Twitter Reactions: Daryl Mitchell comes to New Zealand's rescue yet again after top-order collapse

Twitter Reactions: Daryl Mitchell comes to New Zealand’s rescue yet again after top-order collapse

Mitchell and Tom Blundell held the game tight in the final session as New Zealand closed the day at 225/5

Tom Blundell and Daryl Mitchell
Tom Blundell and Daryl Mitchell. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Even after a poor start, New Zealand managed to end the first day with their heads high courtesy of Daryl Mitchell’s sensational form and his powerful knock. The first day of the third and final Test between England and New Zealand started with the visitors winning the toss and electing to bat at Headingley in Leeds.

England bowlers did not let New Zealand openers take the breath of fresh air on the ground as Stuart Broad picked Tom Latham, for a duck, in the very first over to put the visitors on the backfoot from the very beginning. Skipper Kane Williamson and Will Young added a few runs by finding the gaps for boundaries, but it did not take long for Jack Leach to send off Young (20 off 42).

Williamson (31 off 64) took charge of the game and put up a good show on display before being caught by wicketkeeper Ben Foakes off Broad’s delivery as the bowler got his second for the day. England had the game in their hands in the first session but after the top-order debacle, New Zealand were saved by their middle-order batters.

Devon Conway and Henry Nicholls were up for a tight session against the Englishmen who had destroyed their strong top-order. It took time for Conway (26 off 62) to settle into the game, and as soon as he did, Jamie Overton dished him out to earn his maiden Test wicket. That is when Mitchell entered the crease and changed the course of the game.

Daryl Mitchell’s powerful half-century rescues New Zealand

Just like Conway, Mitchell took some extra time on the field before starting with his power-hitting prowess. He carried his consistency and the momentum from the previous games as he targeted Jack Leach to get the best from his bat. Mitchell and Nicholls added 40 runs for the fifth wicket partnership before the latter had to walk back to the pavilion after getting dismissed in the most bizarre manner.

Henry Nicholls (19 off 99) hit the ball directly at his batting partner Mitchell, who was unable to dodge it in time. While he was trying to move out of the way, he unknowingly tipped the ball into Alex Lees’ hands at mid-off which sent Nicholls back. Neither the batters could believe what happened, nor did Leach but England’s luck surely worked.

For the final session, Tom Blundell joined Mitchell in the middle as the two aimed to showcase similar heroics from the previous games and anchor their side’s innings. The two survived a couple of dismissal appeals by the English bowlers and maintained their composure on the field. Mitchell (78* off 159) earned yet another half-century in this series and Blundell (45* off 108) neared one as the duo swiftly played their shots to end the first day on a high note at 225/5.

Meanwhile, let’s look at how Twitter reacted to the opening day action: