May 29, 2023

New Zealand v England: first Test, day two – live

A look in at the Bay Oval.

LIVE – Updated at 00:00

Over-by-over report: Join our writers for updates from the second day of play at the Bay Oval.



I ate some salt n’ vinegar Quavers the other day. Not an interesting piece of information, I know, but stick with me for the tortured analogy shall surely follow. Anyhow, they were pretty good, now that you ask, but they were also wrong – Quavers are meant to taste of cheese. End of. Fact. This. And other cringe-inducing internet vernacular and punctuation.

That is roughly how I feel about England being good at limited-overs cricket. OK, I have at times also felt ecstatic, but in the main, it’s something that is true and tastes good, but that also feels inherently incongruous and unnatural.

England playing the longer-form like this though, is of an entirely different order, because it’s so … beyond. It’s like being told the Quavers aren’t Quavers, they’re manna, and they don’t taste of salt n’ vinegar, they taste of anything you want them to, which is the best flavour ever, that you haven’t had yet, that makes you see the world with different eyes and experience it with different soul whenever you’re lucky enough to see it cooking. I don’t know, I really don’t.

So yeah, yesterday was another silly day of testvangelism for the Testvangelists, defined by an unexpected decision that made perfect sense – compare it to that time England inserted Australia at the start of the pink-ball match at Adelaide in 2017. Instead they were their usual aggressive selves yesterday, then forced that home with a confrontational declaration, meaning New Zealand have a lot to do today to stay in the contest.

They’ve got a decent chance, obviously – Devon Conway is still in, while Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell are to come – but England’s seamers will fancy they’ve got one too. At the end of a preamble, I often find myself writing “this should be good”, a writer’s OCD-thing when I’m searching for a suitable sign-off. but today I feel able to say “this is going to be good” … because England are playing?! Goodness me, people. Goodness me.

Play: 2pm local, 1pm GMT

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