New Zealand won’t dwell on loss to England: Williamson

LONDON: Captain Kane Williamson says New Zealand must move on quickly from their five-wicket loss to England in the first Test after the touring side let a winning position slip at Lord’s to go 1-0 down in the three-match series. New Zealand were in a commanding position as they led by 242 runs in their second innings with six wickets remaining, but lost three in three balls to open the door for England to fight back and, in the end, complete a comfortable victory.

The hosts came into the fourth day needing another 61 runs and eased to the win in dark and gloomy conditions as Joe Root (115 not out) and Ben Foakes (32 not out) put together an excellent unbeaten sixth-wicket stand of 120. “We thought there might be some assistance from the overhead (conditions) but it wasn’t to be,” Williamson said. “It’s about moving on quickly and taking the learnings.

There’s always plenty to take forward.” The New Zealand captain hailed the innings of Root as the turning-point in the game and praised the England batsman for passing 10,000 Test runs. “It was a fantastic game of cricket which took an incredible innings from an amazing player to get them across the line. It’s truly an unbelievable achievement, recognising the quality of the player and also his longevity.”

Since beating India in the final of the World Test Championship in England almost exactly a year ago, New Zealand have lost a series to the Indians, and been held to home series draws with Bangladesh and South Africa. The second Test begins at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Friday, giving little time for the touring side to lick their wounds, with question marks over the fitness of all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme, who only bowled 3.5 overs in England’s second innings due to a heel injury.

“Everybody wants to be contributing more,” Williamson said. “We’ll reflect on this and look forward to the next one.”