AUCKLAND: England were all out for 58 runs in just over 90 minutes of the first Test against New Zealand on Thursday, with the tourists narrowly avoiding their record lowest score in a Test innings.
New Zealand bowlers Trent Boult and Tim Southee struck early and often on the first day of the day-night Test at Eden Park as England looked as if they might fail to beat the 45 they limped to against Australia in Sydney in 1887.
However, Craig Overton, who had been brought in as bowling cover amid concerns about the fitness of all-rounder Ben Stokes, top scored with a counter-attacking 33 not out in a 10th-wicket partnership with James Anderson to avoid the unwanted record.
Boult finished with career-best figures of six for 32 after he had ripped the top off England`s batting with four for nine from his first six overs. Southee finished with four for 25. New Zealand captain Kane Williamson had won the toss and had no hesitation in choosing to bowl first with the pink ball.
Left armer Boult had Alastair Cook caught behind for five by Tom Latham at second slip as the former England captain failed to get forward to a delivery just short of a full length. Boult then bowled England captain Joe Root for a duck, had Dawid Malan caught behind for two and bowled Stokes for a duck to leave the visitors floundering at 18 for five after Southee had Mark Stoneman (11) caught behind by wicketkeeper BJ Watling.
Southee then took a return catch from Jonny Bairstow (nought) and then bowled Moeen Ali (nought) as England`s batsmen failed to handle the slight swing and seam movement. The visitors had slumped to 23 for eight after the first hour and were flirting with the lowest test score of all time -- the 26 scored by New Zealand in the second match against England at Eden Park in 1955.
Overton hit a four to take them away from that danger and while Stuart Broad fell to a superb diving catch by Williamson in the gully, last man Anderson held up the other end to ensure their side moved past 50.