England v NZ, 1st Investec Test, Lord's, 2nd day

Taylor wrests initiative despite Anderson's 300th

The Report by Andrew McGlashan at Lord's

May 17, 2013

Comments: 67 | Text size: A | A

New Zealand 153 for 4 (Taylor 66, Anderson 3-32) trail England 232 (Bairstow 41, Southee 4-58) by 79
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

James Anderson celebrates his 300th wicket, England v New Zealand, 1st Investec Test, Lord's, 2nd day, May 17, 2013
James Anderson became the fourth Englishman to take 300 Test wickets © AFP

Sustained pressure with the ball and a brave counter-attacking innings from Ross Taylor meant that New Zealand continued to hold a slight advantage at Lord's, despite James Anderson's best efforts to wrestle back control with a high-class bowling display during which he claimed his 300th Test wicket.

After restricting England to 232 - scored at barely two-an-over throughout and with the last six wickets falling for 40 - New Zealand faced early problems themselves at 7 for 2 against a fired-up Anderson. By the close, which came early due to bad light, they had recovered to be 79 behind, although the loss of Dean Brownlie shortly before the end evened the scales a touch.

Anderson had ended the series in New Zealand on 298 scalps and soon began closing in on his landmark when he had Hamish Rutherford well caught at first slip in the first over. Then, in his fourth over, he found the edge of Peter Fulton's bat and the catch was held, low down, at second slip by his close friend Graeme Swann to become the fourth Englishman to the 300 mark. It was 20 years after the previous, Ian Botham in 1984, and almost 10 years to the day since his Test debut on this ground, against Zimbabwe, in 2003. Overall, he was the 26th bowler to reach the milestone in Test cricket; for England the others are Fred Trueman (307), Bob Willis (325) and Botham (383).

Anderson, though, lacked support from his fellow quicks until Steven Finn, now back on his longer run, pitched the ball fuller to win an lbw against Brownlie but only after using the DRS to overturn Steve Davis' initial not-out decision.

Either side of tea, England were poor and New Zealand responded superbly to their early difficulties. In Taylor, they had the first batsman in the match to try and put some pressure back on the bowlers with a fifty that came off 49 balls. His innings would conclude with 13 boundaries: England hit 21 through their entire 112 overs.

Any error in line or length - of which there were both from Finn and Stuart Broad - was punished, but Taylor also made some calculated judgements to attack deliveries that others may have played more cautiously. With Alastair Cook knowing that he did not have a mountain of runs on the board, and unable to keep Anderson going forever, the pressure was quickly reapplied to England.

Although Graeme Swann gave Cook some control - and wicket-taking threat - it was no surprise that Anderson provided the lift England desperately needed. With the second ball of a new spell, this time from the Nursery End, he swung one back into Taylor's pad for which the batsman almost walked before being given.

That broke a stand of 93 in 25 overs and, though Taylor dominated, Kane Williamson more than played his part, showing his ability off the back foot. He was, though, given a life on 23 by Matt Prior - who had earlier bagged a first-ball duck to mark a tricky start to his season after being named England's player of the year - when he went one-handed for an edge off Anderson where he may have been able to use both gloves. When collecting his award on Monday, Prior did note how "fickle" the game can be. Then, on 27, England did not review for a catch down the leg side that replays showed had grazed the bat.

This match is shaping to go against the trend of relatively high-scoring encounters at Lord's even in May. England's batting continued to be wrapped in caution after they resumed on 160 for 4 and an innings that had crept along unravelled quickly either side of lunch as New Zealand's diligence and discipline was rewarded.

Tim Southee broke the deadlock with two wickets in two balls to spark a slide of 4 for 9 in 17 balls before the interval, and he also claimed the final wickets to finish with 4 for 48. For the second time in two series England had begun without an individual half-century.

Joe Root had played very solidly, as much as any of the top order, on his first appearance at Lord's until glancing Southee past his hip where BJ Watling, excellent behind the stumps, took the catch diving to his left. In New Zealand, and on the first day here, Southee bowled without the luck his efforts deserved so no one could begrudge him a change in fortune. But it was a tough way for Root to depart after he had played another mature innings. For the first time ever, for any team, four of the top five batsmen departed between 31 and 40.

If the ball to claim Root was not the best Southee had bowled, the delivery to trap Prior was certainly up there; an off-cutter (or at least a scrambled seam) that gripped slightly on the surface to beat the inside edge in front of middle and leg. Prior opted for a review and while the decision was not plumb, 'umpires' call' on hitting was enough for Southee and New Zealand.

Broad survived the hat-trick ball as it slid wide of off stump, but not much longer. His part in the match-saving heroics at Auckland was all the more surprising because of the decline in his batting over the last months. On this occasion he was stone dead lbw to Wagner (so much so that even Broad knew he couldn't ask for a review) as he was beaten by a full delivery that straightened but he did not give himself the best chance to survive by aiming towards square leg.

Although Wagner sprayed the occasional ball outside off he found the most movement of the three quicks during a spell where he charged in from the Nursery End. He was quickly in the face of Swann - who was welcomed back to Test cricket with a couple of sharp bouncers having had the temerity to drive a boundary through point - but it was another full delivery that ended his brief stay and gave Watling his fourth catch.

Bairstow watched from the non-striker's end as he, too, reigned in a natural attacking instinct, but did produce a couple of strong straight drives that defied the slow outfield. He was left doing what he could with the tail for company and was just threatening to try a few more shots when he watched Southee cling onto a thumping drive.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (May 18, 2013, 12:30 GMT)

@Jono Makim I wouldn't bring Tremlett back as unfortunately he hasn't bowled well since his injury. If Bresnan keeps bowling well for Yorkshire he has a chance, but I want him with Yorkshire to push us towards the Championship title!

Posted by yorkshirematt on (May 18, 2013, 12:28 GMT)

@Jono makim Bowl like they did this morning!!! Bowl a good to full length, not too short as was the case yesterday and in NZ, get the seam position right to allow it to swing. Broad can do this when he tries, as can Finn, who should be more than just a "bang it in" bowler. But why they can't all the time us beyond me. Just go back to basics!

Posted by   on (May 18, 2013, 9:50 GMT)

@YorkshireMatt, what do they do to get back to that 2010/2011 form? Bresnan and Tremlett played a really big role in that series, do you see them coming back into the team? Brez perhaps but i'm not so sure about Tremlett.

Kiwis in a similar position to what England were end of day 1, the big difference however is that they won't be facing a new ball this morning, as England were yesterday. If Williamson and McCullum can get through the first hour they could push well into the lead. England are going to have to bowl very well this morning to try and pick some wickets and keep NZ to a similar score.

Posted by   on (May 18, 2013, 9:25 GMT)

Good, test ckt. it is ,weldone jimmmy . ckt. is all about pacers ,chin music and terror in batsmen eyes, and some new exciting pacers are on display one of them trent boult . keep this legacy up i,e good for game of ckt. """ cheeers from j&k"""".

Posted by yorkshirematt on (May 18, 2013, 8:57 GMT)

kiwicricketnut No one is denying that NZ have played very well. While we always expect a TEST in a TEST match, if you look at the two teams recent records you can clearly see why we expect England to be doing much better. While we never expect England to wipe out any opposition (we poms don't think like that despite what people on here may think) we did expect them to be in a comfortable position in the game by now, whereby it would be very difficult for them to lose.

Posted by gsingh7 on (May 18, 2013, 8:51 GMT)

what i said on day 1 is proven right , southe wagner and boult will decimate english batting and they did it again , as in nz. well done taylor ,the maverick. he played in t20 mode he practised in ipl and blasted the bowling attack to all parts of ground on his way to score 13 boundaries , highest in this test. may mccullum does one better and score century in this test. he is in form and played great for kkr in ipl. come on black caps, win inside 4 days and win big.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (May 18, 2013, 8:49 GMT)

For whatever reason England's much vaunted bowling attack are not firing at the moment, and I'm afraid if we don't see an improvement the Ashes will be going back down under at some point in the next 8 months. Starc, Cummins and Pattinson have just been more threatening in suitable conditions recently and could win the Ashes for Aus if they stay fit. England on the other hand need to somehow get their 2010/11 form back

Posted by JG2704 on (May 18, 2013, 8:31 GMT)

@ R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (May 17, 2013, 21:39 GMT) To be fair , Broad was probably the best of a bad bunch in NZ so if they were going to keep faith with him then , then they have to keep faith with him now. TBH , I didn't see too much of yesterday but is Finn really doing it?Seems to me that they maybe should have been picking Finn when Bres was out of nick last year and Bres is a better bet right now. I think they'll probably wait for the proverbial horse to get across a couple of fields and out of sight before they shut it again

Posted by   on (May 18, 2013, 8:26 GMT)

Good to see fighting spirit and the zeal to win from NZ.ENG has not been at its best so far and I see a tightly contested series

Posted by JG2704 on (May 18, 2013, 8:25 GMT)

@Ken Fawcett on (May 18, 2013, 3:53 GMT) A compliment is a compliment. You , yourself say you've had a bad few years so why does it matter if someone says the team are punching above their weight or playing well? You're team is on top of the official 2nd best side in the world and have been for 2 and a half of the 3 and a half tests.No need to keep booing all the time

Posted by DINESHCC on (May 18, 2013, 8:06 GMT)

232 is enough for England. After the exit of Taylor, Eng need to take only tailender's wickets. Newzaland's only hope is Steven Finn who lost his rhythm long back. Despite this Eng still persists with Finn.

Posted by SherjilIslam on (May 18, 2013, 6:08 GMT)

Happy for happy New Zealand. Got to admit that Black Caps are a hard working unit, and they always comeback with fight in test matches.The only problem which i see for teams like NZ and WI are, they some time lack the consistency required in a test match over a period of time.They do well in sessions/patches,but give it away in another and can't hold on to the edge which they take over their opponents due to this lack of consistency. I have seen NZ'a last tour of India, where on numerous occasions, they presented an unprecedented fight, but giving it away in later stages of the match. Hope, NZ convert this edge into a positive result this time.

Posted by Sinhaya on (May 18, 2013, 5:43 GMT)

It is great to see NZ fighting hard. I hope NZ posts 350 to put pressure on England. But knowing England's superb batting lineup comprising of Trott, Cook, Crompton, Root and Bairstow, they are likely to make mends in the 2nd essay as we saw in the England's tour of NZ 2 months ago. Main problem with NZ bowling is that they will feel the fatigue by the time they come to bowl at England later today or tomorrow, letting England batsmen post 450 and effectively prevent England from losing. I was surprised with England's slow scoring rate. NZ are an improved test side in the last few months but England are simply way too good especially in their batting.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (May 18, 2013, 5:16 GMT)

There is a wonderfully rich irony reading this match report. Nine moths ago there was a huge fuss about KP wanting to play in the IPL, and not in this series because it was not expected to be much of a match, and all the best Kiwis were going to be making bog loads of money in the IPL anyway! And here we are, following what has the makings of an enthralling battle, New Zealand's best acquitting themselves well, and KP is not here anyway.

Much Ado about Nothing is the phrase that springs to mind!

Posted by Greatest_Game on (May 18, 2013, 5:03 GMT)

@ 2nd_Slip asked "Am I the only one who feels Eng are way overrated?!! Failing to impose themselves on a weak NZ team."

No 2nd_Slip, you certainly are not alone. But, who is doing the over rating? Eng do get a lot of hype from the media, but that is the media's doing - they make a living that way. The Eng players may have been overconfident after the Eng Ashes & India victories, but have regained a clear perspective & and are well grounded. You will find commenters here who will trumpet wildly about Eng (FFL,) but as many others will do the same about all the other teams out there.

However, understand this: the Black Caps are not by any measure weak, & were expected to give Eng a run for their money! Characterising them as weak is naive, and no different from over rating Eng - neither is valid, or of value.

For the record, I'm a Saffa, and have no dog in this fight. I am however very fond of common sense. We could use more.

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (May 18, 2013, 4:32 GMT)

Geez you poms are pretty harsh on your team anyone would think your losing, your not yet, infact its pretty even, maybe you just dont like the idea that little old nz is keeping pace with you at home when on paper you should be cleaning us up.while we are a teamthat can have some shocking melt downs at times, weve never been a team that just rolls over, you should expect a fight, all you english fans expecting to just walk all over us clearly dont understand the test part of test match cricket. Good on you rosco good to have you back

Posted by   on (May 18, 2013, 4:19 GMT)

NZ on top, if they can get a 100 run lead I don't think England could win from there. BJ Watling will be important tomorrow, and hopefully Southee/Boult can get some quick runs at the end.

Posted by   on (May 18, 2013, 3:53 GMT)

I'm sick of people saying we are showing fighting spirit or punching above our weight. Why not just say we are playing well, or at least better than our opposition? Maybe we only have ourselves to blame for a poor 2011 and 2012 that saw us plummet to no.8 in all formats, so any decent performance against higher ranked teams will be viewed as "punching above weight". But I hope the Black Caps themselves are not content with punching above their wait or showing fighting spirit, I hope that they want to dominate and win consistently.

Posted by cric_J on (May 18, 2013, 3:12 GMT)

(cont...) Cook then made Jimmy bowl from the nursey end in his second spell. WHY ?? If he is your best bowler and has the most chances of getting a wicket and if he likes the Pavillion end better , then give him the Pavillion end to bowl from. Although Jimmy did get Taylor from the Nursery end (he is too good a bowler to not do so and bother about ends) , but stlill , why deny him ANY advantage to get a wicket ?? Finn likes the pavillion end as well. But he just wasn't bowling well enough to dictate which end he should be getting. I remember that Strauss gave the Pavillion end to Finn in the 3rd test vs SA and Jimmy got the Nursery End. But at that time Finn was bowling better than Jimmy.

Also , when McCullum came out to bat , Cook again chose Broad and Finn over Jimmy.It was probably the best time to get him out and Broady and Finny never looked like doing it. Jimmy (or even Swanny) would have been the best bet.

I realy admire and respect Cook but hope for some better captaincy.

Posted by landl47 on (May 18, 2013, 3:04 GMT)

The game is nicely poised; NZ are at almost exactly the same point as England were after day 1. Southee ran through England's lower order and England need someone to do the same to NZ tomorrow.

If the weather holds, we should have an interesting three days' cricket to come.

Posted by cric_J on (May 18, 2013, 2:53 GMT)

A pretty eventful day at Lord's. Amazing that Jimmy's milestone should have come at Lord's , not because it is the home of cricket but because the lad really adores the ground.And his great mate Swann simply had to have a "hand" in that wicket. Congrats and a doff of the cap to you Jimmy !

Coming to the match ,I must say that a few things really disappointed me. The 2.0 rpo yesterday , England's crumbling out for 232 and Broady and Finny's indifferent bowling. But it was Cook's captaincy that really put me off on as many as three occasions.

Firstly ,when Jimmy had taken 2 wickets in his opening spell and looked all fired up , WHY did Cook replace him with Finn after a spell of 5 overs only ?? Taylor looked very figity and tentative initially. 2 more overs to Jimmy and I am 8 on 10 sure that Jimmy would have got him and Eng would have escaped the demolition that Taylor caused.(TBC)

Posted by Dhutugemunu on (May 18, 2013, 1:01 GMT)

Seems NZ punching above their weight. #8 NZ giving a hard time to #2 Eng on their own soil. First 2 days belong to NZ. No doubt.

Posted by NixNixon on (May 18, 2013, 0:28 GMT)

This just puts things into perspective for me and its time that people start giving SA the credit they deserve. They thrashed NZ in both tests and won by an innings on both occasions. Rather than give them (SA) credit everyone said is was "expected" as NZ is not a good team. Now with ENG struggling against NZ, all of a sudden SA's thrashing of NZ looks like more than "expected" and more like why they are the world number one team.

Posted by   on (May 17, 2013, 23:00 GMT)

To suggest that NZ is on top is surely a statement based on NZ's underdog status in this series. Clearly it was a great bowling and fielding effort to see England bowled out for 232 but don't forget they were reasonably well placed at 190/4 and NZ are still 40 runs short of that mark with only one recognised batsmen to come and a long tail. Unless Williamson, McCullum or Watling do something special I would expect the 1st innings totals to be fairly similar and Swann is going to be a real handful in NZ's 2nd dig. As much as I applaud NZ's performance thus far, for all the ineptitude being cast upon England you would think they were out of the game. Unless NZ can get 80-100 in front I predict NZ batting for survival on the last day.

Posted by   on (May 17, 2013, 22:53 GMT)

Apart from Anderson's opening spell, there has been not the faintest hint that the English team is second ranked in the world. The batting was mind-bogglingly tedious and the bowling was all over the shop. Still, we're only a fifth of the way through, but someone desperately needs to pick up the slack and dominate the game.

Posted by   on (May 17, 2013, 22:18 GMT)

As i suspected ,England's quicks cannot sustain the high class performances that saw them reach the top of world cricket ,and sadly , it appears that they dont have any likely reserves in the bowling department. It's not like England will go on to lose this test but they are certainly not at full strenght .New Zealand have shown some fighting spirit ,i can't believe they were so easily beaten by the West Indies when they toured the Caribbean, but i can say that it was a fluke. New Zealnd should be higher than the West Indies in the Test Rankings and they eventually will as they try to rebuild if the star players can use all the grit and determination to transform the talent into runs and wickets.

Posted by Mervo on (May 17, 2013, 22:03 GMT)

Anderson is a solid bowler history will record. He would love to get his average below 30 and get into the top class. Mitchell Johnson has similar figures and is 80 wickets behind. Both bowlers are on the wrong side of 30 however.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (May 17, 2013, 21:39 GMT)

Broad once again red-faced and wicketless, while meanwhile Bresnan is scoring runs and picking up wickets galore for Yorkshire. Yet again, the selectors tossed a coin to decide between the two, and chose the wrong one. And before people say I'm only commenting in 'hindsight bias' - I called it yesterday on one of the threads long before Broad had played any part, not that he's played much part in this game of yet anyway. If the likes of McCullum and/or Watling get in and settle down now, it's going to be another mountain for England to climb again. A team cannot leave all the wicket-taking to two bowlers, and England have been doing this for too long now.

Posted by ygkd on (May 17, 2013, 21:31 GMT)

As an Aussie I'd like to say "C'mon NZ, c'mon". No, not for that reason. I just want NZ back to some sort of strength. As for England, who I have been happy to support against Australia, for they have been the better and more interesting side of late, they too have problems. Root almost top-scored. I disagree that Root is solid. Just because one bats at snail-on-Valium pace doesn't mean one is solid. A better bowling line-up would, I think, lick their lips upon seeing Compton, Root and Bairstow. Indeed, even the not-won-much-lately Kiwis seemed upbeat about their chances. As much as I like Bell and Trott for past deeds, they need to do more. And Captain Cook sounds great, but the captaincy may hurt the batsman as much as the batsman, at times, has hurt my eyes. Without KP, England look like a one-man-band missing that one over-rated yet vital man. So, come on NZ. I hope you finish the game off and don't let another opportunity slip by. For cricket's sake.

Posted by   on (May 17, 2013, 21:00 GMT)

Re : the comment about NZ eventually dismissing England and taking 112 overs to do so and then the writer going on to rail against the poor over rate by NZ. The match is still in its relatively early stages and who knows what can happen from this point in. But the writer does not comment on the fact that off the 112 overs England could only score 232 !!! This is very poor scoring no matter how you look at it. Or is it a reflection of how well the NZ bowlers played and the writer is showing bias by not saying so ???( NZ closed the day at 153/4 in 49 overs. At the same point England had taken about 75 overs ). In any case it is my contention that the issue of slow over rates is moot. Back in the day the 4-prong WI attack would barely manage 11 or 12 overs an hour and yet won many matches in 3 or 4 days!!!!!!

Posted by Batmanian on (May 17, 2013, 20:53 GMT)

I would say that NZ are decisively in front, but if Eng can prevent a fifth wicket partnership, they could easily scuttle NZ for peanuts.

NZ has an opportunity for redemption with its two big problems... capitalising on one Test-quality individual innings (this time, Taylor's) with a couple of others (eg a slow ton or even 80 from Williamson, or the big score everyone seems to putting the mozz on McCullum to get even though he's only on one overnight) , and repeating a fantastic bowling effort in the second innings.

270; if Eng can concede fewer than that, NZ will feel like the squanderers they are too often. 350+, that would be nice for NZ, and it's something they're capable of.

Posted by dropoutguy on (May 17, 2013, 20:49 GMT)

Broad needs to make way and at Headingley I would play Onions and Bresnan in place of him and Finn. Finn is not making the progress expected of him.

KP is badly missed and it is a pity Morgan has been playing elsewhere as he possesses the flair that might have assisted England today. I'm inclined to think that Compton ought to make way for Root, which would create space for a positive player in the middle order.

Posted by   on (May 17, 2013, 20:29 GMT)

Well done Jimmy on reaching 300 test wickets. I wrote you off after you averaged over 80 with the ball in Australia, but you kept fighting and have gone where only 3 Englishmen have gone before, top stuff. Now we need 400 from you lad ;)

Posted by samincolumbia on (May 17, 2013, 20:14 GMT)

The best bowler in the world, Finn (as per english fans) could not take a single wicket against the Kiwis...oh well.

Posted by   on (May 17, 2013, 20:12 GMT)

Broad is STILL in the team? Really. How many wide long hops per day do New Zealand actually want or need. And Finn? Good to see he's up there bowling at....82mph consistenly [sarcasm] Anderson and Swann better take the rest of the wickets. Broad has been a waste of space for most series for a VERY long time now. TIme to send him back to learn how to bowl straight and maybe pitch it up (and maybe actually DO something wil the ball) and Finn..What's happened to his pace? Ball after ball under 84Mph. and no swing and little seam movement....

Posted by cricketlover111 on (May 17, 2013, 20:06 GMT)

Difficult to understand why English press and fans can't accept NZ is playing well and its not just that their team is playing badly. The NZ bowling display day 1 was controlled, as it was for most of the series in NZ. McCullum's refreshing captaincy is putting pressure on the English batsman right through the innings and the batsman seem to have found a belief in themselves missing for a number of years. The series in NZ was just good hard fought test cricket and it is continuing in England. Let's celebrate some decent cricket and England should be thanking NZ for such a good build up to the Ashes, which appears to be their continuing focus.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (May 17, 2013, 19:59 GMT)

I do not know whose'brilliant' idea it was to bat at 2 runs an over pr whether the shock of Compton's departure to Martin was the catalyst for this unholy inetia, but I would seriously suggest that the culprit seek psychological help or retire. The total ineptitude of England's innings was staggering. NZ bowled well but not that well. I was very glad that Anderson reached his milestone quickly-congrarulations to him for his efforts- but this served to let the cat out of the bag in the shape of Taylor who like Galileo questioned official orthodoxy with his bat. Such heresy was more than welcome and showed the England batsmen up as a right bunch of pussies. There was NO excuse for 2 runs an over nor is there ever. If you can't bat properly retire from international cricket,please. As for Finn,though he did take a wicket, he would struggle to get more than two overs out of a Saturday club captain. Test bowlers do not bowl continual wides down the legside. A soft in the head performance.

Posted by Dhutugemunu on (May 17, 2013, 19:52 GMT)

It's very interesting that England, the creator of Cricket have produced only 4 bowlers to take more than 300 wickets. England played 934 Test matches so far. That's not the most interesting part. No England bowler never crossed 400 wickets mark. All the other Top Test playing countrymen achieved that feat. Come on Anderson. You can do it.

Posted by   on (May 17, 2013, 19:25 GMT)

Hope the Kiwis thrash the Poms. An easy 2nd rank in the ICC Test Rankings. -A hopeful Indian Fan.

Posted by Stark62 on (May 17, 2013, 19:11 GMT)

Everyone was saying "the pitch is slow" but the Kiwis have proved that theory wrong.

Say what you like but a batting order composing of Cook, Compton, Trott, Root and to a certain extent Bell, isn't going to make the captain or bowlers quirk in their boots.

Posted by grahaam on (May 17, 2013, 19:00 GMT)

When England really needed to deliver as many balls as possible as the natural light faded and one wicket could balance the days play more evenly , they chose to waste time, debating the shape of the ball....... professionally feeble.

Posted by GeoffreysMother on (May 17, 2013, 18:58 GMT)

The performance of the two number four 'attacking' batsmen was in stark contrast. Bell went nowhere and let the New Zealanders bowl at him and gain confidence. Taylor's in contrast said their is nothing to worry about in this wicket or in these bowlers. So far England have been second best in match tactics, captaincy, bowling, batting and running between the wickets. That is not to say that New Zealand are not a good side but England showed precious little initiative.

Posted by ThyrSaadam on (May 17, 2013, 18:51 GMT)

From an outsider's perspective here: England's concern should not necessarily be their batting, but their bowling, which is their strength. Broad and Finn should ideally be 3rd/4th bowlers, not necessarily in that order. England has to find a 2nd blower that can compliment Anderson. Swann is good, but early part of English summer he is going to be more of a containing bowler. Batting should be OK, but need Bell to be positive. Prior has just had a rare failure. NZ will always show up and put up a fight. However down the series one just gets the feeling that their bowling could be weak, once the English batsmen find form. It almost seems like this could be the best NZ could play while probably the worst Eng could.

Posted by StevieS on (May 17, 2013, 18:45 GMT)

2nd_Slip what makes you say NZ is weak? We have arguably the best seam attack behind South Africa and three batsman in Taylor, Williamson and McCullum who wouldn't look out of place in any team. besides getting hammered v South Africa, we won our last test vs Australia in Australia, our last test vs Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka, Should of won our last test vs England and not that it means much but we beat Zim in Zim. Rankings can be deceiving and this team could and should climb up the rankings over the next 5 years.

Posted by Erebus26 on (May 17, 2013, 18:42 GMT)

NZ had the better of the day but I feel the game is evenly poised. England were doing ok for the first hour this morning but NZ then managed to snaffle quick wickets. If England can do the same tomorrow then NZ could lose any advantage they gained today. I must say it is looking like a fascinating test match. Taylor's knock was pretty good but I though Williamson really held things together after the two openers went. The England bowling looked limp with the exception of Jimmy, although I think Swann might become key as they game drags on. Broad and Finn need to up their game as at this moment in time the Aussies have little to fear.

Posted by EnglishCricket on (May 17, 2013, 18:31 GMT)

These big numbers may look impressive but keep in mind the number of matches or innings these players have played :P its all about quality not quantity.Lords pitch has for long time now been very similar to the ones in the Subcontinent. England are still strong favourites to win this.

Posted by Tromperie on (May 17, 2013, 18:15 GMT)

New Zealand can usually cobble together a decent pace battery; it's their batting that's normally pretty brittle. But if they can get good contributions from Williamson, Taylor, McCullum and a few runs from the lower order, they should be able to give most sides at least something of a challenge in conditions that suit them. Based on that, the relative strength of the NZ batting order is rather more concerning than the failures of the English batting order. The sooner Tremlett comes back into the Test team, the better.

Posted by JG2704 on (May 17, 2013, 17:57 GMT)

@2nd_Slip on (May 17, 2013, 16:26 GMT) No - there are loads of comms always on the threads saying Eng are over rated.

I agree that England aren't playing like the 2nd best side in the world but who in all honesty has shown any more consistency?

Aus have just been drubbed 4-0 in India who in turn lost at home to England (and all this over the last 6 months or so). Pakistan would be next I guess but since stuffing England lost in SL and heavily vs SA.

So yes , I would agree by default that SA are way above everyone else but for the time being Eng are the best of a very inconsistent bunch vying for 2nd spot

Posted by jmcilhinney on (May 17, 2013, 17:52 GMT)

If England had managed to snaffle Williamson on either of the occasions they had the chance then I'd say that NZ would just have their nose in front. As it stands, they very much have the upper hand right now. Matt Prior not doing much this game to help the argument that he's the best keeper/batsman in Test cricket. Obviously England need to polish off the NZ innings as quickly as possible but, when it comes their turn to bat again, they really need to show some genuine intent. I don't expect them to play like Taylor did if that's not their game but at least look to be picking up regular singles. It seems to me that the England team made a decision early on, maybe even before the game, to bat a certain way and it was a bad decision. If they continue to sit back then the opposition will dictate the course of the match and NZ are certainly showing no fear right now.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (May 17, 2013, 17:51 GMT)

R they going 2 play 4 tests? Then Aussies win 4-0 if not Cook n Trot decide to score runs faster.

Posted by ROXSPORT on (May 17, 2013, 17:44 GMT)

@ AjitNarayan : For your information, Kallis only has 288 Test Wickets.

Posted by 64blip on (May 17, 2013, 17:41 GMT)

England over-rated? Well, they've beaten India and Australia home and away so not at the moment. NZ under-rated? Probably. No excuse for such a timid batting display though. England won the toss then played as if they'd been inserted. Yorkshire's gain (three for Bresnan in an innings victory over the CC champs :-) ) was England's loss. No real control from Finn or Broad. Fear of failure, very English.

Posted by   on (May 17, 2013, 17:35 GMT)

I actually think New Zealand isnt half as bad as most of you all think.

Posted by AjitNarayan on (May 17, 2013, 17:10 GMT)

Big deal. Kallis has 13k runs to add to his 300+ wickets.

Posted by 2nd_Slip on (May 17, 2013, 16:26 GMT)

Am I the only one who feels Eng are way overrated?!! Failing to impose themselves on a weak NZ team for 3 and a half tests in a row. Not acceptable for a team supposedly second best in the world!! SA are truly well ahead of the chasing pack.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (May 17, 2013, 16:15 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge: If Taylor can make 66 off 71 is it really the fault of the 'sticky deck' that England barely managed 2 per over? Or that the England batting was terrible in NZ? NZ are the 8th ranked team in test cricket and they are showing England up - even if England win this series I would be worried if I were you.

Posted by   on (May 17, 2013, 16:07 GMT)

NZ has really progressed well so far and England is not at its best and I am tempted to think ENG are not as good as what they might think.I think this will be a tightly contested series.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (May 17, 2013, 15:17 GMT)

@SurlyCynic, it seems you haven't observed the conditions in England at this time of year, this pitch is an abberation of a deck considering the old Lord's deck of old, and endless rain means seamers always come to party this stage in the English season. Test conditions in India these are not. Compton lineage may be of English cricketing greatness, but he ain't playing like it at the moment, this one of a few minor issues in the England approach against a hooping ball and a sticky wicket. I'd wait five days till the test is over if I were you.

Posted by siddhartha87 on (May 17, 2013, 14:42 GMT)

i love the romance between lord's and Jimmy.GO ANDERSON!!

Posted by Jayzuz on (May 17, 2013, 14:31 GMT)

What is it with the arrogance of the English press and commentary and fans? The level of exaggeration of their own abilities and the level of disrespect for opponents is staggering. Even the question of the social commentary link defies belief "Anderson has nipped one out early. Does any of the NZ bats have the capacity to get 50?" I don't care if NZ get bowled out for 50 in total, the question is simply outrageous. Most of the English quicks average around 30 or above, hardly the kind of stats that would make a batting team quake in its boots. Anyone wold think they are the 1985 WI fast bowling lineup. Anyway,fascinating to watch the English bats score 160 runs in a day. The Australian team - yeah, that "worst ever" bunch about to hit your shores, scored just under 500 in a shortened day vs SA just a few months ago. If the English can't handle the NZ dart bowlers, imagine the carnage Patterson, Starc, Harris, Bird and co will render!

Posted by A_Yorkshire_Lad on (May 17, 2013, 14:08 GMT)

Well played Jimmy , from this side of the Pennines ! He surely must get to 350 at the least , assuming no spate of major injuries . As for this match , well , 11 for 2 up to press - interesting !

Posted by Mitty2 on (May 17, 2013, 13:31 GMT)

I really don't know where this NZ attack stands. Individually, there's not much to write home about, but as a collective, their plans and execution in the march series and for this innings has been phenomenal. Actually, that comment was a bit off: because each individual compliments each other (Bruce Martin included) and this attack has not yet played on an assisting track as of yet, and have still skittled England out for many low scores. I hope not many berate England purely because of the bowling line-up faced, as has been done since the start of the first series (including myself), because this attack is becoming a force. It is well supported by mcculum's brilliant captaincy and also has plans which has countered all off the flat pitches of recent, and as seen with the example of Hobart, with green pitches, NZ are a serious threat.

On the state of the match, whilst Im not tired, let's hope of some Rutherford hitting!

Posted by JM_RSA on (May 17, 2013, 12:45 GMT)

I think England fans must just accept that Eng are not as good as they proclaim to be. NZ bowled well but these are Eng conditions. They should have at least tried to play positively and show more intent. This series is going to be very close

Posted by   on (May 17, 2013, 12:42 GMT)

And so it comes to pass. Good reward for NZ's very patient attack. Their modus operandi really reminds me of the strong QLD attacks of the 90's, bowling the 'Gabba Line', I wonder what influence Buchanan is having on Hesson's approach? They've given the poms nothing here and on such a sluggish pitch the English batsmen have struggled to find ways to score. The question is, can/will Broad and Finn bowl in the same fashion? I'm quite sure Anderson is patient enough but Broad is more attacking and Finn has apparently been struggling for rhythm. You'd expect the Kiwi's to be quite accustomed to batting on such surfaces but how will the approach it? Should be engrossing stuff!

Posted by SurlyCynic on (May 17, 2013, 12:33 GMT)

This is what happens when you crawl along at 2 an over and let the bowlers dictate terms. Eventually a couple of wickets fall and suddenly you're in big trouble. Those who defended England's approach yesterday can now see the results.

The reality is that without KP England's batting is average at best and the smart money is on the Aussies for the Ashes.

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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