|Scorecard:||England v New Zealand|
|Event:||New Zealand in England 2015|
DateLine: 2nd June 2015
By Andy Jalil at Headingley In association with INVESTEC
Rain interrupts fourth day’s play in second Test
Leeds – England have a major task on the final day as they resume their innings on 44 without loss and trailing by 410. With 98 overs to be bowled it is unlikely that England will score the runs but they have already been greatly helped by the weather in saving the match with rain washing out 67 overs from the fourth day’s play. New Zealand will be hoping for better conditions as they need a win to level this two-Test series.
Facing a daunting target of 454 to win, England were 44 without loss when rain stopped play for the day just four overs after lunch with Alastair Cook on 18 and Adam Lyth on 24. England batsman, Joe Root said: “We have quite a lot of work to do but we have got the opportunity to do something special. We are going to come out with all guns blazing. The key is to go out there with a view of chasing down the runs. We need a couple of big partnerships we have done it in the West Indies so we can do it here.”
Earlier, New Zealand resumed their second innings in the comfortable position of 338 for six, with BJ Watling resuming on 100 and Mark Craig on 15. Intent on quick scoring and building a total which may well put the game beyond England, both batsmen attacked the bowling with the second new ball becoming available after five overs.
Having added 38 to the overnight total of which Watling had 20 and Craig 10, with them having scored at the rate of just over five an over, England claimed the two wickets that fell in 15 overs. It took a vicious ball from James Anderson that removed Watling on 120 from 163 balls. It was the second ball with the new ball that rose sharply from not too short of a length and flew off the shoulder of Watling’s bat to third slip where Root took a fine catch low to his right. It had been an excellent innings over three-and-a-half hours.
Despite getting a wicket early with the new ball England failed to make good use of it as both Tim Southee who came in at the fall of Watling’s wicket and Craig attacked the bowling. Wood conceded three fours in the 85th over, two of those to Craig. Just after the total reached 400 Stuart Broad was struck for 20 in one over. Southee had struck a four followed by a six and two more fours, it was Broad’s first over with the new ball.
In the following over Craig helped himself to two fours and the 50 of their partnership came rapidly from just 34 balls and 37 of those runs went to Southee. Craig took his score to 45 with a beautiful square drive to point off Anderson and then reached his third Test half century from 72 balls. He then lifted Broad for a straight six to take his score to 57. The first 15.1 overs with the new ball were hit for 100 runs.
Moeen Ali, having replaced Anderson eventually brought Southee’s dismissal with the batsman, in attempting a straight big hit, lofted a catch to Anderson at wide long-on. Matt Henry joined Craig and hit 12 which came from two sixes off Broad and after an hour-and-a-quarters’ batting New Zealand declared on 454 for eight. New Zealand had hit 116 runs from the sixteen overs that were bowled in the morning session before the declaration.
New Zealand’s centurion BJ Watling spoke on the team’s chances: “We’ve got 98 overs tomorrow. We are going to come out strong and put England under pressure. The pitch is a bit up and down, a bit slow. The plan is to take a couple of early wickets tomorrow and put them under pressure.”
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2015 Andy Jalil)