New Zealand strike back late in the First Test
by Andy Jalil

Ground:Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood
Scorecard:England v New Zealand
Player:IJL Trott, JE Root, TG Southee
Event:New Zealand in England 2013

DateLine: 18th May 2013


Andy Jalil reports from Lord's
In Association with INVESTEC

Andy Jalil - Cricket Writer and Commentator
Andy Jalil from Lord's
In Association with INVESTEC
© Pakistan Cricket Website


New Zealand came firmly back in the first Investec Test with an extraordinary burst of pace bowling by Tim Southee in which he sent back three England batsmen in a spell of 17 balls conceding just 4 runs. By stumps England were suddenly180 for six, from a position of 159 for two, and with an overall lead of 205.


Prior to that England had discarded the frailty of the first innings with batting sanity restored to some extent as Jonathan Trott and Joe Root diligently built a solid third wicket stand. The hundred runs of the partnership, the first of the match, came with Root pulling Bruce Martin for his seventh boundary. The 22 year old Yorkshire man then went on to put England in a position of strength at that stage as he fluently played his strokes to reach 71 before playing-on to Tim Southee.


It had been an excellent effort lasting a little over three hours during which he showed fine temperament and application. His stand with Trott had added 123 and the latter went on to bring up his fifteenth Test half century, from 128 balls faced.


With a first innings lead of 25, which could be of significance in a low scoring match, England showed more purpose in their batting the second time around. But it wasn’t until both opening batsmen had departed that the innings settled with Trott and Root at the crease. But before that Alistair Cook had flashed outside off stump to be held at third slip off Trent Boult for 21 and in the next over Nick Compton had his off stump sent cartwheeling by Neil Wagner when he played late to an in-swinger.


Trott and Root, cautious as they were, took every opportunity to play shots when the ball was there to be hit. Trott drove two fours to point in an over from Wagner and Root did the same off Trent Boult, a pull and a square cut. The 50 of their stand came off 90 balls with Root running three to cover off Wagner.


He raced ahead of Trott, the senior partner, passing his score of 40 in the first innings before he slashed a four to third man and then on 48 his perfectly timed square cut off Wagner for his sixth boundary saw him to his second Test half century coming off 78 balls. Trott was steadier of the two with the rate of scoring but played a powerful square cut off Wagner to get to 34 at that stage.


Earlier, New Zealand had suffered a similar batting collapse towards the end of their innings as England had done on the previous day in their first innings. They lost their last four wickets for 13 in a space of 36 balls. Prior to that, resuming on 153 for four and trailing by 79, they lost Brendon McCullum to the fourth ball of the morning when he attempted to push Stuart Broad to leg on a ball that was going down the leg side and was held behind the stumps off the face of the bat.


Kane Williamson, on 44 overnight, slowly added six runs for his eighth Test half century and progressed to 66 before getting a touch to a ball from James Anderson outside the leg stump for Matt Prior to take the catch. It was a blow to New Zealand as Williamson looked like being able to hold the innings together. He had been dropped behind the stumps on 23 on the second day but had batted steadily picking up the runs. With him gone the tourists were 177 for six.


The quick fall of the last four wickets began with Southee’s dismissal on the total of 194. He had struck three boundaries off successive balls from Steve Finn for his 12 runs before going for another big hit but only got a top edge for a catch at cover. A run later Anderson produced a marvellous ball which swung out late to clip the top of Bruce Martin’s off stump before he had scored.


With that wicket Anderson had two for one run in a space of 12 balls which took him to a five wicket haul in Tests for the thirteenth time. It was appropriate that he should have achieved the feat in the same innings in which he had on the previous day reached the milestone of three hundred Test wickets.


New Zealand’s last two fell to Finn on the score of 207. He had BJ Watling flashing outside off, on 15, for Prior to take the catch and then he bounced one to Boult who, in fending, looped a catch to gully. He finished with four for 63 and had three of those wickets for nine in nineteen balls on the day.


(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2013 Andy Jalil)