BJ Watling and his partnership of 124 with Daryl Mitchell helped New Zealand reach a competitive total against England in Hamilton. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
BJ Watling smashed his maiden double century that played a massive part in New Zealand's big win against England in the first Test in Mount Maunganui. Watling's knock and an impressive display from Neil Wagner had given New Zealand victory. In Hamilton, Tom Latham led the way with a splendid century but England registered a fightback by reducing them to 191/5. In came Watling and he continued to hurt England with another solid fifty and a gritty partnership of 124 with Daryl Mitchell for the sixth wicket revived New Zealand. New Zealand's last four wickets added a further 60 runs, with Broad finishing with figures of four for 73 and Chris Woakes three for 83.
All-rounder Mitchell, the son of former All Blacks coach and now England assistant rugby coach John Mitchell, was unruffled in his maiden Test performance. He brought up his 50 pulling Ben Stokes through mid-wicket for four in a 159-ball innings which included eight boundaries and one six. An even more cautious Watling, who reached his 18th half century with an elegant cut to the cover boundary off Sam Curran, faced 192 deliveries for his 55. It was slow going by the pair, but from New Zealand's viewpoint their innings lasted almost two days which left England with only a remote chance of winning the Test to square the series.
In response, Tim Southee trapped Dominic Sibley LBW for 4 while Matt Henry got the wicket of Joe Denly when the batsman edged to Watling. However, the day could have been even better for New Zealand had they not dropped Rory Burns twice during his knock of 24. Speaking after the end of the day, Mitchell said New Zealand were not complacent and their mindset was to go for a win and not settle for a draw.
"Every Test you're aiming to win so we're trying to find a way to win this Test match. It's a nice wicket to bat on at the moment, but there's some things there we can try to exploit later on," Mitchell said. Broad, who took 4/73, said England hoped for a turnaround and they gave themselves a day to bowl out New Zealand and push for an unlikely win.
"The opportunity is there to go and bat big once. There's not a huge amount of pressure, not a lot happening with the pitch, not a big scoreboard pressure, there's a chance for a couple of people to go and get hundreds ... and leave ourselves a day to bowl them out," Broad said.
The ongoing series between New Zealand and England is not part of the ICC World Test Championships. England will travel to South Africa after the end of this series while New Zealand will go across the Tasman for a three-Test series against Australia.