13 fours and three sixes in his 88 off 70 balls, four more runs than Latham, who he followed back to the pavilion late on in the day, both dismissed by Stuart Broad, as the Black Caps were reduced to 297 for eight. Latham ended with 84 off 184 balls (13×4).
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