County Select XI 247 and 112 for 1 (Compton 56*, Ajaz 1-12) need 152 runs to beat New Zealanders 362 for 9 dec and 148 (Jamieson 36, Wagner 36, Porter 5-31)
There had been little to suggest that New Zealand were in for such a torrid morning examination when the unbeaten openers, Young and Latham, resumed the innings in bright sunshine, having played out a maiden from spinner Liam Patterson-White the previous evening. But Porter struck with his third, 12th, 16th and 18th balls to leave the visitors five down and not yet into double-figures.
Young was the first to go, lbw for a three-ball duck playing no stroke to one nipping back in. Williamson, who joined up with the squad this week after leaving the IPL early to witness the birth of his second child in New Zealand, had spent some time in the field on Friday and now walked out in place of Conway in his customary berth at No. 3. But quickly heading in the opposite direction was his deputy, Latham, who thick-edged Gibbon’s sixth delivery to third slip.
Williamson has not played Test cricket since November, having experienced issues with a chronic elbow problem. Although he was fit enough to play for Sunrisers Hyderabad at the IPL, his returns were underwhelming, and he would have been hoping for a lengthy stay in the middle ahead of his comeback. Instead, Porter found extra lift from a length outside off stump to induce a startled prod to slip.
With Conway, another recent arrival from India, also looking for a workout against the red ball after making 4 off 14 in the first innings, Porter struck again from round the wicket, rapping the left-hander on the pads. Two balls later, wicketkeeper Blundell propped forward to also be given out lbw – although he lingered for some time after the decision, with a strong suggestion that he had got an inside edge.
At that stage Porter, who has seemingly drifted out of contention for a Test cap despite being called up to the England squad in 2018, had figures of 4 for 4 from three overs; and they improved still further when de Grandhomme defended the ball softly down into the turf, only for it bounce back and dislodge the bails.
The New Zealanders finally got the scoreboard moving with the arrival of Tim Southee, who cracked five fours and a six during a 17-ball innings. He scored 34 out of the 37 added in partnership with Daryl Mitchell for the seventh wicket, before another belligerent slap down the ground off Patterson-White was intercepted by the diving Gibbon at long-on. Mitchell then became the eighth wicket to fall, providing a success for Jack Blatherwick, as his ungainly attempt to pull ended up in the hands of point.
From there, Wagner and Jamieson dug in for 20 overs of respectable batting that took the innings into the afternoon session. Gibbon eventually trapped Wagner with a full delivery angled into the pads, before Jamieson’s attempt to thrash the ball into Hayes Close ended up in the hands of Porter at long-off. Wagner and Southee both then delivered ten overs, their first proper bowl before Lord’s, as the County Select XI made a good start in pursuit of victory; Sibley fell cutting at Ajaz but the spinner dropped Tom Haines off Wagner in the penultimate over to sum up New Zealand’s day.