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James Anderson and Stuart Broad become the just the second bowling partnership in history to claim 1,000 Test wickets together as England battled for control of the first Test against New Zealand.
Anderson’s double strike on the opening evening at Mount Maunganui took the pair to 999 dismissals in their 133rd game in tandem, and Broad took their combined tally to four figures when he had tailender Neil Wagner caught on the second afternoon.
As two players with so many milestones under their belt the moment passed without undue attention but there will surely be some greater satisfaction should they take another two, overtaking Australian greats Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne’s world record in the process.
New Zealand lost another big wicket when Daryl Mitchell shouldered arms to Ollie Robinson, falling lbw for a duck, but the impressive Devon Conway held up his end with 72 not out as the hosts reached 138 for five at tea. England remained 187 in front after their declaration on 325 for nine.
With the pink Kookaburra going quiet under sunny skies, there were 101 runs scored from 28 overs in the session as the Black Caps refused to be knocked over without a fight.
England skipper Ben Stokes started off with his elder statesmen when play began at 2pm and both made a play at taking out Wagner. Anderson thought he had him lbw on four, only to be turned down on the field and by DRS, and Broad was called for a no-ball when he had Wagner caught by a Jack Leach juggling act at fine-leg.
Wagner cashed in by smashing a pair of sixes off Broad, but the seamer got his revenge when a mis-hit looped up to the waiting Robinson. Mitchell was next to the crease, a familiar face to England after he averaged 107.60 in last summer’s three-match series.
This time he did not even get off the mark, inexplicably withdrawing the bat as Robinson nipped one back in off the seam and rapped him plumb in front. At 83 for five, England were on the charge.
But Conway is a pedigree performer and he dug in to carve out a 98-ball half-century. With no real assistance from the pitch England looked to Leach’s left-arm spin, but he created little of note as his seven overs cost 24.
Joe Root also turned his arm over, bowling tidily barring one sweetly struck six down the ground from Conway.
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