New Zealand duo eye hundreds after rain delay in 1st Test against England

·1-min read

New Zealand's Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell had the chance to complete coveted centuries at Lord's after rain delayed the scheduled start of the third day's play in the first Test against England on Saturday by 30 minutes.

Play should have started at 1000 GMT but with overnight rain easing on a quick-drying outfield, ground staff were soon removing the covers from the pitch and square at the 'Home of Cricket', with the match resuming at 1030 GMT.

Mitchell was 97 not out overnight and Blundell 90 not out, with their unbroken fifth-wicket partnership of 180 leaving the World Test champions well-placed at 236 for four in their second innings, a lead of 227 runs.

In a match where the bowlers on both sides had previously held sway -- 17 wickets fell on the first day of this three-match series alone -- Mitchell and Blundell came together Friday with New Zealand in trouble at 56 for four.

But they posted the first individual fifties of this match, and its first century partnership, as they wrested the initiative away from an England side playing their first match under the new leadership duo of captain Ben Stokes and red-ball coach Brendon McCullum, the former New Zealand skipper.

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