Cricket: England vs New Zealand, first Test, 2022

An exceptional Jonny Bairstow catch was a fitting reward for a James Anderson peach as England routed New Zealand on the opening day of the first Test.

Ben Stokes’ first Test as captain and Brendon McCullum’s new coaching venture began in supreme fashion as England tore through New Zealand at Lord’s, skittling the Kiwis for 132 in 40 overs.

The hosts had their first victim when Anderson, bowling over the wicket to the right-handed Will Young in the third over, angled the ball in, swung it away and drew his outside edge.

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It was a superb delivery from the 39-year-old and Bairstow did it justice at third slip, lunging low to his left and taking the ball with one hand.

“Great line, great length and Jonny Bairstow – brilliant. Low and away to his left,” said former New Zealand quick Simon Doull on the Sky Sports broadcast.

“This is superb. England have had their issues with slip catching, but this is right on the money. Had Will Young fishing for it outside the line of off stump, and Jonny Bairstow – that is unbelievably good early in the morning.”

Anderson finished with 4-66 and 23-year-old seamer Matthew Potts, making his Test debut, registered 4-13.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, the third-ranked men’s Test batter in the world, was caught behind for two, and all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme top-scored with 42 not out.

“It was very impressive from England,” former national captain Michael Vaughan told the BBC.

“The catching was excellent and the bowling was very good.

“There was a little moment for New Zealand there and England didn’t quite stick to their principles of bowling a good length.

“Overall it was magnificent.

“The foundation was set by the opening burst.

“It is the perfect start for England.”

England is scheduled to face the reigning world Test champions in three matches, with the final two to be played at Nottingham and Leeds.

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