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England 61-1 at lunch on day 1, 1st test vs. New Zealand

November 21, 2019 GMT
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England's Rory Burns watches as the ball that hit his helmet is caught by New Zealand's Tim Southee in the slips during play on day one of the first cricket test between England and New Zealand at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
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England's Rory Burns watches as the ball that hit his helmet is caught by New Zealand's Tim Southee in the slips during play on day one of the first cricket test between England and New Zealand at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

MOUNT MAUNGANUI, New Zealand (AP) — Openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley shared a half century partnership which gave England a solid start as it batted after winning the toss Thursday in the first test against New Zealand.

Burns safely negotiated the opening session and was 35 not at lunch while Sibley’s debut innings ended just before the break when he was dismissed by medium pacer Colin de Grandhomme for 22.

England was 61-1 after a slow but steady first session with Joe Denly not out on 4 from 27 balls.

Warwickshire’s Sibley made his test debut as England continues to look for a stable opening partnership, and top three, after the retirement of Alastair Cook.

The tall right-hander bats with a very open stance which favors scoring through the on side and he took all of his runs through leg before falling to De Grandhomme 20 minutes before the break.

Sibley’s first runs in test cricket came from a boundary off Trent Boult which he struck wide of mid-on. He hit three more boundaries in similar manner as the New Zealander bowled too straight in the early stages of the session.

When De Grandhomme and Neil Wagner bowled with more width outside off stump Sibley looked less at ease and after being beaten by De Grandhome in the 22nd over of the morning he edged the next ball to Ross Taylor at first slip.

Burns, in his 13th test, looked more at home and showed a wider range of shots, taking runs on both sides of the wicket, including four boundaries. He had a lucky break when he was only 10 and feathered the slightest of edges to wicketkeeper B.J. Watling off Trent Boult.

New Zealand appealed strongly but didn’t refer the not out decision to the television referee who would have seen a tiny spot on the outside edge of Burns’ bat.

England made slow progress through the morning at a run-rate of 2.1.

Boult and Tim Southee were both economical with the new ball, Southee bowling five overs for nine runs and Boult eight overs at a cost of 20 runs.

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