New Zealand v England: Tale of the unexpected for Mark Wood

England's Mark Wood: On his way to a maiden Test half-century.
England's Mark Wood: On his way to a maiden Test half-century.
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Mark Wood has spent the winter dreaming of a hero’s return for England but got a significant variation on the story he envisaged in Christchurch.

Wood, in his first Test since last July following a lengthy recurrence of ankle injuries, helped Jonny Bairstow turn the tourists’ fortunes around against New Zealand.

Instead of a maiden five-wicket haul on day one of this second and final Test, No 9 Wood hit a career-best 52 as he and Bairstow (97no) engineered a recovery from 164-7 to 290-8.

The increasingly adventurous stand of 95 between a pair who have known one another for a long time offset eight wickets shared by Tim Southee and Trent Boult.

Alluding to his tale of the unexpected, Wood said: “The worrying thing is I’ve got a (Test) 50 before a five-for – so I’ve done that the wrong way round, haven’t I?

“I loved batting out there with Jonny – a lad I’ve played with and against since about 11 or 12 years old. I had loads of fun – I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

New Zealand's Trent Boult, centre, is congratulated by team-mates after dismissing England's David Mallan for no score during play on day one of the second cricket test against New Zealand at Hagley Oval in Christchurch. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

New Zealand's Trent Boult, centre, is congratulated by team-mates after dismissing England's David Mallan for no score during play on day one of the second cricket test against New Zealand at Hagley Oval in Christchurch. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

The two first met playing in opposition for Northumberland and Yorkshire age-group teams, and the 28-year-old Geordie said: “I like that bit of arrogance about the way Jonny bats... it takes the bowlers off their game-plan, and maybe there was a little bit of panic stations at one point.”