Niall Anderson covers off some of the good, bad and bizarre moments from day two of the first test between the Black Caps and England in Mount Maunganui.
When Tim Southee took the wickets of Ollie Pope and Sam Curran with the fourth and fifth balls of the 103rd over, the Bay Oval crowd waited in anticipation at the prospect of a rare test hat-trick. And they waited … and waited some more …. because the umpires had decided to take drinks when Curran was dismissed. Add in a review for Curran's lbw dismissal, and finally, six minutes later, Jofra Archer faced the hat-trick ball, and padded it away down leg for four legbyes. Hardly worth the wait.
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Mitchell Santner nearly found himself in a terrible position in the field. Signing autographs for the fans in the crowd, Santner noticed Neil Wagner steaming in, so quickly jumped the hoardings and raced back into his position at point. As soon as he'd got into position, he was on the run again, moving in and to his left to snaffle a Jos Buttler cut shot. Had he been a second slower to realise, it could have been a shocking blunder - "fielder too busy signing autographs to take routine catch" - but all was well in the end.
Hard luck Latham?
Tom Latham's dismissal to Curran for eight was curious. Trapped lbw, Latham didn't review, despite replays seeming to indicate he hit the ball. However, even though a mark showed up on his bat via Hot Spot, it was tricky to completely ascertain whether he'd hit the ball before it hit his pad, or simultaneously, or slightly after.
Southee offered an insight into Latham's predicament at the end of the day's play.
"It's a tough one - he hit his pad at the same time. Once you've seen a couple of replays and the Hot Spot it's easy to sit there and say 'why didn't you review it?', but he's obviously hit his pad at the same time and can't quite tell - he didn't think he'd hit it otherwise he would have referred it. It's just one of those things that happens in cricket."
A review might have saved him, or it might just have caused a whole lot of confusion.
While Latham's dismissal was possibly unfortunate, Raval's was simply terrible - holing out on an ugly slog sweep to spinner Jack Leach - and continues a rough patch for the opener. His last scores in test cricket are now three, 33, four, zero and 19 – and he was lucky to get to 19 today, while in the domestic Plunket Shield he returned scores of seven, three and 14. He desperately needs a score before the Australian tour begins.
Who's on top?
England, still, though all results are still in play. Trailing by 209 runs, the Black Caps do have Colin de Grandhomme and Santner still in the sheds, as well as a few handy hitters in the tail, but they'll need to take a first-innings lead in order to be able to claim favouritism from here.