The crowd breathes new life into Edgbaston as England avoids a batting meltdown.

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The crowd breathes new life into Edgbaston as England avoids a batting meltdown.

Rory Burns’ calm knock and Dan Lawrence’s evening flourish saved England from losing to New Zealand in front of their largest home crowd since 2019.

On day one of the series-deciding second Test, Burns amassed a hard-fought 81 and Lawrence took over the mantle to end with an eye-catching 67 not out from number six, leaving the hosts 258 for seven.

There was a potential that the occasion would be characterized by an old-fashioned English batting collapse, with 18,000 supporters filling Edgbaston to 70% capacity as a result of the government’s experimental event plan.

The hosts were reduced to 175 for five after an opening stand of 72, but Burns’ platform and Lawrence’s increasingly authoritative efforts, which featured 11 boundaries, turned the tide and left the game finely matched going into day two.

Taking a peek at Birmingham’s songbook

The Birmingham public was sure to make their voices heard after the entire 2020 campaign was held behind closed doors. The Hollies Stand spent the day going through a wide and varied collection of tunes, beginning with a lung-busting rendition of Jeruasalem. There were a number of player-specific chants, a nod to the national anthem, a chorus of “football’s coming home” in anticipation of Euro 2020, and even a sped-up rendition of the Icelandic “thunderclap.” The cry to “don’t take me home” was most common in the evening session, but even that eventually gave in as the chairs emptied.

Test cricketers with the most caps for England 162 James Anderson 161 Sir Alastair Cook 148 Stuart Broad 133 Alec Stewart Graham Gooch & Ian Bell – 118

Having been England’s record wicket-taker for more than six years, James Anderson is now the country’s most capped player in the format too. His big day proved a quiet one, putting his feet up in the dressing room for 90 overs while his team-mates batted but his chance to affect the game is just around the corner.

Superstitious Sibley

While failing to turn up in clean kit can attract a small financial penalty. (This is a short article)

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