And welcome to our live coverage from a mercifully sunny Lord’s on day four of the first test match between England and New Zealand.
The third day was a washout on Friday, increasing the likelihood of a draw. The day’s play was called at around 4.30pm on Friday by umpires Richard Kettleborough and Michael Gough without a ball being bowled.
England opener Rory Burns is unbeaten on 59 and captain Joe Root on 42 not out after the hosts reached stumps Thursday on 111-2 in the first innings.
The pair came together at the home of cricket with England in trouble on 18-2 in reply to New Zealand’s 378 that was anchored by Devon Conway’s 200 on his test debut.
Burns will be particularly heartened by his strong start to this series, as coach and selector Chris Silverwood noted that those playing against New Zealand have the chance to state their claim to join the Ashes tour in Australia at the end of the year.
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Despite some inconsistent performances opening the batting for his country, Burns has bounced back well from being dropped for two tests in the India series.
After the excellent double century from debutant Devon Conway, the tourists will feel particularly aggrieved by the washout, as they were in a strong position to win the opener.
Bowling coach Shane Jurgensen said this morning: “You always have to believe you can push for a result. It’s not offering a lot of bounce but there is enough for all the bowlers, either spin or seam. It’s a matter of being patient, bowling the way we know we can.”
A total of 98 overs can be bowled on Saturday – when the forecast is better – with the eight extra overs to be added at the end of the day. Play is scheduled to go as late as 7pm on both Saturday and Sunday in an effort to get a result.
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