England vs New Zealand: Matty Potts takes four wickets on dream debut


Matty Potts took four wickets on a dream debut as England’s new red ball era started perfectly against New Zealand at Lord’s.

After the tourists won the toss and decided to bat first, they found themselves in the sorry depths of 39 for six at lunch  before being bowled out for just 132 shortly after with Durham seamer Potts the star of the show.

New England skipper Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum couldn’t have scripted the first session of their partnership any better as their seamers tore New Zealand’s upper order apart.

Matty Potts marks taking the wicket of Daryl Mitchell in a dream start to his England career

Potts (right) took three wickets in the morning session and celebrates with captain Ben Stokes

Potts (right) took three wickets in the morning session and celebrates with captain Ben Stokes

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was Potts' first victim in Test cricket for England

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was Potts’ first victim in Test cricket for England

After recalled duo James Anderson and Stuart Broad softened the tourists up, 23-year-old Potts claimed the prize scalp of captain Kane Williamson with only his fifth delivery in Test cricket, caught behind by wicketkeeper Ben Foakes for just two runs.

That left New Zealand reeling on 12 for four and that became 27 for five when Potts forced Daryl Mitchell into playing on after he made 13 from 35 deliveries.

And Potts’ fine start to life with England continued when he bowled Tom Blundell for 14 for the sixth wicket, before claiming the ninth wicket after a failed LBW review from Ajaz Patel to cap off his fine start to life in England’s bowling attack.

Earlier, Anderson, clearly relishing his return to the fold after being dumped along with partner-in-crime Broad for the tour of the West Indies, removed both openers with the help of Jonny Bairstow.

Jimmy Anderson showed his class once again upon his return to the England Test side

Jimmy Anderson showed his class once again upon his return to the England Test side

Jonny Bairstow took a one-handed catch off James Anderson's bowling to remove Tom Latham

Jonny Bairstow took a one-handed catch off James Anderson’s bowling to remove Tom Latham

England celebrate the early wicket of New Zealand opener Will Young on the first morning

England celebrate the early wicket of New Zealand opener Will Young on the first morning

Will Young lasted just two balls before he edged the veteran Lancashire seamer behind and Bairstow got down to pull off a stunning one-handed catch at second slip.

Bairstow then produced another grab – at the second attempt – to dismiss Tom Latham for one off Anderson’s bowling.

Not wishing to be left out, Broad took the third wicket to dismiss Devon Conway, with Bairstow pouching a more regulation catch this time as New Zealand were seven for three.

Potts then proved his worth in the field after lunch, with England keeping New Zealand down as the debutant took catches off Anderson’s bowling to dismiss  Kyle Jamieson with the tourists on 45 and Tim Southee at 86.

New Zealand’s tail threatened to wag, before Ben Stokes took the final wicket thanks to a smart catch from Ollie Pope at mid-wicket. 

Broad took Conway's wicket after New Zealand collapsed early on despite opting to bat

Broad took Conway’s wicket after New Zealand collapsed early on despite opting to bat

England though were not without their worries. In the morning session spinner Jack Leach had to leave the field after just over half an hour of play when he landed on his head and neck when stopping a boundary.

The England spinner was replaced on the field by Harry Brook but under the concussion protocols, England have called Matt Parkinson into their side for the remainder of the match.

Potts then also had to depart the field injured after appearing to pull a calf muscle after lunch, with the debutant having been seen stretching the muscle at the start of bowling an over.

But the morning session was just the lift England so desperately needed after a dismal run of just one win in their last 17 Tests, spanning five consecutive series defeats. 

Jack Leach landed awkwardly while saving a boundary in the opening session of the first Test

Jack Leach landed awkwardly while saving a boundary in the opening session of the first Test

Leach has symptoms of concussion and has been withdrawn from the Test against New Zealand

Leach has symptoms of concussion and has been withdrawn from the Test against New Zealand

Stokes’ first act as the country’s 81st Test captain was to lose the toss, but everything else fell into place as ball dominated bat in the opening exchanges.

Stokes and McCullum were both clear that recalling Anderson and Broad was their first priority of their reign, overturning a controversial decision to drop the pair in the West Indies, and 39-year-old Anderson needed just seven deliveries to reopen his record tally.

Challenging Will Young with just enough swing from a full length, he took the outside edge and saw Bairstow leap into action at third slip, diving low to his left to pull off a one-handed stunner.

England have been weak in the cordon for some time, but Bairstow’s handiwork was flawless here. The Yorkshireman juggled his next attempt when Tom Latham nicked the metronomic Anderson, but he clung on at the second time of asking to make it two for two.

Stokes rushes to embrace Potts after he took the wicket of Tom Blundell, his third wicket

Stokes rushes to embrace Potts after he took the wicket of Tom Blundell, his third wicket

Not to be outdone for long, Broad was rewarded for a consistently attacking length when Devon Conway made it three in a row for the alert Bairstow as optimism surged around the old ground.

Having seen the seasoned duo set the tone, Potts then made the case for the next generation. The Durham seamer struck gold with his fifth delivery in the international arena, with Kiwi captain and star batter Kane Williamson edging low to keeper Ben Foakes to leave his side 12 for four.

Potts continued his impressive start and grabbed another two before the break, Daryl Mitchell (13) playing into his own stumps and Tom Blundell losing his off stump to one that nipped back.

The 23-year-old left the field with figures of three for eight in eight overs, a superb introduction. 

Anderson had a point to prove having been recalled and he starred after lunch, tempting Jamieson with a loose shot that looped high to Potts at fine leg.

Southee then tried to attack the 39-year-old but he too was caught out by the same trap after finding himself dismissed in almost identical fashion to Jamieson after scoring 26 from 23 balls.

Potts returned to the attack to dismiss Patel for seven, with a delivery that was given out for LBW following a review from the tourists that was optimistic at best when it showed the inswinger was clearly hitting middle and leg.

New Zealand hit what could be a handy 30 runs for the final partnership, with final man Boult dismissed for 14 after Pope dived low to his right to leave England in a strong position heading towards tea.

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