New Zealand v England – story of the match
Pop star Ed Sheeran paid England’s cricketers a surprise mid-match visit
England were powerless to stop Kane Williamson registering a New Zealand record 18th Test century on a rain-wrecked second day of the pink-ball Test at Eden Park.
Williamson (102) completed his century, going one above team-mate Ross Taylor and Kiwi great Martin Crowe, before James Anderson saw him off with the second new ball.
After England’s miserable 58 all out in the first session of this series opener, the hosts consolidated adequately as they moved from 175 for three to 229 for four in the 23.1 overs possible.
Special guest star
British pop singer Ed Sheeran, in town for a weekend concert, was out of luck as rain ruined his trip to the cricket. But he did bag himself a brush with further fame when he visited both dressing-rooms between the downpours to have a quick chat – picking up a bonus memento too when Mark Wood presented him with a bat. Former American president Barack Obama is an even bigger name with a gig in Auckland at the moment – a speaking engagement. He, however, resisted the temptation to pop down to Eden Park.
Tweet of the day
Williamson’s century an emotional milestone for us @BLACKCAPS fans but one feels just a stepping stone for our greatest.— Stephen Fleming (@SPFleming7) March 23, 2018
April showers ahead of time
Thunder clouds lurking ominously round Eden Park already. Forecast to dump plenty here over next three days. pic.twitter.com/DEKO8RZ1IZ— David Clough (@DavidBClough) March 23, 2018
Okay, they are supposed to happen in the English spring, and it is only late March here anyway. But after England’s batsmen provided one big one on Thursday, a succession of them descended on Eden Park on Friday to preclude all but a single moment of wider significance – Williamson’s hundred.
Stat of the day
Three for 53 – James Anderson is once again enjoying the pink ball. He averages under 15 with it, after England’s two previous day-night Tests. But after three more wickets so far here, even that is not much use if you have been bowled out for 58.
Plenty more rain over the weekend, according to the forecasters, and just the possibility England could yet escape with a draw.