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Sport24.co.za | Williamson falls as England remove New Zealand top order

Mount Maunganui – England took the prized wicket of New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson to narrowly claim the honours on day two of the first Test as the hosts rued a missed review and were nearly made to pay for signing too many autographs.

After New Zealand slumped to 106 for three, Williamson had been leading New Zealand’s recovery when he was removed for 51. At stumps, the Black Caps were 144 for four in reply to England’s 353.

Henry Nicholls was not out 26 with BJ Watling on six, still standing after a day when 10 wickets fell, some in contestable circumstances.

New Zealand opener Tom Latham, given out leg before wicket on eight, walked without seeking a review and unaware of an inside edge that was detected by Hot Spot.

Earlier the exit of Jos Buttler for 43 had cricket watchers scrambling through the rule books as he was caught by Mitchell Santner, who had been off the field of play when Neil Wagner prepared to bowl.

Santner had to stop signing autographs, leap the advertising hoardings and enter the playing area to take the catch, which appeared to contradict rules about player movement and a batter’s right to know field placements.

Buttler, though, had no objections as he walked and the England innings ended soon after.

Williamson, coming off a rough patch in Sri Lanka where he averaged eight from three innings, found the New Zealand conditions much more to his liking when he entered the fray after Latham’s dismissal.

He faced 85 balls in a mostly untroubled display but after bringing up his 50 with a boundary off Sam Curran he gloved the next ball to the safe hands of Ben Stokes at second slip.

Ross Taylor weathered a feisty spell from Jofra Archer to reach 25 before he was deceived by the slightly slower pace of Stokes and popped a short ball to Ollie Pope at square leg.

Raval’s was another soft dismissal when he fought for 93 minutes to reach 19 and then took a needless slog at spinner Jack Leach to be caught at mid-wicket.

After England resumed the day at 241 for four, Stokes and Pope advanced the total to 277 when Tim Southee ignited the collapse with three wickets in 11 balls including the prized scalp of Stokes for 91.

Stokes was eyeing his ninth Test century when he was caught one-handed at first slip by a diving Taylor, who had dropped the all-rounder before stumps the previous day.

Buttler and Leach forged a late 52-run stand but otherwise there was little England resistance at the bottom of the order.

After Southee dismissed Pope (29) and Curran in successive balls, Archer staved off the hat-trick but was gone two balls later, while Wagner accounted for Buttler (43) and Stuart Broad (one).

Southee finished with four for 88 and Wagner took three for 90, while Curran was the pick of England’s bowlers with two for 28.

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