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Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell frustrate England again at Headingley

Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell are AGAIN tied to take New Zealand’s lead to 223… as England fail to take a wicket before lunch on day four at Headingley

  • Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell took New Zealand’s lead past 200 . on Sunday
  • The pair ensured New Zealand didn’t lose a wicket before lunch
  • Mitchell successfully assessed after being initially lbw from Jack Leach
  • Sam Billings has replaced Ben Foakes after the latter tested positive for Covid-19

Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell continued to frustrate England at Headingley as New Zealand extended their lead to over 200 before lunch on day four of the third Test on Sunday.

The pair were New Zealand’s standout hitters all summer and they delivered for their team again in the morning session, with England failing to break their partnership.

The day started with the news that England wicketkeeper Ben Foakes had tested positive for Covid-19 meaning he would be replaced behind the stumps by Sam Billings for the remainder of the test.

Daryl Mitchell was back in control with the bat for New Zealand before lunch

Daryl Mitchell was back in control with the bat for New Zealand before lunch

He was expertly joined by Tom Blundell when the pair frustrated the English bowlers

He was expertly joined by Tom Blundell when the pair frustrated the English bowlers

Sam Billings replaced Ben Foakes behind stumps after Foakes tested positive for Covid-19

Sam Billings replaced Ben Foakes behind stumps after Foakes tested positive for Covid-19

Mitchell and Blundell resumed at 168-5, a lead of 137, and had to negotiate a test opening period as Matthew Potts and Stuart Broad kept things tight early on.

Pott, in particular, went around the perimeter a number of times, but couldn’t find the crucial breakthrough.

Once Potts and Broad were sent off, Mitchell and Blundell began to settle in, with the former enjoying Joe Root’s off spin while Blundell held up well against a short ball barrage from Jamie Overton.

New Zealand had a brief scare when Mitchell was handed lbw from Jack Leach’s bowling after missing a straight.

Jack Leach thought he had taken Mitchell out, but the Kiwi successfully reversed an lbw decision

Jack Leach thought he had taken Mitchell out, but the Kiwi successfully reversed an lbw decision

Matthew Potts continued to impress with the ball but couldn't get a wicket before lunch

Matthew Potts continued to impress with the ball but couldn’t get a wicket before lunch

He judged immediately and was given a reprieve because DRS proved that the ball went over the stumps some distance.

After that, he looked at ease, which was the case throughout the entire three-game series.

By lunchtime, New Zealand had reached 254-5 to take their lead to 223, with Mitchell and Blundell both approaching fifty.

The new ball was taken by England just before lunch, and they will have to make the most of it in the afternoon session if they are to outplay New Zealand and then go on to win the Test to claim a 3-0 whitewash series win .

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