Trent Boult (six for 32) and Tim Southee (four for 25) proved unstoppable with the pink ball in the first day-night Test in New Zealand at Auckland’s Eden Park, until Craig Overton and James Anderson came up with belated and brief resistance.
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The new-ball pair wreaked havoc as the tourists marginally managed to pass Test cricket’s all-time lowest total - 26 by New Zealand against them here in 1955 - falling to 27 for nine, and then had to rue their collective failure while home captain Kane Williamson (91no) took the reply to 175 for three at stumps.
By the time Williamson began to near his 18th century, a national record, Stuart Broad had claimed Tom Latham as his 400th Test victim - second only behind Anderson - but such was England’s plight, his achievement rated only footnote.
On a blameless pitch but against brilliant swing bowling, it seemed a long shot at one point that they could get anywhere near beating their own historical low of 45 all out against Australia in Sydney in 1887.
But number nine Overton (33no), playing here only because Ben Stokes’ stiff back meant he may not be able to bowl, had other ideas - scoring more than half England’s runs as they instead recorded merely their sixth-lowest total.
The tourists were in big trouble almost immediately, after being put in on a sunny afternoon.
Boult’s new-ball swing had Alastair Cook edging some away movement to second slip in the fifth over - and then Joe Root, having pushed himself back up to number three here, fell for a six-ball duck when he went to drive but was done through the gate as the left-armer bowled him off-stump.
Boult produced another beauty to have Dawid Malan caught-behind by a diving BJ Watling, and Southee got in on the act when Mark Stoneman also edged more swing to the wicketkeeper.
Stokes, back here for his first Test in more than six months after his enforced absence from the Ashes, could not halt the slide.
He was bowled for a duck by one that snaked back through his defences from Boult, and Jonny Bairstow was scoreless too when he pushed a return catch to Southee.
Chris Woakes was next to go, bowled by Boult, and Moeen Ali was fooled by a Southee yorker.
Broad’s attempt to counter-attack resulted only in a blinding gully catch by Williamson off Southee, and the fifth duck of the innings.
Overton refused to go quietly, though, and was unbeaten when Anderson was last out - lobbing a catch to point off Boult to end a partnership of 31.
New Zealand replied with necessary early caution as England bowled well but without reward.
After missing their chance to make it nought for one, when sub fielder Liam Livingstone’s shy at the stumps flew wide to reprieve Latham, Anderson did have Jeet Raval edging behind.
Broad broke a second-wicket stand of 84 when Latham chipped him compliantly to midwicket for his 400th.
But almost everything was still going wrong for England, encapsulated when no one was prepared to take Woakes’ word for it that he got a finger-end on a straight-drive which hit the non-striker’s stumps - with Williamson out of his ground on 64.
He therefore closed on course for Test century 18, one more than both the great Martin Crowe and Ross Taylor - who fell here to a mis-pull at Anderson under lights.
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