Redmond kept waiting as rain delays first Test start

Published: Thursday, May 15, 2008, 19:32 [IST]
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New Zealand debutant Aaron Redmond faced a nervous wait as rain delayed the start of the first day of the first Test against England at Lord's here Thursday.

Redmond, whose father Rodney scored a century in his one and only Test for New Zealand against Pakistan in 1973, was due to open the innings after England captain Michael Vaughan won the toss and elected to field.

New Zealand have struggled to find a consistent opening partnership in recent times and during their 2-1 Test home Test series defeat by England in March they failed to record a first-wicket stand of fifty.

But after a successful season opening for Otago, Redmond was included in the squad for England in place of the out-of-form Matthew Sinclair.

Last week, against the England Lions, the national A side, the 28-year-old Redmond made well-constructed scores of 146 and 64.

How he fared against left-arm quick Ryan Sidebottom, whose 24 wickets were a vital part of England's series win in New Zealand, was likely to have a major bearing on the outcome of this three-Test campaign.

However, rain, which meant there was no play before lunch, kept Redmond in the pavilion after he'd been included in the team along with fellow debutant batsman Daniel Flynn.

The umpires decided to take an early lunch at 12:30pm (1130GMT) in the hope of getting underway at 1.10pm (1210GMT).

England had announced on Wednesday they would stick with the same team that won the third Test against New Zealand in Napier in March by 121 runs and so completed a come-from-behind 2-1 series victory.

All-rounder Paul Collingwood kept his place, despite a recent recurrence of his right shoulder injury which last week required a cortisone injection.

However, Vaughan was due to drop down from opening the innings to No 3 in a straight swop with Andrew Strauss having finished the series in New Zealand with a low average of just over 20.

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