Niall Anderson covers off some of the good, bad and bizarre moments and statistics from day one of the first test between the Black Caps and England in Mount Maunganui.
The near disaster of the day
Ben Stokes, the new batsman at the non-striker's end after Joe Root was dismissed at the end of an over, was immediately greeted by a straight drive from batting partner Joe Denly, which Colin de Grandhomme got a hand to. It deflected onto the stumps – with Stokes, backing up, having quickly reacted to jam his bat back in his crease, and only just avoiding losing his balance in the process. It would be harsh to say he was lucky – such a dismissal would have been incredibly unlucky – but he'd certainly have been grateful that his day didn't end without facing a ball.
The misfield of the day
Two missed chances in the slips meant it was a poor day in the field for New Zealand, but their ground fielding was largely adequate, bar one blunder from Jeet Raval. The opener first missed the ball, charging in to try and run out Root, and then on his retreat to pick it up, tumbled over in comical fashion. However, his fielding foibles allowed Root to take two runs, meaning the England captain stayed on strike for…
The bizarre shot of the day
Goes to Root, who practically guided a Neil Wagner delivery straight to Tim Southee at second slip. It almost looked straight out of a slip catching practice, such was the open face of the bat, with the completely unnecessary nibble outside off stump a baffling decision for a batsman of Root's class. He went back to the sheds having produced two runs, and a whole lot of confusion.
The other cricket match of note
With such a focus on the omission of Lockie Ferguson for the first test, there was cause to keep half an eye on Eden Park Outer Oval, where Ferguson had been released to play in a domestic one-day game for Auckland against Central Districts. The speedster finished with 5-38, claiming one scalp early before cleaning out the middle order and tail as Auckland took a 100-run win. There wasn't too much to complain about from a New Zealand bowling point of view at the Mount - all of the seamers toiled hard and were unlucky not to be rewarded more on a relatively unhelpful wicket - but unless Southee and Wagner both claim a bunch of wickets, it's hard to see Ferguson being left out for the second test in Hamilton.
The stat of the day
100% - the percentage of his runs Dom Sibley scored through the legside on his test debut. The opener with the unconventional technique didn't want to play at anything outside off stump, failing to score on the 41 deliveries that arrived on a line outside off, but cashing in with 22 runs from the other 22 balls, all through the legside. He looked up for the fight, until he edged a ball from de Grandhomme into – you guessed it – the offside, where Ross Taylor took a smart grab at first slip.
Who is on top?
Taylor's drop of Stokes late in the day gives the advantage to England, even though the Black Caps bowlers probably produced more than could be expected given the conditions. However, New Zealand started the day as $2.10 favourites, and ended it as $4.40 outsiders. That's an easy edge to England.