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

Southee leads late rally after Root sparkles


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

  • Hamish 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

  • Dummy4 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.

  • shashwata 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.

  • Dummy4 on May 19, 2013, 12:07 GMT

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

  • jared 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

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

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

  • Ray 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!

  • John 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

  • Dummy4 on May 19, 2013, 8:16 GMT

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

  • David 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.