Johnny Bairstore’s exceptional catch was a fitting reward for James Anderson’s pitch as England lost to New Zealand on the first day of the first Test.
Ben Stokes’ first Test as captain and Brendon McCullum’s new coaching venture began in high fashion when England lost to the Kiwis by 132 runs in 40 overs against New Zealand at Lord’s.
In the third over, right-hander Will Young, who bowled for the wicket over the wicket, swung the ball into the corner and pulled the outside edge, which was the first victim of the hosts.
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It was a great delivery for the 39-year-old and Bairstow justified it on the third slip, bending to his left and taking the ball in one hand.
“Great line, great length and Johnny Bairstow – brilliant. Low and far to his left,” said Simon Dall, a former New Zealand fast bowler on Sky Sports.
“That’s great. They had a problem with England’s slip-catching, but it’s worth the money. Will Young has been fishing for it off the off-stump line, and Johnny Bairstow – it’s incredibly good this morning.”
Anderson finished 4-66 and 23-year-old pacer Matthew Pots, his Test debut, registered 4-13.
New Zealand captain Ken Williamson, the world’s third-ranked men’s Test batsman, was caught for two and all-rounder Colin D’Grandhome was unbeaten on 42.
“It was very impressive from England,” former national captain Michael Vaughan told the BBC.
“The catch was great and the bowling was very good.
“There was a small moment for New Zealand and England were not fully committed to their good length bowling policy.
“Overall it was great.
“The foundation was laid by the opening blast.
“It’s the perfect start for England.”
England are set to face the current World Test champions in three matches, with the final two to be played in Nottingham and Leeds.
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