England v NZ, 1st Investec Test, Lord's, 3rd day May 18, 2013

Southee leads late rally after Root sparkles

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England 232 and 180 for 6 (Root 71, Trott 56, Southee 3-34) lead New Zealand 207 (Taylor 66, Williamson 60, Anderson 5-45, Finn 4-63) by 205 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

This match refuses to reveal a favourite. Just as England appeared to have wrestled control away through a stand of 123 between Joe Root and Jonathan Trott, New Zealand surged back late in the day by taking 4 for 12, led by Tim Southee, to leave the contest tantalisingly balanced with the home side leading by 205 in conditions offering assistance to all bowlers.

Despite how the day ended, England's advantage is not inconsiderable on this surface. New Zealand will almost certainly have to score more than their first innings 207 to secure victory. Lord's pitches have, over recent years, got better for batting (or at least harder for wicket-taking) deeper into the match but this surface does not appear set to follow that trend and the ball continues to swing. Their was less movement, though, when the sun popped out so New Zealand will look skywards. Either side Root and Trott, 12 wickets fell for 100 on the third day.

Root, having played outstandingly for his 71, was the first to fall during a collapse that began in the final hour, when he inside-edged Southee into the stumps playing a shot that was not as tight as the majority he had so correctly produced. Then Southee beat Jonny Bairstow with a full delivery that clipped the pads and Matt Prior's difficult game continued when he completed a pair by pulling softly to square leg. It was the first pair at Lord's by an England player picked, in a significant part, for their batting since Mark Ramprakash against West Indies in 1995.

A compelling passage of play continued when Kane Williamson, finding considerable turn that will give Graeme Swann every chance of being a match-winner, ripped one through the gate to bowl Trott (who had earlier been dropped at slip off the same bowler on 49) and suddenly the ill Ian Bell, who had spent the majority of New Zealand's innings off the field and the morning of the third day at the team hotel, had to emerge at No. 8 behind nightwatchman Steven Finn.

Root's innings was exceptional. England were wobbling on 36 for 2 - a lead of 61 - when he arrived, after Alastair Cook's problems with Trent Boult continued by edging a drive to third slip (his fourth dismissal against him in the four Tests this year) and Nick Compton was beaten by an inswinger from Neil Wagner in the next over. The stand that followed was comfortably the highest of the match.

Until Root dragged on the only moments of unease came with running between the wickets. A better throw from Brendon McCullum at cover would have found him short on 40; in the process of collecting the ball and trying to break the stumps, BJ Watling damaged his knee and needed to leave the field, which forced McCullum to take the gloves (although not the conventional keeping pads, instead using shinguards under his trousers).

Twice on 54 Root came close to being run out again. Martin Guptill, on as sub and New Zealand's best fielder, missed the stumps then Root had to dive for his ground after another poor call. Each time, however, he managed to refocus. Perhaps the occasionally frantic running was a result of England's increased urgency. They certainly appeared more intent on not letting the bowlers settle and Root was central to this with numerous tip-and-runs.

He was strong square of the wicket, both cutting and driving elegantly off the back foot with a hint of his mentor Michael Vaughan, as he brought up his second Test fifty off 78 balls - rapid in the context of this game, if not quite Ross Taylor pace. The swiftness of footwork stood out, too, especially when he latched on to short deliveries from Bruce Martin, who did not have the same stifling effect of the first innings. Trott, meanwhile, played as he so often does and provided a reassuring presence at the other end although Root does not strike you as someone who needs calming in the middle.

The two teams continue to prove closer than the rankings would suggest. New Zealand began the day in the slightly stronger position, but they were quickly knocked back and their last six wickets fell for 52 as James Anderson received the support that had been lacking the previous day, with him and Finn sharing nine wickets.

England made the ideal start by removing McCullum in the first full over. He could have taken the game by scruff of the neck in a session but got a thin outside edge as he drove at Stuart Broad who, after being too short yesterday, immediately gained reward by pitching the ball up. McCullum thought he may have clipped his pad, not the ball, and used the DRS but there was a clear mark on Hot Spot.

With McCullum gone, England knew the risk of New Zealand racing away had diminished. Williamson, who took a painful blow in the box against the much-improved Broad and needed a few minutes to compose himself, moved to an excellent fifty from 158 balls - his back-foot play through off side continuing to stand out - before falling in the same manner to Root on Friday when he glanced down the leg side against Anderson who went on to complete his fourth five-wicket haul at Lord's when he beat Martin with a beauty to take off stump.

Finn, although remaining inconsistent, played his part in dispatching the lower order. He benefited from a disappointing lack of self-control from Southee who had clubbed three boundaries in three balls and could not resist hacking at a short delivery that was simply taken at cover. It was a waste. Finn also claimed the last two to end with somewhat flattering figures, although his strike-rate of 47.1 should not be overlooked. However, like England, there is still improvement needed.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cric_J on May 19, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    The match is pretty delicately poised ATM .

    Jimmy was splendid and richly deserved his 5 wickets. I am glad that Cook gave him enough overs to bowl, probably a bit too many though. Broady was very good with pitching the ball fuller and was unlucky to get just 1 wicket. He bowled much better than Finn , whose 4 wkts were highly flattering.

    Joe Root played a superb innings and a very important one in the context of the match and Trott was his solid self . What followed still hasn't sunk in yet for me. Southee bowled really well but England have themselves to blame for that horrendous collapse of 4/12. Prior continued to have a nightmarish match , which no one would have dreamed of 4 days ago.

    Taylor and McCullum can turn the game on its head. So Eng have to get to a lead of 300 to be totally safe.Hope the Eng tail wags a bit. Swanny, Broady sure have it in them to do it. Jimmy will need Broady and Finny to support him well and Swanny should be very handy as the bowl is turning enough.

  • jmcilhinney on May 19, 2013, 0:52 GMT

    What a game Test cricket can be. Those predicting its demise after day 1 look even more foolish now than they did then. Typical comments from the T20 generation, who continually seem to forget that, with four days to go, the fact that not too much happened on day 1 does not mean that the game is no good. In fact, had England scored 250 rather than 160 on day 1 then the game might already be all but in the bag, so that stodgy first day actually contributed to the later excitement of a game evenly poised. With regards to entertainment value, an exciting finish is far more important than an exciting beginning.

  • Jeppo on May 18, 2013, 21:32 GMT

    All cricket administrators who make the rules and groundsmen who prepare pitches to suit the batsman and big scores should take note at this game, because when the par score is between 200 and 300 and when teams are fairly evenly matched it will always generate absorbing test cricket. There is a very good balance between bat and ball; the bowlers can generate enough swing, seam and turn to be interested, but also there is the opportunity for batsman to score runs if they knuckle down, just like Taylor and Root did.

    Games where 500 plays 500 are boring and kills test cricket. We need more games like the one we're witnessing at Lord's this week.

  • Mitty2 on May 19, 2013, 12:33 GMT

    Really really disappointed New Zealand. Outplayed England for so long (including the March series) and just give away a mental advantage/dominance so easily. There had been so many positives and this really was a very easy chance to show how little rankings mean/show that you can be a force/show how overrated england are.

    On the positive side for me (an Australian), however, is that broad and finn have taken wickets. And whatever happens here, any fears of English dominance with the ball in the ashes series will completely be swept away/alleviated considering the very fact that they will be the back up bowlers for anderson (or just the complete ineptitude that they possess). You see, when Anderson bowls 80-85mp/h, at least he swings the bowl (both ways), is accurate and doesn't have a terrible pitch map. Broad however, has an ishant sharma like average and finn a Mitchell Johnson like economy rate. How easy would the ashes be for england if they just replaced them with Onions and TRJ

  • on May 19, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    Extremely disappointing for a match where both sides slugged it out on an even keel for the first three innings to finish like this. It's down to quality bowling more than anything else, with Broad just seaming enough with the ball to be devastatingly effective.

  • cric_J on May 19, 2013, 12:18 GMT

    Unbelievable stuff from Broady ! One just won't believe he was the same bowler who was struggling 3 days back. I mean the lad actually took 5 wickets in under 1 hour. Splendid really. He was good with the bat as well. Looks like he's all out to make this his day.

    Although I won't be much surprised if he doesn't get even 1 more wicket and ends up giving another 30 runs post lunch. Because that's Stuart Broad for you.The spelling of inconsistency.

    It is almost like seeing two different Broads at times.When he is good , he is unplayable (think today) and when he is poor , he is horrendous (think day 2 of this match).Good for England that it was the former Broad today.

  • on May 19, 2013, 12:07 GMT

    And this is why NZ are ranked where there are. Horrific stuff really.

  • kiwicricketnut on May 19, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    Nz main problem coming to the fore again, our openers all at sea against the moving ball, i was all for fulton and rutherford getting a decent run at the top but fulton having this uncontrolable urge to follow the ball, waving the bat out at a 7th stump line is unacceptable, ya have to leave that as an international opener. Rutherfords feet don't move early on either so it is a dangerous combo and now our middle order is exposed and tumbling like flies. This game is gone as we have yet another one of our melt downs as only we can, what could of been huh. I will say this though lets get rid of the kookaburra ball and just play all test cricket with the duke, it moves more for longer evening up the competition between bat and ball which makes for more exciting cricket

  • spot_on on May 19, 2013, 11:56 GMT

    Blackcaps massacred !!! End of the story !!!

  • brusselslion on May 19, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    Let's hope the weather doesn't spoil the finale.

    @PrasPunter (May 18, 2013, 19:14 GMT): My comment (May 18, 2013, 18:13) "This 2 innings <per team>, 5 day format is just so dull!! It will never catch on!!" was my attempt at sarcasm. Unfortunately, in my haste, I missed out the <per team> phrase.

    Cricinfo: Please publish. The few friends that I had have now all deserted me following publication of my previous comment!

  • cric_J on May 19, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    The match is pretty delicately poised ATM .

    Jimmy was splendid and richly deserved his 5 wickets. I am glad that Cook gave him enough overs to bowl, probably a bit too many though. Broady was very good with pitching the ball fuller and was unlucky to get just 1 wicket. He bowled much better than Finn , whose 4 wkts were highly flattering.

    Joe Root played a superb innings and a very important one in the context of the match and Trott was his solid self . What followed still hasn't sunk in yet for me. Southee bowled really well but England have themselves to blame for that horrendous collapse of 4/12. Prior continued to have a nightmarish match , which no one would have dreamed of 4 days ago.

    Taylor and McCullum can turn the game on its head. So Eng have to get to a lead of 300 to be totally safe.Hope the Eng tail wags a bit. Swanny, Broady sure have it in them to do it. Jimmy will need Broady and Finny to support him well and Swanny should be very handy as the bowl is turning enough.

  • jmcilhinney on May 19, 2013, 0:52 GMT

    What a game Test cricket can be. Those predicting its demise after day 1 look even more foolish now than they did then. Typical comments from the T20 generation, who continually seem to forget that, with four days to go, the fact that not too much happened on day 1 does not mean that the game is no good. In fact, had England scored 250 rather than 160 on day 1 then the game might already be all but in the bag, so that stodgy first day actually contributed to the later excitement of a game evenly poised. With regards to entertainment value, an exciting finish is far more important than an exciting beginning.

  • Jeppo on May 18, 2013, 21:32 GMT

    All cricket administrators who make the rules and groundsmen who prepare pitches to suit the batsman and big scores should take note at this game, because when the par score is between 200 and 300 and when teams are fairly evenly matched it will always generate absorbing test cricket. There is a very good balance between bat and ball; the bowlers can generate enough swing, seam and turn to be interested, but also there is the opportunity for batsman to score runs if they knuckle down, just like Taylor and Root did.

    Games where 500 plays 500 are boring and kills test cricket. We need more games like the one we're witnessing at Lord's this week.

  • Mitty2 on May 19, 2013, 12:33 GMT

    Really really disappointed New Zealand. Outplayed England for so long (including the March series) and just give away a mental advantage/dominance so easily. There had been so many positives and this really was a very easy chance to show how little rankings mean/show that you can be a force/show how overrated england are.

    On the positive side for me (an Australian), however, is that broad and finn have taken wickets. And whatever happens here, any fears of English dominance with the ball in the ashes series will completely be swept away/alleviated considering the very fact that they will be the back up bowlers for anderson (or just the complete ineptitude that they possess). You see, when Anderson bowls 80-85mp/h, at least he swings the bowl (both ways), is accurate and doesn't have a terrible pitch map. Broad however, has an ishant sharma like average and finn a Mitchell Johnson like economy rate. How easy would the ashes be for england if they just replaced them with Onions and TRJ

  • on May 19, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    Extremely disappointing for a match where both sides slugged it out on an even keel for the first three innings to finish like this. It's down to quality bowling more than anything else, with Broad just seaming enough with the ball to be devastatingly effective.

  • cric_J on May 19, 2013, 12:18 GMT

    Unbelievable stuff from Broady ! One just won't believe he was the same bowler who was struggling 3 days back. I mean the lad actually took 5 wickets in under 1 hour. Splendid really. He was good with the bat as well. Looks like he's all out to make this his day.

    Although I won't be much surprised if he doesn't get even 1 more wicket and ends up giving another 30 runs post lunch. Because that's Stuart Broad for you.The spelling of inconsistency.

    It is almost like seeing two different Broads at times.When he is good , he is unplayable (think today) and when he is poor , he is horrendous (think day 2 of this match).Good for England that it was the former Broad today.

  • on May 19, 2013, 12:07 GMT

    And this is why NZ are ranked where there are. Horrific stuff really.

  • kiwicricketnut on May 19, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    Nz main problem coming to the fore again, our openers all at sea against the moving ball, i was all for fulton and rutherford getting a decent run at the top but fulton having this uncontrolable urge to follow the ball, waving the bat out at a 7th stump line is unacceptable, ya have to leave that as an international opener. Rutherfords feet don't move early on either so it is a dangerous combo and now our middle order is exposed and tumbling like flies. This game is gone as we have yet another one of our melt downs as only we can, what could of been huh. I will say this though lets get rid of the kookaburra ball and just play all test cricket with the duke, it moves more for longer evening up the competition between bat and ball which makes for more exciting cricket

  • spot_on on May 19, 2013, 11:56 GMT

    Blackcaps massacred !!! End of the story !!!

  • brusselslion on May 19, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    Let's hope the weather doesn't spoil the finale.

    @PrasPunter (May 18, 2013, 19:14 GMT): My comment (May 18, 2013, 18:13) "This 2 innings <per team>, 5 day format is just so dull!! It will never catch on!!" was my attempt at sarcasm. Unfortunately, in my haste, I missed out the <per team> phrase.

    Cricinfo: Please publish. The few friends that I had have now all deserted me following publication of my previous comment!

  • JG2704 on May 19, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    @VillageBlacksmith - Hopefully Bell will do something in a pressure situation this time. Re BM - as KCN points out it's part of the game. Maybe he somehow thought he didn't hit it as he has nothing to gain from using up a review

    @Cricket Itihason (May 18, 2013, 18:16 GMT) How many batsmen would walk under such circumstances?

    @jmcilhinney on (May 19, 2013, 1:07 GMT) Was thinking the very same myself. He probably couldn't have had a worse game if he tried

    @Train Stationeron (May 19, 2013, 8:16 GMT) probably madder picking him after his job as the lone spinner in NZ

  • on May 19, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    Wish we had Panesar in the side....madness to pick an off-spinner over a lefty

  • Greatest_Game on May 19, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    @ jmcilhinney. I see you neatly headed off all the howling about the "best wicketkeeper batsman in the world." Slick job!

    Everyone has good & bad matches & even streaks, as Prior seems to be having, so there is no need to get into that debate again, right now. Possibly he might want to practice his diving - like de Villiers does- instead of just relying on moving his feet, which did not seem to be moving much with the big or small gloves on. It will be another 150 years before a keeper gets Eng's Cricketer of the Year award, & I don't see Eng awarding Matt anything again - at least until he retires. Odds are the Aussies are cooking up an award of two for him - one just before each Ashes match?

    The "wicketkeeper" part of the title is his strength - he was never going to beat out AB in the batting department. But, if he drops another sitter, or misses a stumping or run out, you'll have to start using "arguably" - the journos' favorite "cover all bets" word.

    Ouch!

  • on May 19, 2013, 5:32 GMT

    England are fighting desperately! They are utterly determined! If they dont succeed they will at least die trying. They will at any cost snatch 'underdog status' away from Michael Clarkes Australian side before the Ashes, even if it may mean losing to 8th ranked NZ on home turf! Shrewd captaincy from Cook!! ;)

  • MeijiMura on May 19, 2013, 5:19 GMT

    With the weather closing in the chance of either team winning is starting to look slim. The best chance of a result seems to be if the last four wickets of England's second innings fall in the first hour of play on day four. Weather aside things are shaping up really nicely here with England in the box seat bowling last and in helpful conditions, but the New Zealanders have three batsmen that can take the game away from them inside a session in the form of Rutherford, Taylor and McCullum, especially so if the target is a modest 250. Neither Rutherford nor McCullum fired in the first innings, but if either one fires in the second innings things will become interesting. If both fire then NZ will win the test match whilst if both fail and Taylor fails to back up his first innings performance then England will win, but I fear the weather might have the final say if New Zealand cannot bowl England out quickly enough on day four and if the rain washes out all of day five as feared.

  • SamRoy on May 19, 2013, 2:31 GMT

    Test Cricket is the best form of the game. It is not because of the white clothing (I am not nostalgic, sorry), it is because of the red ball which provides which provides much more equal contest between bat and ball. The white ball employed in ODIs and T20s stops doing anything after 4-5 overs. Also Test Cricket allows teams to come back into the game after a bad day. It's an absorbing session by session cricket.

  • whofriggincares on May 19, 2013, 2:30 GMT

    Great test match between two evenly matched sides. Englands slide and NZ's rise has them at about the same level in the pecking order. Home and away series will confirm this I think. It wont matter what the trolls say the evidence will be in the results. @cricket is unpopular , mate get a life . India and England and South Africa are small countries are they? your comment just proves you know nothing about the greatest game on earth and probably nothing about the earth as well. I am guessing you are an uncoordinated individual that struggled as a youngster to have any measure of skill when it comes to sport.

  • Meety on May 19, 2013, 1:51 GMT

    Gotta hand it to the Kiwis - they punch above their weight! Great comeback after a morale sapping start to the day. == == == Say England are all out for 225 & have a 250 run lead, this will be great cricket watching. 250 lead is a bit like 350 on other pitches, you'll win a lot more than you lose, however NZ would be close enuff as long as they get 2 or 3 batsmen who hang in. 2 partnerships & NZ could get 250. == == == Crunch time for Bell, guides England to 300 & England win the match he's a hero, gifts his wicket under pressure & Eng;land rolled cheaply , he is a chocolate soldier again. == == == When Southee gets it right he is brilliant, but clearly it doesn't happen enuf. Still young enuff to turn a modest test career into a great one. == == == Notwithstanding a strong performance form NZ - this could be England's worst May performance in a long time & worst @ Lords since 200. Since 2000 only Oz & SA have won at Lords, but I think all those tests were later in the year!

  • pvwadekar on May 19, 2013, 1:48 GMT

    Shaping up to be a good test match. NZ should get the remaining wickets. Anything below 250 can be chased. There is still plenty of time left in this test match with the strong seam and spin attack, NZ should focus to play it session by session .. would love to see them go 1 up in this two match series.

  • talkcric.com on May 19, 2013, 1:32 GMT

    @talkcric and talkcric.com says if England can bat to an hour after lunch then i cannot see enough time for England to bowl them out or the Kiwi's to get the runs. Mondays is set for rain all day upto 4 pm then its 30 mins to get the pitch ready. Cannot see past the draw

  • Batmanian on May 19, 2013, 1:12 GMT

    It's doable, but it's going to take an amazing effort to restrict England to fewer than 300 lead. Then amazing application from the bats; if Finn could clean up the tail bowling (by his standards) as badly as he was, NZ are liable to lose by 150. Come on, Kiwis, don't waste the good work, don't sweat the bad, and finish in front for once!

  • jmcilhinney on May 19, 2013, 1:07 GMT

    While I would still maintain that Matt Prior is the best keeper/batsman in Test cricket, it is ironic that he has had a rather poor game after there having been quite some discussion on the relative merits of he and his contemporaries beforehand. You'd put him well down the list based on this performance but, fortunately, this is quite out of character. He and the rest of the England players will need to snaffle every chance in the second innings, with the game shaping up for a close finish.

    On the subject of keepers, it's interesting to see McCullum opt to work without full pads. Can you imagine MS Dhoni keeping without pads two summers ago? His shins would have been black and blue. Keeping in England is not an easy task and Dhoni is used to very different conditions. He is also one of the best when up to the stumps but you have to admit that he had a poor series last time in England.

    Also, hopefully Watling's injury is not serious and he'll retake the field on day 4.

  • jmcilhinney on May 19, 2013, 1:01 GMT

    Quite a day of Test cricket. A very good fight-back from England to wrest control with the ball and the bat, only to have NZ fight back again to leave the game in the balance. As if the hype surrounding him wasn't putting enough pressure on Root already, he's now seen his dismissal precipitate a collapse in both innings here. The poor guy will feel like the fate of the team rests on his shoulders. Trott's dismissal was particularly disappointing because, as the set batsmen while wickets were falling at the other end, it was extremely important for him to stay at the crease. A lot rests on the shoulders of the unwell Ian Bell. If he can be there at the end and the tail can manage about 50 amongst them then England would be in the box seat. If Finn could bring out another night-watchman special then that should also likely be enough to see England home. Those big ifs though. Much depends on Broad and Finn with the ball. If they can maintain the pressure then 250 lead could be enough.

  • on May 19, 2013, 0:49 GMT

    Reply to cricket is unpopular. Who cares what the world thinks about cricket, by the evidence of a full house at Lords the interest in cricket is real and people follow it. I for one love cricket and that is all I care about. Enjoying this test.

  • Lmaotsetung on May 19, 2013, 0:33 GMT

    So in both innings once Root got out the rest fell like dominoes? Looks like Root is a carbon copy of his captain....interesting.

  • on May 18, 2013, 23:36 GMT

    @Cricket_is_Unpopular, why bother posting then? Not sure if troll or just silly.

    There are currently 106 countries that are ICC members, so that is over half of the nations on this planet currently playing the game. The main barrier to these countries is funding. Once they are capable of setting up proper infrastructure, standards will improve and they will be able to compete at higher levels. Afghanistan is a great example - most of them started out playing in Peshawar with rags, shoes and sticks, those same youths then went on to beat Ireland, Canada, and the Netherlands virtually every time they played them in the last 2 years. If they improve any further they'll beat Bangladesh and Zimbabwe at will too. Cricket is spreading to the Americas now, particularly the South American nations. I'd expect big things to come from them in the next 20 years or so. Cricket was, in the past more of a burgeoise game and prohibitively expensive to play, but now it is spreading out and changing.

  • on May 18, 2013, 23:32 GMT

    I think NZ will have their work cut out against Swann, Williamson is getting sharp turn despite being a part time off spinner, Swann is one of the best spinners in cricket, and will trouble the right handers, Williamson will have a popular role because he is one of the best players of spin bowling in the Kiwi batting line up. If they can throw Swann of by taking him on, and going after him, their work will be eased. Kiwis should also hope that the weather is nice for batting, as we have seen in England, when its overcast and cloudy, the ball seems around, and the batsmen have to make the hay while the sun shines.

  • on May 18, 2013, 23:20 GMT

    Good work by Nz bowlers but again they lack killer instics when it matters. England victory is on the cards

  • The_bowlers_Holding on May 18, 2013, 23:08 GMT

    Excellent comeback from Kiwis when it looked like England were going to walk it and so an intriguing test match unfolding. If England can eke out a 100 more runs then they will win (they are currently odds on which seems short) but the key to me was the ball that got Trott, spinning fiercely out of the rough that G Swann will be bowling into from the left arm seamers (that is why Martin has been less effective than Williamson IMHO).

  • on May 18, 2013, 22:38 GMT

    Given the relative rankings of the two teams, the performance of the match simply has to be Southee's seven wickets so far. This is an engrossing match! Test cricket isn't dead yet, not by a long shot!

  • yorkshirematt on May 18, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    Three possible winners here. NZ, the weather or England, in that order

  • whoster on May 18, 2013, 22:29 GMT

    This is turning into a really good contest. England are marginal favourites as it stands, but NZ are still in with a good chance. A target of 250+ would take a lot of getting in bowler-friendly conditions, and Swann will be looking forward to a bowl tomorrow after seeing the turn Williamson got. NZ look a pretty decent side with plenty of fight, and England have got a lot of work to do to win this. A superb advert for Test cricket - a sporting pitch where batsmen have to earn their runs, and both sides battling back at different stages when the other looked like taking control. If the England attack can keep things tight from both ends in the fourth innings, they should win. NZ have some good batsmen though, and you never know what McCullum might do.

  • Bishop on May 18, 2013, 22:22 GMT

    @nostrogusto Completely agree re Southee! If he is going to bat like that he needs to do it from no.10, and even then, if there is a recognised batsman down the other end he should pull his head in. He obviously has an extremely good eye, and a good dose of natural timing. Surely a modicum of discernment as to which balls to swing at and which to defend/leave shouldn't be too hard to coach into him. Still, a gripping test so far. Very enjoyable.

  • on May 18, 2013, 22:18 GMT

    So it worked out that each team lost 6 wickets on day three. It seems this pitch has been good for the swing bowlers but it will be decided on how NZ bats in the fourth innings... This test match should have an outcome which the recent three have not had!!

  • yorkshirematt on May 18, 2013, 22:04 GMT

    Well it all unravelled when the yorkie got out, although Bairstow doesn't seem to have pushed on as we had hoped after his 90 odd against SA, but we'll try to fit him back into our lineup at Yorks should he be dropped

  • glance_to_leg on May 18, 2013, 21:57 GMT

    Proves just how much more exciting low-scoring games can be than ones with sides racking up the runs. Good batsmen fighting for runs against intelligent bowling is so much more interesting. Well done to the bowlers on both sides.

  • AndyMick on May 18, 2013, 21:36 GMT

    Mr Cricket is Unpopular, do you like baseball by any chance, don't they have a World Series that s only played in America and ay be Japan? I have to ask, if you find cricket so unpopular, why are you a member of cricinfo and post comments? I guess you are really a closet cricket fan ain't you, but hate admitting it. Please reply to confirm my suspicions!

  • on May 18, 2013, 21:21 GMT

    England just edging it at the end of the day, I thought the door had been closed by Root and Trott, somehow the Kiwis prised it open again, they've some fight in them this lot! You'd have to think a lot will depend on their top 4 tomorrow, Rutherford, Williamson and Taylor in particular to lay a good base in the chase. If they go 3 or 4 down quickly its hard to see them not being routed, just so unpredictable this match up, great test match!

    @Paul Rone-Clarke, you are forgetting Miandad and Gavaskar, the other two great batsmen of the 80´s. There was a few others that averaged over 45 too.

    @VillageBlacksmith, perhaps he just didn't feel the edge, he looked pretty bemused when the appeal went up. Don't forget the Rahul Dravid shoelace incident!

  • NostroGustro on May 18, 2013, 20:32 GMT

    Despite the good advances made by this NZ team, it's still frustrating to see that somone in the coaching staff hasn't given Southee a clip around the ears and told him to knuckle down with the bat. If he'd stuck around and played a sensible innings, maybe contributed another 20-30 as his talent suggests he can, NZ would've been on level terms. Great stint with the ball but...

    @praspunter - i think brusselslion's post had a degree of sarcasm in it...

  • sonicattack on May 18, 2013, 20:28 GMT

    @PrasPunter - I read brusselslion's comment and thought that he (or she) was being ironic! This is a very good test match, agree 100% with your view on that, it is swinging one way or another and I was on the edge of my seat this evening. I felt that England were definitely on their way to a victory when Trott and Root were batting but NZ came back magnificently. I would like Eng to set over 300, but it will take some excellent batting to score another 100 runs and I'm not sure NZ will allow that!

  • SDCLFC on May 18, 2013, 20:26 GMT

    Lovers of sport should love a game that lasts (or can last) for 5 days!

  • Captainman on May 18, 2013, 20:17 GMT

    More England-New Zealand matches? Cricket is such an unpopular sport. 7 countries of more than 200 tells you how bad of a sport Cricket really is. The ranking system of Cricket is an embarrassment and a joke I mean look at ranking systems in other sports and your mind will tell you instantly the truth :) England are number '2' because they play more matches than anybody else that's why so don't be fooled by it guys, New Zealand can compete with them despite being ranked amongst the bottom of the "10 teams" :) the world hates Cricket probably never heard of it as well sorry but true. Cricket is a joke of a sport based on these sad FACTS! :) technically Cricket right now is mainly focused on 8 small countries and Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are there to just fill the ranks so people will be made to think that a lot of teams play Cricket when really they don't. Can't fool the average person :) West Indies isn't even a country, doesn't exist is 200 plus country list :)

  • 22many on May 18, 2013, 20:10 GMT

    If NZ are chasing say 250 I would open with McCullum and Rutherford and push everyone down one....

  • PrasPunter on May 18, 2013, 19:14 GMT

    @brusselslion, the format which you seem to like the most (correct me if i am wrong) is hit by the unmentionables. Not sure if you are from Eng or NZ, but either way, though I am an Aussie supporter, I have always felt that Eng and NZ, along with SA and Aus are the beacons of test cricket. As long as these teams play test cricket, the format will last its distance !! Not even an iota of offence to you for sure !! You are entitled to like what you like ! Just stated my thought !!!

  • Sinhaya on May 18, 2013, 19:13 GMT

    This is definitely a great chance for NZ to create history, which I want to see happening. However, looking at the way NZ batted, barring Williamson and Taylor, none of the other NZ batsmen looked comfortable against the England's bowling attack. It looked like when will a wicket fall when Brownlie, McCullum etc batted. If NZ can get the lead to less than 250, they are in with a real chance considering the ample time they have.

    Full credit to Anderson for getting 300 wickets and hopefully he will be England's leading wicket taker in tests. Finn too bowled superbly and no doubt he will be an all time great pace bowler. I felt England batting will not fail twice in a test match, but NZ bowling is good enough to cause problems but their batting is a major worry.

  • nzcricket174 on May 18, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    159-2 is the same score Australia were on when they melted down at Hobart. Come on, Kiwis, get up!

  • MartinC on May 18, 2013, 18:32 GMT

    Boiling up into a really good game. England have their necks ahead right now but they need to get that lead up past 250 tomorrow - over 300 and they can start to feel a bit comfortable with Swann to bowl into that rough. The weather forecast is not great though ......

    Root looks the real deal, biggest surprise of the day was when he got out.

  • PrasPunter on May 18, 2013, 18:28 GMT

    thank God ! test cricket is back !! pure , unadulterated cricket at its best !! Great fightback by the Black Caps !! Will be quite an achievement if they manage to win this one !! Eng slightly ahead but I will never discount NZ !! Good luck to both the teams !! Yes, because this test has been a welcome refreshing change from the... (you know what )... -

  • on May 18, 2013, 18:16 GMT

    @VillageBlacksmith: Re Cook being not out. So is CI completely wrong when it says "The noise from the stump microphone was also inconclusive, but Snicko - a device not available to the third umpire - later showed enough evidence to suggest Cook had edged the ball"? See http://www.espncricinfo.com/england-v-new-zealand-2013/content/story/636685.html

  • brusselslion on May 18, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    This 2 innings, 5 day format is just so dull!! It will never catch on!!

  • Erebus26 on May 18, 2013, 18:03 GMT

    Cracking game of cricket this. Looked like it was slipping away from the Black Caps at one stage but some good intelligent bowling has given them a chance. Southee led the attack very well and Williamson bowled a real ripper to break through Trott's defences. England are really being tested here and NZ are showing that they are more than a mere appetiser for the Ashes. Some concerns for England would be the form of their openers - they haven't really looked comfortable against disciplined NZ pace bowling and Cook has looked vulnerable against left armers recently. Bairstow doesn't look ready for test cricket yet however Root looked classy at times. My concern for NZ would be Bruce Martin - if I was them I would go with four pacemen and use Williamson as the spinning option as he's looked far more threatening in the short spell he bowled than Martin did in the thirteen overs he bowled.

  • The_bowlers_Holding on May 18, 2013, 16:27 GMT

    Bill Wellington I concur for a seemingly intelligent man he seems to be ignoring the blatantly obvious- maybe Saker needs to get hold of him and drive the point home because when he pitches it up he offers so much more.

  • Ratne on May 18, 2013, 16:19 GMT

    Glad to c some good fast bowling

  • on May 18, 2013, 15:20 GMT

    "Stuart Broad... after being too short yesterday, immediately gained reward by pitching the ball up"

    Genuinely lost count of the number of times I've read something like this about Broad,seems like every time Broad plays remotely well it's when he's bowling a fuller length. Why can't he just take the hint and do it all the time?

  • VillageBlacksmith on May 18, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    @kiwicricketnut... cook didn't hit it (ask taylor) and didn't ask to review it after he had hit it and been given out... slight difference ''fella''

  • on May 18, 2013, 13:51 GMT

    Ball is seaming all over the place under the lights - and NZ's left armers are making one hell of a sandpaper patch for Swann - who was turning the ball appreciably in the first innings (the little he was used) A low scoring game 4th innings score over 250 is going to be a challenge. Test cricket as it used to be. A balance between bat and ball. Back in the day only 2 batsmen in the world averaged over 45 (King Viv and AB) - now when every team has 3, some teams have a couple over 50. Overhead conditions have made the difference, heavy cloud and the lights being on. Broad still a weak point for England. Talk about that one great Saturday morning 2 years ago as if that will keep him in the team indefinitely. Bowling under 84mph he's not quick enough to have so little seam or swing. There are 20+ bowlers in county cricket who could do what he does many would score more runs field better and sulk less than Broad

  • The_bowlers_Holding on May 18, 2013, 13:47 GMT

    The old adage of not judging the pitch till both teams have batted seems perinent here, New Zealand have a good attack and their current test rating is misleading and reflective of having many key players missing for prolonged periods over the last 2 years. Jimmy is excellent and anyone who says otherwise doesn't know cricket, and Finn has the potential to be. If England can set a target of 300 they should win but this game is shaping up very well to eb a good contest.

  • Smash42 on May 18, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    Game over. Now it's only a matter how how many runs England win by.

  • kiwicricketnut on May 18, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    @ villageblacksmith, i suppose cook standing there like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth after knowing damn well he knicked it is ok with you, its all part of the game fella so don't get too emotional about it. What a bowler you have in anderson, he has turned this game totally in englands favour,to all the aussies that get on here bagging his 30 plus average, please stop he's alot better than his average suggests and if he keeps bowling like that he'll finish his carear with an average under 25' hes class. Interestingly though the pitch is speeding up making it easier to bat on which weirdly means the 4th innings might be the easiest to bat on, giving us kiwi fans a little hope.

  • Jaffa79 on May 18, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    Jimmy showing what a class bowler he is but England do need Broad and Finn to step up more. If Anderson has to bowl for a session, or however long his spell was, he'll get crocked sooner rather than later. Broad and Finn just need to pitch it up! They have played enough early season Test matches to understand that banging it in just does not work.

  • VillageBlacksmith on May 18, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    disappointing to see a batsman of mccullum's calibre review a ball he obviously hit..... very encouraging for eng that bell will not bat until at least #7... after bell's 1st innings 47 dots out of 50 balls faced from martin, bell being away is eng's best chance of winning this game..

  • on May 18, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    What a turn around for England. Really super b match..

  • on May 18, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    What a turn around for England. Really super b match..

  • VillageBlacksmith on May 18, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    disappointing to see a batsman of mccullum's calibre review a ball he obviously hit..... very encouraging for eng that bell will not bat until at least #7... after bell's 1st innings 47 dots out of 50 balls faced from martin, bell being away is eng's best chance of winning this game..

  • Jaffa79 on May 18, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    Jimmy showing what a class bowler he is but England do need Broad and Finn to step up more. If Anderson has to bowl for a session, or however long his spell was, he'll get crocked sooner rather than later. Broad and Finn just need to pitch it up! They have played enough early season Test matches to understand that banging it in just does not work.

  • kiwicricketnut on May 18, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    @ villageblacksmith, i suppose cook standing there like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth after knowing damn well he knicked it is ok with you, its all part of the game fella so don't get too emotional about it. What a bowler you have in anderson, he has turned this game totally in englands favour,to all the aussies that get on here bagging his 30 plus average, please stop he's alot better than his average suggests and if he keeps bowling like that he'll finish his carear with an average under 25' hes class. Interestingly though the pitch is speeding up making it easier to bat on which weirdly means the 4th innings might be the easiest to bat on, giving us kiwi fans a little hope.

  • Smash42 on May 18, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    Game over. Now it's only a matter how how many runs England win by.

  • The_bowlers_Holding on May 18, 2013, 13:47 GMT

    The old adage of not judging the pitch till both teams have batted seems perinent here, New Zealand have a good attack and their current test rating is misleading and reflective of having many key players missing for prolonged periods over the last 2 years. Jimmy is excellent and anyone who says otherwise doesn't know cricket, and Finn has the potential to be. If England can set a target of 300 they should win but this game is shaping up very well to eb a good contest.

  • on May 18, 2013, 13:51 GMT

    Ball is seaming all over the place under the lights - and NZ's left armers are making one hell of a sandpaper patch for Swann - who was turning the ball appreciably in the first innings (the little he was used) A low scoring game 4th innings score over 250 is going to be a challenge. Test cricket as it used to be. A balance between bat and ball. Back in the day only 2 batsmen in the world averaged over 45 (King Viv and AB) - now when every team has 3, some teams have a couple over 50. Overhead conditions have made the difference, heavy cloud and the lights being on. Broad still a weak point for England. Talk about that one great Saturday morning 2 years ago as if that will keep him in the team indefinitely. Bowling under 84mph he's not quick enough to have so little seam or swing. There are 20+ bowlers in county cricket who could do what he does many would score more runs field better and sulk less than Broad

  • VillageBlacksmith on May 18, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    @kiwicricketnut... cook didn't hit it (ask taylor) and didn't ask to review it after he had hit it and been given out... slight difference ''fella''

  • on May 18, 2013, 15:20 GMT

    "Stuart Broad... after being too short yesterday, immediately gained reward by pitching the ball up"

    Genuinely lost count of the number of times I've read something like this about Broad,seems like every time Broad plays remotely well it's when he's bowling a fuller length. Why can't he just take the hint and do it all the time?

  • Ratne on May 18, 2013, 16:19 GMT

    Glad to c some good fast bowling