Thanks to contributions from Rory Burns, Joe Denly, Ben Stokes, England have ended the first day of the first Test match against in a decent position at 241 for 4 played at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui on Thursday.
England captain Joe Root won the toss and decided to bat first. Rory Burns and the debutant Dom Sibley made positive start to the innings as they scored 30 runs in the first hour. Both raised 50 runs stand. Colin de Grandhomme got the breakthrough for New Zealand as he dismissed Sibley with a good catch by Ross Taylor at slips. Rory Burns and Sibley added 52 runs for opening wicket. England went into the lunch break at 61 for 1.
The second session saw Rory Burns and Joe Denly played with caution taking singles and hitting occasional boundaries. Burns reached his fifty off 132 balls. Colin de Grandhomme got his 2nd wicket dismissing Burns for 52. Burns and Denly added 61 runs for the 2nd wicket. The New Zealand bowlers kept building pressure on England batsmen with dot balls and Neil Wagner got the big wicket of England captain Joe Root for 2. Ben Stokes played according to the ball of merit. England went into tea break at 121 for 3.
After the tea break, Stokes and Denly played with confidence putting little pressure on the New Zealand bowlers. Denly reached his fifty off 136 balls. After reaching his fifty, Denly survived chances. After starting slowly, Stokes looked confident with stroke play. New Zealand took the new ball immediately after the 80th over. Tim Southee struck dismissing Denly for 74. Denly and Stokes added 83 runs for the 4th wicket.
Ben Stokes played with positive intent and reached his fifty off 91 balls. He was dropped by Ross Taylor at slips. Stokes and Ollie Pope survived the day for England ending on 241 for 4.
England 241 for 4 in 90 overs ( Joe Denly 74, Ben Stokes 67*, Colin de Grandhomme 2/28, Tim Southee 1/46)