Yeah I remember that – a massive moment. Australia had been digging in and recovering from the previous evening’s Richard Ellison-inspired collapse, then that freak dismissal prised it open again. An English win masterminded by players that swiftly faded from prominence at international level thereafter – Ellison and Tim Robinson.
True to forecasts, it’s a bit cloudy in LS6 this morning. The ball is still pretty new. England will have chances.
It’s not often a spinner takes centre-stage on a first day at Headingley, but things happen around Jack Leach at this place, and – having bowled well with the hard ball – he then took the most talked-about wicket of the series. And here’s some pre-play reading about it from our Jonathan Liew:
Though those who’ve played the game at a more, er, rudimentary level know that these kinds of things do happen in this great game of ours:
Who’d have thought, at the start of this series, that its two most unshiftable New Zealand batters would be Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell? But for the third Test in a row, here we are, the pair adding to their restorative partnerships at Lord’s and Trent Bridge with another one at Headingley that meant a day that looked set to be firmly England’s ended up even.
Of course, if England hadn’t been so curiously timid in opting against reviewing a denied stonewall lbw shout against Mitchell when on eight, I could be filling this preamble with more paeans to the Red-Ball Reset. We may yet get to do so later of course – this Test is beautifully poised and a couple of wickets in the first hour will put the hosts back in the ascendancy on a surface that looks a pleasure to bat on.
The weather, however, could get a little more Headingley-ish in the next couple of days, which might add a note of jeopardy and put a spring in the steps of bowlers. Whatever, you’ll want to keep following. It’s Leeds, where Stuff happens, as we have already seen with Henry Nicholls’ outlandish dismissal yesterday.