A patient half-century from Dom Sibley helped England thwart New Zealand’s victory push as the first Test at Lord’s ended in a draw. NZ skipper Kane Williamson’s bold declaration at lunch on Sunday’s fifth and final day left England with a target of 273 in 75 overs to win the first of this two-match series after the whole of Friday’s play was washed out. But England did not appear in any mood to take up the challenge; they reached 170 for 3 when players shook hands. Sibley (60* off 207) played a patient knock, while Rory Burns (25 off 81) and Joe Root (40 off 71) played their parts too.
Burns, who anchored England’s modest first-innings 275 with 132, had made 25 when he edged a swinging delivery from left-arm paceman Wagner low to second slip Tim Southee.
And England’s 49-1 soon became 56-2.
Southee, who had taken 6-43 in England’s first innings, had Zak Crawley out for a second two of the game when his sliced drive off a swinging ball to Henry Nicholls in the gully.
The wickets kept NZ interested but Joe Root and Sibley added 80 for the third wicket to kill their hopes. They weren’t doing that at great pace though, which kept New Zealand still in with a chance of victory. When Wagner trapped Root lbw for 40, NZ had a slim chance.
But Sibley reached his half-century in the next over and kept England safe along with Ollie Pope.
Earlier New Zealand, who after next week’s second Test at Edgbaston face India in the inaugural World Test Championship final, saw Ross Taylor make a brisk 33 before Williamson declared on 169-6.
England debutant paceman Ollie Robinson had nightwatchman Wagner caught behind by fellow newcomer James Bracey for 10 on his way to figures of 3-26.
That followed his 4-75 in the first innings and the 42 he made when England batted first time around.
Tom Latham (36), however was lbw to Stuart Broad — the England great’s first wicket in a Test in his last 81.2 overs, since he dismissed Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews in the first innings at Galle in January.
Taylor’s breezy innings, which featured two sixes, ended when an edged drive off fast bowler Mark Wood was well caught by Bracey, diving to his right.
Root then struck with his occasional off-spin when he had Nicholls well taken at slip by Burns.
(with inputs from AFP)