England made steady progress on the first day of the inaugural Test at Bay Oval after opting to bat first.
On a fairly tame pitch, the visitors finished at 241 for four with Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope unbeaten at the crease when stumps was called.
New Zealand have taken the second new ball and will look for quick wickets at the start of Day 2.
England will be hoping for Stokes to consolidate and guide them to a formidable total as there is quite a bit of batting left for the visitors.
Surrey mates provide solid start
Dominic Sibley, who scored 1000 runs in the Championship this year, made his much-awaited debut as he opened the batting alongside Rory Burns.
The 24-year-old got off the mark with a neatly clipped boundary through midwicket and remained compact in his 63-ball stay to forge a 52-run partnership with Burns.
His partner was lucky to survive a caught behind appeal as New Zealand opted not to review. However, Hotspot replays did detect a nick.
The southpaw capitalised on the chance, and in his typical ungainly batting style, notched a patient half-century.
Towards the end of the first session, medium pacer Colin de Grandhomme broke the opening partnership. He floated a delivery just outside the off-stump and found the edge of Sibley’s bat as the opener tried to work it onto legside and Ross Taylor completed the catch at slips.
WICKET! Root's 22-ball innings comes to a close as he pushes at Wagner and picks out second slip.— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) November 21, 2019
Day one of the first #NZvEng Test continues on Sky Sports Cricket and our digital platforms: https://t.co/CBpkQw3bjR pic.twitter.com/3G02TYm96t
Stokes and Denly lead fightback after pacers strike for New Zealand
Runs continued to come at a trickle for England in the second innings as Burn and Joe Denly forged a 81-run partnership in the second session.
De Grandhomme’s military medium once again provided an opening for the Kiwis with Burns nicking a delivery that was angled across him, through to the keeper.
After the fall of the wicket, the hosts kept it tight and conceded just seven runs in the following seven overs.
The pressure paid off as Joe Root threw his wicket way by wafting at a wide delivery from Neil Wagner and handing a catch to the fielder at second slip.
Ben Stokes walked in at No.5 for England, ahead of Ollie Pope and rescued England from their mini slump alongside Joe Denly.
Both batsmen notched half-centuries as they brought the innings back on track in the third session.
Just when it looked like New Zealand would end the final session without a wicket, Tim Southee struck in his first over with the second new ball.
Denly’s 181-ball vigil came to end as he became the fourth batsman of the day to chase and nick a delivery outside the off-stump.
As stumps approached, Ross Taylor put down a tough chance at slips to dismiss Ben Stokes. The all-rounder, alongside Pope, helped England finish the day with a flourish, scoring 38 runs off the final eight overs, including four consecutive boundaries in an over bowled by Trent Boult.
Day – 1 : Stumps
England 241/4 (Denly 74, Stokes 67*; de Grandhomme 2-28)
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