It was a rare dismissal, and, after Colin de Grandhomme’s no-ball spared Ben Stokes during England’s chase at Lord’s, and New Zealand dropped a string of saves at Trent Bridge before Jonny Bairstow sealed an astonishing victory the last day, added to the feeling. that, under Brendon McCullum, England is getting all the breaks.
As Nicholls walked by in disbelief, England could toast a crucial blow: the end of a 40-run position for fifth wicket that threatened to justify New Zealand’s decision to bat first. Leach’s fortuitous wicket left New Zealand 123 at five at tea.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson returned after missing the second Test due to Covid-19, winning the toss and choosing to bat first on a flat pitch, but England took the lead.
New Zealand will kick themselves after all the batsmen except the struggling Latham entered a good batting wicket but were unable to continue, although in Nicholls’s case there was little he could do when luck shone in an England buoyant.
England are seeking to win every game in a home series with at least three Tests for the first time since beating India 4-0 in 2011.