England v NZ, 2nd Investec Test, Headingley, 4th day May 27, 2013

Swann leaves New Zealand on brink of defeat

94

New Zealand 174 and 158 for 6 (Taylor 70, Swann 4-61) require another 310 runs to beat England 354 and 249 for 3 (Cook 130, Trott 76)
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

England will nervously draw back the curtains in their hotel rooms on day five in Leeds. Having earned themselves a dominant position against New Zealand they will feel only rain can thwart them as they look to clinch a 2-0 series victory.

For that reason there was, perhaps, a perverse pleasure for New Zealand as England extended their second innings beyond lunch on the fourth day. While New Zealand could have few realistic hopes of surpassing England's target - they would have to set a new world record to do so and on a pitch offering turn and variable bounce to the bowlers - the tactic did perhaps present New Zealand with enhanced prospects of a draw.

With rain forecast to curtail the final day of the Test, New Zealand may not need to survive three full sessions on the final day. So, as England plundered their bowling on the fourth day, New Zealand could, at least, take comfort in the thought that every ball they were forced to remain out in the field was a ball less they were required to survive with the bat.

England's tactics have taken some criticism. Some say they should have enforced the follow-on, some say they should have batted with greater urgency on the third evening and some say that, with an eye on the weather forecast, they should have declared far earlier. Having earned such a vast lead, the decision not to have attacking fields - there were three men on the boundary at times - was also puzzling.

But the fact is that had bad light not brought an early close on day four - and at a ground with floodlights play may well have continued - they might have won this game in three days (the first day was lost to rain). For many years, England supporters would have been delighted with such a scenario. It perhaps speaks volumes for the progress they have made that more is now demanded.

Bearing in mind New Zealand had only scored 449 runs in the series for the loss of 30 wickets, it did seem an abundantly cautious tactic. No side has ever made more than 418 to win a Test in the fourth innings and only four teams have ever made more than 400 to win in the fourth innings. New Zealand's highest chase is 324, made against Pakistan in Christchurch in 1994. Perhaps, however, England also had an eye on exhausting the New Zealand attack ahead of the ODI series that beings later this week.

If New Zealand are saved by the weather on day five, they will also owe thanks to Ross Taylor who produced a fine counterattacking innings to shore up his side just as it appeared they might suffer a familiar collapse and the game could end a day early. Demonstrating an application and technique that his team-mates would do well to emulate, Taylor cut and drove well and, by playing deep in his crease or using his reach to stretch a long way forward, negated Graeme Swann for much of the afternoon.

He had some nervous moments. Not only did he take a thumping blow to the arm off the hostile bowling of Steven Finn, but he was given out by umpire Steve Davis on 60, caught behind off Swann by one that went on with the arm. The decision was subsequently overturned on appeal with replays showing the bat had brushed only the pad.

Taylor apart, though, New Zealand struggled once again. Peter Fulton's miserable series - 36 runs at an average of 9.00 - ended when a delivery from Stuart Broad reared from just back of a good length, took the shoulder of the bat and looped to gully and, later, Dean Brownlie's stubborn innings was ended by a brute of a bouncer from Finn that followed the batsman and took his glove as he sought to protect his face. It was a delivery of which Curtly Ambrose would have been proud.

In between Finn's wickets, Swann struck twice. In his second over, Kane Williamson, moving right across his stumps in an attempt to get outside the line, was beaten by some sharp turn and given out leg before by Davis. Williamson called for a review but replays suggested the ball had hit him in line and would have just clipped the top of leg stump.

Hamish Rutherford impressed for a while. He drove a couple of sweetly-timed fours off Broad - first off front and then back foot - before punching one back past Finn and then flicking Swann through midwicket for another four. But in attempting to play one that slid on with the arm, Rutherford was caught at short-leg via an inside edge and his pad by the alert Joe Root.

Later, Swann had Martin Guptill edging one that did not turn, caught at slip off the outside edge, before Taylor's fine innings was ended by a full delivery that may well have deceived the batsman in the flight, beat his drive, turned and hit the stumps. Swann became the first spinner to take eight wickets in a Headingley Test since Derek Underwood did so in 1972.

Earlier England sentenced New Zealand to a morning of misery as they increased their lead well beyond 400. Upping the tempo noticeably after a ponderous end to the third day, England scored 133 runs in 29 overs (4.59 runs an over) in the session taking full toll of a New Zealand attack lacking the injured Trent Boult.

Alastair Cook, who resumed on his overnight score of 88, soon completed his 25th Test century and seventh in 11 Tests as captain. Fluent on the drive, quick to cut and merciless off his legs, Cook added 134 in 41 overs with Jonathan Trott. No England player has scored more Test centuries than Cook and only Graham Gooch, with 11 in 34 Tests, Peter May, with 10 in 41, Andrew Strauss and Michael Vaughan, with nine each in 50 and 51 Tests respectively, and Mike Atherton, with eight in 54, have scored more as captain.

Trott's acceleration was more noticeable. It had taken him 69 deliveries to score his first 11 runs on day three, but on the fourth morning he allowed himself to take more risks and was dropped on 40 when reverse-sweeping Kane Williamson. Later he whipped Tim Southee through midwicket and reverse-swept another four off the part-time spin of Martin Guptill. In all Trott scored 65 runs from 93 balls in the session but fell second ball after lunch chasing a wide one. By the time he was out, he had become the highest run scorer in Test cricket in 2013 to date.

Cook eventually fell as he attempted to hit the off-spin of Williamson over the top, while Ian Bell fell in similarly selfless fashion as he mis-hit a slog-sweep. But it hardly mattered. Joe Root produced an outrageous reverse-sweep off the pace of Wagner that flew to the boundary and hit three fours in his first 13 balls before falling in the race to set-up the declaration.

There was further good news for England on day four as Kevin Pietersen returned to the nets, beginning his comeback from a knee injury.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • landl47 on May 28, 2013, 2:51 GMT

    I think England has played pretty much a textbook game and I can't see why moving away from a successful formula because of what MIGHT happen with the weather is a good plan. England made a good score on a pitch with some help for the spinners, bowled out NZ for 174, secured their position before adding quick runs and have so far worked their way through most of the NZ batting. NZ will do very well to hold on for even a couple of hours from this position; they might get lucky with the weather and if they do, so be it, but England have avoided overworking their 4-man attack and set up a dominant position. Hopefully they'll get enough play in to complete a very well executed strategy tomorrow.

    New Zealand are far from a pushover, as they showed in the last series, and to have chanced messing up England's strategy and putting too much strain on the bowlers in an effort to beat them more quickly would have been both disrespectful to NZ and risky for England.

  • thekaz on May 27, 2013, 18:32 GMT

    Firstly, I think New Zealand deserve a bit more credit. England clearly have a much better team but New Zealand have stood toe to toe with England for 4 and half test matches and it has taken this long for England to get the upper hand. Now England are showing their class and New Zealands spirit has gone. Its dissapointing to see a half empty stadium on a bank holiday, surely if tickets are going to sell better elsewhere thats where the matches should be held. Im sure the Oval or Trent bridge would sell out.

  • JG2704 on May 28, 2013, 13:49 GMT

    @Landl ctd - Yes the approach worked well in Ashes 2010/11 but I believe we were freer scoring then. Also I have listed an example from that series - I think it was the 2nd test - where we batted on too long and only just bowled Aus out about an hour before the weather came down having built an unnecessarily large 370 1st inns lead. Do you honestly think there's the slightest chance NZ would have won from being 180 behind compared to the chance of rain washing out day 5? Do you think they'd even be worrying about day 5 had NZ followed on?

  • JG2704 on May 28, 2013, 13:48 GMT

    @landl - My point re plan B is generalistic to England and not re this test - maybe look at the shambles in UAE for evidence. I don't think Smith is the most proactive captain either but to me the difference is that SA don't lose. But I still think Smith,Clarke or basically pretty much any captain - with rain forecast for most of day 4 would take that into consideration when making a decision.

    A - Re batting again B - Re the pace of the inns and when to declare

    I have not posted anything about winning in 3 days although I suppose it would be technically 3 days. My point about winning by the end of Monday is because of the threat of weather on Tuesday which could easily have wiped the whole day out

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on May 28, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    The only thing heading for Headingly now is more rain, a draw that should not have been, and very red faces for Cook and Flower et al. The excuses for England's tactics are pouring out everywhere now, and I doubt Cook and co. will EVER admit they got it wrong.

    I do not expect England to blast their way through opponents in 3 days; I do not wish for England to come out and over-use short-format tactics in tests. What I wish for is England man-up when they are ahead, and consider the weather for a change. How were the England bowlers tired and in need of a rest? If they were, they are in the wrong job! Why did Cook and Trott need more batting practise? If my maths is correct, 1-0 up in a two match series = unassailable. 20 wickets wins a test - the bowlers need the practice! Every game must be played on merit, not to a boring script.

  • YorkshirePudding on May 28, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    @Biggus, I think thats a pretty fair appraisal, I did hear that Hughes was being considered for first drop.

    I think Cowan and Warner as openers are pretty good foils for each other, and Aus need to find a solid first drop (Trott type) to cover for when Warner doesnt 'fire', on the bolwing side, you have Stac, Cummins, Patterson, that if they stay fit with Siddle as the senior will cause problems.

    Lyon I thik is underrated by many, it will be interesting to see how hes come on, and if he watches where swann pitches the ball should get a good idea of lengths to bowl in the UK.

    All in all its set for a good 6-7 months of cricket from the end of July.

  • jmcilhinney on May 28, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    @landl47 on (May 28, 2013, 10:30 GMT), I'm certainly not complaining about England not winning in 3 days. I'm complaining about the fact that They didn't maximise their chances of winning in as little time as possible, knowing that there was a strong possibility that significant time would be lost to rain. As has been said before, if England were confident that their bowlers could clean up NZ even if time was lost then why would they also think that they needed so many runs? The whole thing just doesn't make sense unless, as has been suggested, they have chosen to ignore the weather forecast, but ignoring the weather forecast is also pretty stupid. it may work out but that's relying on luck when you could rely on your own skill.

  • 200ondebut on May 28, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    I think England have got this wrong. By close yesterday there had been 130 overs bowled since NZ were all out - more than enough to bowl then out again (6 wks in 54 overs!!!) and chase down whatever target was set. I don't buy into the 4th innings chase or weather argument - and feel sorry for Trotty who was sent out to deliver this message to the press. I am not sure who in the camp thinks they, like Canute, can control mother nature. I hope for their sake that the weather holds off long enough to get the last four wickets.

  • JG2704 on May 28, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    @TheGreatestGame (wherever you are or any other stats expert) - I wonder if you'd be so kind to go through games from the last few decades and list matches in which the side who enforces the follow on goes on to lose the match and also the side who does not choose enforce the follow on does not go on to win the match and we can all weigh up the pros and cons...

  • kiwicricketnut on May 28, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    Even if the rain saves us here, it is not a draw in my opinion, there was only ever one result in this game, unlike the test in auckland where england deserved the draw through sheer guts and determination, we on the other hand don't deserve draw written down in the history books. No nz cricket fan should get any satisfaction from this game being drawn if the rain remains. As much as they have tried to avoid it, change of personal is now the only option, this type of performance can't be tollerated

  • landl47 on May 28, 2013, 2:51 GMT

    I think England has played pretty much a textbook game and I can't see why moving away from a successful formula because of what MIGHT happen with the weather is a good plan. England made a good score on a pitch with some help for the spinners, bowled out NZ for 174, secured their position before adding quick runs and have so far worked their way through most of the NZ batting. NZ will do very well to hold on for even a couple of hours from this position; they might get lucky with the weather and if they do, so be it, but England have avoided overworking their 4-man attack and set up a dominant position. Hopefully they'll get enough play in to complete a very well executed strategy tomorrow.

    New Zealand are far from a pushover, as they showed in the last series, and to have chanced messing up England's strategy and putting too much strain on the bowlers in an effort to beat them more quickly would have been both disrespectful to NZ and risky for England.

  • thekaz on May 27, 2013, 18:32 GMT

    Firstly, I think New Zealand deserve a bit more credit. England clearly have a much better team but New Zealand have stood toe to toe with England for 4 and half test matches and it has taken this long for England to get the upper hand. Now England are showing their class and New Zealands spirit has gone. Its dissapointing to see a half empty stadium on a bank holiday, surely if tickets are going to sell better elsewhere thats where the matches should be held. Im sure the Oval or Trent bridge would sell out.

  • JG2704 on May 28, 2013, 13:49 GMT

    @Landl ctd - Yes the approach worked well in Ashes 2010/11 but I believe we were freer scoring then. Also I have listed an example from that series - I think it was the 2nd test - where we batted on too long and only just bowled Aus out about an hour before the weather came down having built an unnecessarily large 370 1st inns lead. Do you honestly think there's the slightest chance NZ would have won from being 180 behind compared to the chance of rain washing out day 5? Do you think they'd even be worrying about day 5 had NZ followed on?

  • JG2704 on May 28, 2013, 13:48 GMT

    @landl - My point re plan B is generalistic to England and not re this test - maybe look at the shambles in UAE for evidence. I don't think Smith is the most proactive captain either but to me the difference is that SA don't lose. But I still think Smith,Clarke or basically pretty much any captain - with rain forecast for most of day 4 would take that into consideration when making a decision.

    A - Re batting again B - Re the pace of the inns and when to declare

    I have not posted anything about winning in 3 days although I suppose it would be technically 3 days. My point about winning by the end of Monday is because of the threat of weather on Tuesday which could easily have wiped the whole day out

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on May 28, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    The only thing heading for Headingly now is more rain, a draw that should not have been, and very red faces for Cook and Flower et al. The excuses for England's tactics are pouring out everywhere now, and I doubt Cook and co. will EVER admit they got it wrong.

    I do not expect England to blast their way through opponents in 3 days; I do not wish for England to come out and over-use short-format tactics in tests. What I wish for is England man-up when they are ahead, and consider the weather for a change. How were the England bowlers tired and in need of a rest? If they were, they are in the wrong job! Why did Cook and Trott need more batting practise? If my maths is correct, 1-0 up in a two match series = unassailable. 20 wickets wins a test - the bowlers need the practice! Every game must be played on merit, not to a boring script.

  • YorkshirePudding on May 28, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    @Biggus, I think thats a pretty fair appraisal, I did hear that Hughes was being considered for first drop.

    I think Cowan and Warner as openers are pretty good foils for each other, and Aus need to find a solid first drop (Trott type) to cover for when Warner doesnt 'fire', on the bolwing side, you have Stac, Cummins, Patterson, that if they stay fit with Siddle as the senior will cause problems.

    Lyon I thik is underrated by many, it will be interesting to see how hes come on, and if he watches where swann pitches the ball should get a good idea of lengths to bowl in the UK.

    All in all its set for a good 6-7 months of cricket from the end of July.

  • jmcilhinney on May 28, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    @landl47 on (May 28, 2013, 10:30 GMT), I'm certainly not complaining about England not winning in 3 days. I'm complaining about the fact that They didn't maximise their chances of winning in as little time as possible, knowing that there was a strong possibility that significant time would be lost to rain. As has been said before, if England were confident that their bowlers could clean up NZ even if time was lost then why would they also think that they needed so many runs? The whole thing just doesn't make sense unless, as has been suggested, they have chosen to ignore the weather forecast, but ignoring the weather forecast is also pretty stupid. it may work out but that's relying on luck when you could rely on your own skill.

  • 200ondebut on May 28, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    I think England have got this wrong. By close yesterday there had been 130 overs bowled since NZ were all out - more than enough to bowl then out again (6 wks in 54 overs!!!) and chase down whatever target was set. I don't buy into the 4th innings chase or weather argument - and feel sorry for Trotty who was sent out to deliver this message to the press. I am not sure who in the camp thinks they, like Canute, can control mother nature. I hope for their sake that the weather holds off long enough to get the last four wickets.

  • JG2704 on May 28, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    @TheGreatestGame (wherever you are or any other stats expert) - I wonder if you'd be so kind to go through games from the last few decades and list matches in which the side who enforces the follow on goes on to lose the match and also the side who does not choose enforce the follow on does not go on to win the match and we can all weigh up the pros and cons...

  • kiwicricketnut on May 28, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    Even if the rain saves us here, it is not a draw in my opinion, there was only ever one result in this game, unlike the test in auckland where england deserved the draw through sheer guts and determination, we on the other hand don't deserve draw written down in the history books. No nz cricket fan should get any satisfaction from this game being drawn if the rain remains. As much as they have tried to avoid it, change of personal is now the only option, this type of performance can't be tollerated

  • JG2704 on May 28, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    @Landl47 ctd - To me , not making a side follow on and going on to win a game does not show that it's the formula that's working. It just says that a team with a huge 1st inns lead (weather permitting) usually wins and that's just logical. There have been 2 examples in recent months (which I've posted) in which I've seen the dominant side not forcing a follow on and not getting the win. Please name me some recent examples of a side enforcing the follow on going on to lose the match? I'm not a stats man from all ages myself and have not followed cricket as studiously as I do now all my life but in over 30 years of following cricket (often more casually) I don't remember a game (besides Headingly 1981) in which England have been involved in which either side has enforced the follow on and actually lost the game.

  • Biggus on May 28, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding-I think we have plenty of bowling as long as long as they can stay on the park. Lyon perplexes me though and can tend to get somewhat mechanical at times, but he's not nearly as bad as some would have it. Our batting however gives me nightmares, particularly the opening spots. I like Ed Cowan, he's a real tryer and at least tries to do his job and take some shine off the ball but all too often doesn't go on and make a big score. The idea of Watson or Warner opening on a seaming pitch gives me the yips I'm afraid. Rogers is a good move (I hope), and Clarke is a fine player but he's no superman, and can't save us all the time. I find it all too likely that we'll be knocked over cheaply a few times and our bowlers will have too little to work with. In contrast you our's your batting looks pretty solid. One can only live in hope eh?

  • Baseball-Sucks on May 28, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    Now only Rain God can save NZ ....

  • landl47 on May 28, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    @jmcilhinney: I do agree that England could and probably should have declared 50 runs earlier. I'm not sure it makes that much difference; they scored their last 50 runs in about half-an-hour, so they didn't give up much time, probably not enough to have won the game by the end of play yesterday.

    @JG2704: you need a plan B when plan A isn't working. Everything England has done in this test has worked perfectly so far. England has dominated NZ for the only time in the 5 tests they have played and what you are actually complaining about is that they haven't won in 3 days.

    I agree that so far Cook hasn't looked like an intuitive captain, but neither is Graeme Smith and he currently leads the #1 test side. England isn't a team packed with flashy strokemakers and devastating pace bowlers, it's a team that needs to play hard-nosed, grinding cricket. That's the way Cook plays himself and it's the way he'll captain. Remember Aus 2010/11- that approach worked pretty well there.

  • Serenity on May 28, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    No sympathy for England this morning and the borderline desperation of the coach in trying to get the final day underway. No sympathy for Trott in missing out on a 100 - if he'd batted properly on the third day he would have got one. Only sympathy for Compton whose trials were further exposed and has possibly cost him his place. A great team would have enforced the follow on and finished the match and had it done and dusted by lunch YESTERDAY. A victory has been thrown away by cowardly captaincy and muddled management. Until England get over this "mustn't lose at all costs", we will never produce a great team (good one yes) but not great and will have no one to blame but themselves.

  • YorkshirePudding on May 28, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    @biggus, I've been keeping an eye on the Aussies over the last year, and they have some very interesting bowlers oming through the ranks, who may well give the english batsmen (and fans) a few heart murmurs, provding they stay fit.

    I think the back to back series could well be a lot closer than most Aussie and English fans think.

    @5wombats, completely agree with you about the Oval last year, I was there and couldn't figure out why Strauss/Flower decided to bat in those day 1 conditions especially with the forecast being almost perfect for batting in the other 4 days.

  • JG2704 on May 28, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    @JMC - You know my views on following on etc and pretty much everything re England. I think we share the same views re England having no plan B and to me - whether it's because we are experimenting or genuinely just want to avoid defeat before anything else - either reeks of lack of confidence in crossing the finish line or maybe in this case a complacency bordering on arrogance in that we don't need to win this match. Complacency/caution becomes a habit just like winning and I wonder if (when we're up against it) it will come back to haunt us. If Clarke's side has us up against the ropes I don't see Clarke doing anything else but going for that jugular and can England change tact these days - I'm not so sure?

  • JG2704 on May 28, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    @Puffin on (May 27, 2013, 23:25 GMT)

    "Wearing the bowlers out" - You're joking right? They barely bowled a session between them. If that's the reason then it's very poor thinking. I mean there are times when bowlers are going to have long days out in the field. If we're wrapping them up in cotton wool it hardly bodes well for the mental strength and physical stamina they'll need in such situations.

    @kiwicricketnut on (May 28, 2013, 5:30 GMT)

    And if rain saves NZ - which I hope it does - Cook/Flower should have the same treatment. I'd happily travel to do so myself

  • JG2704 on May 28, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    @Meety on (May 28, 2013, 0:14 GMT) Yeah , it's amazing. NZ really should have beaten Eng in NZ. I said at the time NZ batted on too long and I'd pretty much always make a side follow on in such circumstances. To me it's like a boxer who's a bit tired knocking his opponent down and then thinking along the lines of conserving energy rather than going for the stoppage. BM's bigger mistake was batting on too long but TBH (and I said so at the time) I think he was sucked in by being out in the middle. If you notice , someone else from NZ called the team in which makes me think either BM was not in charge of that decision or got carried away with playing that he forgot he was in charge. Anyway , I wouldn't see any of the 2nd tier sides drawing at home to Eng and away to SL/Aus

  • JG2704 on May 28, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    @5wombats on (May 27, 2013, 21:46 GMT)

    I think Eng will somehow get enough time to win but I hope they don't. Had NZ finished yesterday with say just 2 or 3 wickets down (which could have happened) I'd say that with the weather around the draw would be favourite here. Even after batting again (which I disagree with anyway - I mean how often does a side who makes a side follow on go on to lose?) , why didn't they open with Root and move JB up the order which would have been great for the home crowd , also meaning we'd get more of a look at them and push the SR on? As I've already said , I think there's another agenda. Do you think Cook/Flower would be so blasé about the weather if it was the decider in an Ashes series?

  • JG2704 on May 28, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    @yorkshirematt - I like to think we're more ambitious than that but the signs indicate differently. I'm thinking that the main thing from Eng's POV is that they want to give their batsmen more practice - something they could have done with their county sides. It's just hard to believe that a captain/coach who goes through all the statistics with a fine toothcomb would not be so naive or arrogant to dismiss something as basic as a weather forecast. The whole process is full of contradictions. I mean if they thought that batting last on this pitch would be tricky why do they need a lead of 450+? I just wonder - if Cook's head depended on the result do you or anyone else on here think Cook would have batted on so long or even batted again. Me thinks there's another agenda here

  • Biggus on May 28, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    @jmcilhinney-Amen to that, and despite that fact that I think you guys will give us a solid thrashing I'm still looking forward to some Ashes cricket.

  • jmcilhinney on May 28, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    @Biggus on (May 28, 2013, 8:13 GMT), not that RednWhiteArmy isn't a troll himself, but he's actually referring to a few Aussies in particular who, unlike yourself, don't refrain from posting on a story about a game that doesn't involve your team, that you haven't seen and you have nothing of value to add to. There are some who make intelligent and objective comments, including regulars like Meety, but several who post tripe when England do remotely poorly and often even when they don't. If more posters were like you and fewer like RandyOZ and Front-Foot-Lunge then this would be a better place for us all.

  • 5wombats on May 28, 2013, 8:22 GMT

    @dalboy12 (May 28, 2013, 4:55 GMT) - Nice comms. We England fans get a lot of ungracious and unsporting comms from one particular country. Your comms prove the point that it is possible to uphold the spirit of the game and hold your head up, even in defeat. Well played sir. Meanwhile - it is appalling that New Zealand fans get subjected to similar rotten and ridiculous comments, again usually by that same certain country.

  • Biggus on May 28, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    @RednWhiteArmy-I can only speak for myself. I don't usually comment on games that don't involve my team. but if you wish to evaluate our 'deafening silence' you might like to look at the article on this site, "Australia eye Ashes swing", there are plenty of posts there by Aussies, and the prognosis of most of us is that we don't stand much of a chance in the forthcoming series. Why we should be expected to comment on a match that doesn't involve us rather escapes me. I haven't seen any of the footage so what meaningful statements could I make? Anyway, enjoy your team's success, but I find your efforts to constantly pick a fight with us rather undignified, dare I say ungentlemanly?

  • on May 28, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    It beggars belief that Cook felt he needed a lead of 468 against this NZ batting line up. Given the likely weather, to bat up to and beyond lunch was a shockingly myopic piece of captaincy. Apparently, England have 'policy' of ignoring weather forecasts in their match planning. That is beyond ridicule - cricket is more inextricably linked to the weather than any other ball sport. Even if England win today, this style of Captaincy is a real worry.

  • 5wombats on May 28, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    @jmcilhinney (May 28, 2013, 3:04 GMT). Hi mate. Noting your comms about Englands approach here. I completely agree with you about "the formula"... far too conservative. And I agree very much with your comments about England saying they have faith in their bowlers. LOL! that is EXACTLY what Strauss said last Summer when he DID NOT show faith in his bowlers at the Oval by not inserting South Africa in rainy and dull conditions. There too England did not look at the forecast for the hot sunny perfect conditions for batting on Days 3-5 which SA duly took full toll of. That level of stupidity deserved what it it got - which was a sound thrashing. I can't bear to see England steered it this direction. Australians tend (and Michale Clarke exemplifies this) to be more aggressive and back themselves. From Grade cricket up, Aussies "have a go". This is why they are so dangerous.

  • Red_Stripe on May 28, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    I think the criticism of the attendances is very harsh. We are living in a divided Britain economically and only in the rich south east would these days sell out. What people have got to remember is that many northerners who would normally converge on Leeds for their fix of test cricket have probably saved their pennies for either the ashes test at Old Trafford or the ashes test at Chester-le-Street (both overpriced by the way). NZ are not a big draw and that allied to the hype around the ashes later in the summer meant that the crowds were always going to be down. I actually think its a disgrace that one of the most iconic test grounds in Headingley has been denied an ashes test match.

  • RednWhiteArmy on May 28, 2013, 7:05 GMT

    Anyone heard off the aussies recently? Their silence is deafening

  • MeijiMura on May 28, 2013, 6:59 GMT

    England will be lucky to get on the ground at all on day five yet alone for long enough to bowl New Zealand out and claim victory. First of all we had England batting without conviction on the third day and then not declaring until after lunch on day four with a lead that was at least 150 runs more than they needed. The Australians would have been watching this with interest. First the lack of conviction in the batting then the over-cautious declaration which reeked of a lack of confidence on the English hierarchy's part in their bowlers to get the job done with already ample runs on the board. England should have declared upon Cook reaching his century as the lead was already over 300 at that stage. Failing that there was absolutely no excuse not to declare at lunch. It was beyond pointless to continue batting after lunch. If England try to play such negative cricket against Australia they risk losing the series to them. Get on the front foot and stay there England!

  • JM_RSA on May 28, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    I must congragulate England on the way they played this test.They have dominated most iof the game. After the 1st test, i thought this game was going to be close. 1 thing i have noticed is that England are slow starters much like SA. They have to rectify this before the Ashes. You dont want give Aus a good start on day1 of the test because that will give them confidence.

  • Woodyinhollywood on May 28, 2013, 6:01 GMT

    As a kiwi I am very pleased they did not enforce the follow-on and all the other English tactics to make a draw, a real possibility, depending on weather. But I do not enjoy it when seemingly smart men abandon common sense. It starts to make me wounder if I am the one that is losing it. Cook is a hell of a batsman but B.M. seems to have a far superior grasp on how to captain a team. I would love someone to explain to me his thinking. The commentators with probably over 100 years of cricket experience between them seem to be just as bemused as I was. Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain!! It would be just desert to pull a draw out of a almost certain victory!!!

  • cardassian on May 28, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    @jb633 totally agree mate. Also think that NZ should start using the duke ball at home rather than the kookabura. The reason being that it swings for longer and it's only used in England. by producing green tops and using the duke it would make it harder for most countries (except England) to tour here and give us kiwi's a bit more of a home advantage.

  • on May 28, 2013, 5:42 GMT

    Seems like English will white wash the Kiwis again.

  • jmcilhinney on May 28, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    It's interesting to see the different reasons that people have used in support of England's approach to this game. I'm not criticising, because we're all entitled to our opinion, but the range is interesting. On the one hand, you have some people saying that it was correct to take the cautious approach because it would have been disrespectful to NZ to assume that we could put them back in and roll them for very little and polish off the remaining runs on a wearing wicket. On the other hand, you have some saying that this series doesn't really matter, or at least winning it 2-0 doesn't matter, and it was correct to give our batsmen more time in the middle to prepare for the Ashes, where I'm sure that noone will be saying that it's OK to draw a Test that could and should be won. Obviously Cook couldn't have been taking both standpoints.

  • kiwicricketnut on May 28, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    The nz batsmen should have to stand there with their legs apart while the bowlers give them a swift kick in the junk everytime they are let down by the batters. The good batsmen get to keep their bits and pieces in order the bad ones would eventually lose the ability to reproduce and we would eventually eliminate the bad batting gene from the gene pool, in a couple of generations we would have an outstanding batting line up, seems like a good solution to the epidemic that is nz batting, you cant argue with science.

  • jmcilhinney on May 28, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    @landl47 on (May 28, 2013, 2:51 GMT), I sense you're talking primarily about whether or not the follow-on should have been enforced. I'm OK with England not enforcing the follow-on, although I'd have preferred that they had, but surely they didn't need to bat so slowly early on. Also, would it really have been disrespectful to NZ to set them a target of 400 rather than 468? As for changing plans based on what might happen, surely people do that all the time. Did Cook not bat on because NZ MIGHT miraculously pull off the highest successful run chase in Test cricket history? England being concerned about batting last has been given as a reason for not enforcing the follow-on. Does Cook really have so little faith in his own bowlers that he felt he needed so many runs when NZ were batting last on the same pitch he was so concerned about?

  • dalboy12 on May 28, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    How come whenever NZ lose a few tests, we are useless and should only play Bang or Zim. Sure we had a few terrible batting displays, but hey we have recently drew series against Aussie, England and Sir Lanka --- the Aussie and Sri Lanka series were away. Look at the results of test cricket recently...Pakistan cleaned out England recently didn't they 4-0. And Aussie and India both cleaned each other big time in recent series. And let's remember NZ even reversed the SA series in SA to win the ODIs. Sure in test cricket NZ probably deserves to be ranked #8 and their batting is poor at the moment, but I would argue that we not so far below the others that we deserve to only play lower teams. In fact I still think if only we can get our batsman to set our bowlers a total, we have a bowling attack that can win us test matches. One more comment --- is that if NZ is going to use left hand pace bowlers (which they should), then our batsman better learn to play off-spin out of the foot marks.

  • dalboy12 on May 28, 2013, 4:55 GMT

    Ashes is going to be a real difference in captaincy. Cook very much comes from the Dhoni school of conservative decisions and fields (I mean boundary riders when you are this far ahead!). Clark is very much from the McCullum school (or better to say McCullum's from Clarks school), but the Aussies have a few guys who bat, not like NZ. So it will make for an interesting series. Given it will be close, I hope Cook doesn't play it too safe. @jb633 the pitches in NZ were not normal this year, we had drought conditions in the NZ summer which made for very flat pitches. Normally, NZ pitches can be criticized for being too green. But it can't be an excuse for our batsman's terrible display. I can understand the smaller crowds with the Ashes and Champions Trophy coming up. Everyone only has so much $$ to spend. Very jealous of the among of great cricket you English fans are getting this summer.

  • on May 28, 2013, 3:59 GMT

    England were supposed to win at home ,so what's the big surprise ?? New Zealand put up a good fight but they failed at crucial times at those failures cost them the matches so far. England boast a very strong record at home ,but anyone who knows about the development programmes in South Africa ,and even in Australia will tell you that England is still lightyears from having the best talent pool . It's true that Finn, Anderson, Broad and Swann will be around for some time ,and will continue to peak ,but all good things must come to end ,and unless ECB tries to make a decent effort to groom replacements ,they will take three steps back in ten years,while most of the other countries go forward.

  • jmcilhinney on May 28, 2013, 3:53 GMT

    Not that I blame Brownlie, because it's just human instinct, but he would have been better off just letting the ball hit his helmet. That sort of thing can shake you up a bit but at least he would still be in. The grille on his helmet would have done just as good a job of protecting his face as his gloves did. It's just a natural reaction though, but one that batsmen would do well to overcome.

  • Min2000 on May 28, 2013, 3:26 GMT

    It makes me laugh when people suggest that New Zealand should play Zimbabwe and Bangladesh - I'm sure the New Zealanders would welcome a series against either of those sides right now.

  • jmcilhinney on May 28, 2013, 3:22 GMT

    I can't believe some of the ridiculous arguments against DRScomponents as exemplified by Michael Holding on commentary. He says that he doesn't like the predictive part of ball-tracking and yet has no issue with human umpires predicting the path of the ball with almost certainly less accuracy. He says that he doesn't understand how the umpire can be right on an "umpire's call" whether he says out or not out when it has been said thousands of times by now that it's not a matter of proving the umpire right but rather not being able to prove him wrong. Without DRS the umpire's decision would stand so if DRS can't prove the umpire wrong then the decision stands. Why is that so hard to comprehend? He also talks about using DRS only for howlers but what's the definition of a howler? Any threshold placed on DRS is going to no less arbitrary than the current rules so allowing half a ball width as a nominal margin of error is fine. It's no less ephemeral than "benefit of the doubt".

  • jmcilhinney on May 28, 2013, 3:11 GMT

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. Many people are saying that England batting again and batting on was a good idea because it gave the batsmen more time to get into form for the Ashes. That may be a welcome side-effect but it cannot be used to justify England's decisions because, by their own admission, they're concentrating on this series and not looking ahead to the Ashes. Players and management have talked about being more ruthless and trying to win every Test match but I don't see either of those things here. If weather wasn't a factor then it's no big deal, but to ignore the forecast and basically say that it's OK to draw when they were in a position to force a win isn't indefensible in that context. It's their decision to make and they don't answer to any of us but they are also certainly not immune to criticism those who are the source of the income they all enjoy.

  • jmcilhinney on May 28, 2013, 3:04 GMT

    A lot of England's decisions seem to be based on statistical analysis. They bat slowly at the start of an ODI to keep wickets in hand because stats show that that will generally lead to a bigger score. They set a deep point for Hamish Rutherford because stats show that he scores a lot of runs there and they believe that cutting off those runs will frustrate him into getting out. All well and good. Now, how do they think that weather forecasts work? How much statistical analysis goes into forecasting the weather and yet they are happy to simply ignore it. A tad hypocritical. England will win this game if it doesn't rain and they may well still do so if it does, as they may not need much more than an hour to take the final four wickets. That will be seen by many as vindication of England's approach but I don't see it that way. If they were confident all along that they could bowl NZ out quickly then why did they need to set such a big target? That's not confidence in your bowlers.

  • jmcilhinney on May 28, 2013, 2:47 GMT

    England obviously have a plan and that's a good thing. It has generally served them well in recent years. In years gone by they seemed to have no plan at all and whatever plans they did have rarely came to fruition. What we have now, coupled with talented players, is a big improvement. My issue is that they seem to be completely intractable where that plan is concerned, sticking to it doggedly even when it's not the best option or obviously not working. The batting in the UAE was a case in point, where they seemed to have decided how they should bat before the series and rode that all the way to a 0-3 defeat. It feels like a very English attitude but I have to imagine that Andy Flower is a big influence so it's not just an English thing. In this case, they seem to have decided that it's better to take the chance of drawing if the weather intervenes than the remotest possibility that NZ could win if it doesn't. That's their choice to make but I disagree and many others obviously do to.

  • on May 28, 2013, 1:28 GMT

    @thekaz - I agree, but I think you mean 3 and a half test matches!

  • YorkshirePudding on May 28, 2013, 0:28 GMT

    @Herath-UK, its the same for england when they travel, especially to the sub continent, where they are totally alien conditions and adjusting to the local climate can take a lot longer due to the heat and humidity, like say India in Oct/Nov.

    It has been the case that the bigger teams (India, Aus, PAk, SA) get the prime slot of later in the summer, where as the 'lesser' teams get the early summer slot when conditions are not as good.

    One way to look at it is that Earlier in the summer there is a higher chance that the teams will draw a game, due to weather interuptions rather than later in the summer.

    In regards to NZ, thier climate and pitches are very similar to the UK, thats why thier seamers makr them so competative when touring England.

  • YorkshirePudding on May 28, 2013, 0:20 GMT

    I think England should have declared at lunch as they would have been 429 in the lead, by all means use a little brinkmanship and inform NZ 10-15 minutes before going back out that they were declaring, but that extra 50 runs is meaningless especially when you are likely to lose a days play to weather.

  • Meety on May 28, 2013, 0:14 GMT

    @JG2704 on (May 27, 2013, 19:36 GMT) - I agree, in NZ, the Kiwis had first innings leads against SA in the Test series & had the Saffas on the ropes, can't see Zim or Bang doing that atm. NZ just need some quality to come thru & it will happen soon enuff. == == == The NZ v Eng series promised to be a good contest (& it has at times, but only when NZ have bowled) - it has been a bit dissappointing. I think their best players haven't done enuff (McCullum, Taylor & Bracewell) - or rather not played their best, whether that be great cricket from England or just a form blip who knows?

  • Puffin on May 27, 2013, 23:25 GMT

    I'm tempted to support the caution of the England captain here: it is not necessary to win every match in a test series - although I'm sure it would be welcomed if offered - nor is it necessarily a good thing to strain every sinew to win, when lets be clear, there is what should be a sterner and will be a longer and tougher series to come this year. There's no sense in wearing out the bowlers just to ram home a point, once NZ were skittled out cheaply in the first innings, there was no need to worry about England losing and hence drawing the series. These 2-match rubbers have much to be blamed for.

  • Pyketts on May 27, 2013, 22:40 GMT

    Every venue is stuck with over priced tickets so that's no reason for poorer sales than other ground. Totally agree that £55 is far too much for a test like this one.

    I sympathise but what has Edgbaston done to be without a test in an Ashes year? New ground, permanent floodlights and great ticket sales but no test. Pathetic ECB.

  • Jaffa79 on May 27, 2013, 22:07 GMT

    I am someone who has discussed the relative merits of England and Australia before this year's Ashes and we all find out soon how good the English batting really is and how good the Aussie pace bowling is. I do have to say that the Aussies have a huge advantage in terms of captaincy; Cook is conservative and unimaginative. I think he is one of the best opening batsmen have ever produced but I do think he is rather formulaic and I hope it doesn't play too much of an important feature this summer. Clarke on the other hand, is dynamic, innovative and attacking. Cook has a good attack; he just needs to push home the advantage when we get on top!

  • Dubbs on May 27, 2013, 22:07 GMT

    I am not surprised by Cook's decision to bat again. You will note from few decisions he has made in the past that he is after records.

  • 5wombats on May 27, 2013, 21:46 GMT

    @JG2704 (May 27, 2013, 19:54 GMT) At about 2.30 today I said more or less exactly the same thing as you - but cricinfo did not publish. I thought England batting on with a lead past 400 was abject. I thought Trott batting like a snail last night was pathetic. I thought England should have enforced the follow-on and I too hope that the weather saves New Zealand so that the England management camp get a wake up call. This last couple of days have really wound me up. I watched my son batting today and he hit a run a ball 50 it was more entertaining than watching that tosh that England were serving up at Headingley.

  • jb633 on May 27, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    In my opinion New Zeland are paying the price for playing all their cricket at home on featherbeds. Guys like Fulton and Rutherford look good when the ball does nothing, but are all at sea when the ball starts to move around. New Zeland in the early 2000's were a very competitive bunch and when you toured you knew your batsmen were in for a challenge. I am sure that the wickets they play on at present are allowing for lazy footwork and technical deficiencies to go unpunished. I said when Fulton made a stack of runs in NZ that he was a poor player and he genuinely is. New Zeland should bring back Vettori in the long term and look to open with Williamson. NZ have a very strong seam attack and they should look to utilise this in home conditions by producing green tops. Particularly when poor sides like India tour a green top will mean an easy white wash and thus they will quickly shoot up the rankings. NZ must produce more sporting wickets to become competitive in the long term.

  • yorkshirematt on May 27, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    @JG Yes I agree, but sadly I don't think England will lose too much sleep tonight worrying about the forecast. From what they've been saying on TV you get the impression that my suspicions from tea time yesterday after the decision to bat again are correct, that they're not really bothered about winning the game

  • JG2704 on May 27, 2013, 21:38 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK - I fully agree. Clarke (despite what went on in India on and off the field) is a much more proactive captain as is Mccullum (despite his poor decision not to make us follow on in NZ and batting too long himself. Why not even (once you've decided to bat again) move Jonny and Root up above Bell and Trott. Both batsmen looked the most at ease/flowing of all our line up and on their home ground I feel it would have gone down well. And they cited that batting last on this pitch would likely be tricky. Then why do they need such a big lead? No disrespect meant to NZ but if you're the 2nd best side in the world you have to back your bowlers to defend 350-375 on pretty much any pitch on the final inns of a test vs NZ I kind of hope we don't win and that Cook gets grilled for such lame captaincy although Sky seem to lame to do that

  • JG2704 on May 27, 2013, 21:37 GMT

    @jackiethepen on (May 27, 2013, 19:19 GMT)

    Agree with most of your post but re

    "Strauss would have been skinned alive for it" I disagree.

    Cook is a Strauss clone and Strauss himself was a very cautious captain who had no plan B when the chips were down in UAE for example. I remember an Ashes test in Aus in 2010/11 where Eng batted and batted to gain a stupidly big 1st inns lead and declared an unnecessarily large 375 runs ahead. Aus were 4 down at the close of day 4 having only just lost Clarke and with the 2 best batsmen of that series Hussey and North at the crease. As it happened Eng finished them of before lunch but had Aus survived til lunch it would have been a draw as it rained for the rest of the day. Maybe Cook will have similar luck tomorrow but if he doesn't he only has himself to blame. He has access to the same weather forecasts as the rest of us

  • yorkshirematt on May 27, 2013, 20:34 GMT

    @pyketts Yes i agree re the floodlights situation. But apart from the ticket pricing, part of which is influenced by the ECB, there isn't much else Yorkshire could have done to "get their house in order". And if us Yorkshire members don't see anything wrong with how things were organised by the club then it must have been ok.

  • warneneverchuck on May 27, 2013, 19:57 GMT

    Once day cook will break all the record in test may be tendulksr' also

  • JG2704 on May 27, 2013, 19:54 GMT

    I find myself in the unique position (and I don't feel happy about it as an England fan) in that I hope NZ/the weather saves the game. There may be enough time for Eng to bowl NZ out tomorrow but looking at the weather forecast it seems that there will be heavy rain for the rest of the day. I apologize to any fans who are due to attend tomorrow but I feel Cook's captaincy is at best lame. I kind of find it hard to believe that the weather forecast wasn't considered. I wonder if he was even thinking that it was a way of getting some of his batsmen back into nick above getting the win which to me is not getting the priorities right and possibly shortchanging the public of a result which looked nailed on if tey made NZ follow on

  • Erebus26 on May 27, 2013, 19:49 GMT

    Got to say NZ's batting has been pretty abysmal, even if we allow for the quality of England's attack. Feel sorry for McCullum as I've felt he's tried to be more innovative and proactive than Cook, but the first innings debacle sucked the life out of him and his team. The bowlers, quite understandably, seemed at a lost as England (led by Cook and Trott) strolled towards a big lead in their second innings. Losing Boult, who'd been the best bowler for NZ in this match, didn't help either. Some of the NZ batsmen need to be either given a rocket up their backsides or consigned to the scrapheap. Guptill needs to go - plenty of opportunities but has lacked something against the top sides. I don't know why Latham wasn't given a go as he couldn't have done much worse than he did. Probably should be the end of the road for Fulton as well despite his heroics in Auckland, and I think Brownlie needs to make way too. Looks solid at times but never seems to kick on.

  • 2.14istherunrate on May 27, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    No doubt some will think 1-0 as good as 2-0 as a series result and probably would not have cared if it had been 0-0 or even 0-1. They are entitled. There may be others still who think that England have already risked everything declaring a merfe and paltry 463 ahead. So the sight of NZ only 310 runs behind and 4 wickets in hand will be a burden overnight. The news folks is this: NZ only have to not make one run out of the target to be losers! Those other 309 runs are by and large a complete irrelevance. I do not know what the weather will be, but the scarey tale is that they may not get out again. If England had declared at 12.50 they would likely have had an extra 40 minutes in which to bowl NZ out today. Okay so the margin might have been 60 runs less but 4 wickets may have only taken 40 minutes to take.2-0 with a day to spare and no panic.

  • JG2704 on May 27, 2013, 19:36 GMT

    Re NZ becoming a really bad team and they should have to play teams like Bangladesh/Zimbabwe etc - I disagree. In the last few years they drew at home against England and away against SL and Australia. The problem is (and I think NZ fans will agree with me on this one) they are capable but inconsistent. They did really well in the home series vs Eng and with a more sensible piece of captaincy and a bit more luck in the last test would have beaten the 2nd best test side in the world. It's a shame (for them and the neutral) NZ didn't win that last test as it would have added a bit more intrigue to this series. However I feel in that series alone they proved they are a capable side

  • JG2704 on May 27, 2013, 19:23 GMT

    @Herath-UK on (May 27, 2013, 18:05 GMT) Not sure what you're saying about a level playing field etc? Whenever a team tours anywhere they all have to travel and - unless the player plays domestic cricket in that country - the pitches are likely to be alien to them and more helpful to the home side. If you're on about lack of practice matches I believe it's the touring side who are responsible for organising them. I personally like doing T20 then 50 over then tests but we're not the only country who does things this way. And if you're blaming lack of practice in NZ's case , the fact that NZ started the series competitively and have got worse would suggest your logic is flawed

  • JG2704 on May 27, 2013, 19:19 GMT

    @Herath-UK on (May 27, 2013, 18:05 GMT) Not sure what you're saying about a level playing field etc? Whenever a team tours anywhere they all have to travel and - unless the player plays domestic cricket in that country - the pitches are likely to be alien to them and more helpful to the home side. If you're on about lack of practice matches I believe it's the touring side who are responsible for organising them. I personally like doing T20 then 50 over then tests but we're not the only country who does things this way. And if you're blaming lack of practice in NZ's case , the fact that NZ started the series competitively and have got worse would suggest your logic is flawed

  • jackiethepen on May 27, 2013, 19:19 GMT

    I'm not sure this has been managed that well by England given the threat of rain on the final day. Very slow batting on day 3 hindered the timing of the declaration. Then batting to accumulate was changed to hit out or get out for the rest of the players on day 4. England have more runs than they need given the state of play and they took the safety route rather than enforce the follow on. It all speaks of excessive caution. Strauss would have been skinned alive for it. Cook is a nervous captain and it was noticeable how freely he was batting once his bowlers had given his side a good first innings lead. But Compton was under so much media pressure that he just couldn't join him. If he does get dropped then Cook as captain and opener might be the one to favour it. Because Cook has been struggling and needs better support from his No 2.

  • glance_to_leg on May 27, 2013, 19:08 GMT

    Herath, to repeat what others have said: [i] English conditions are very similar to NZ conditions; [ii] England pretty much always have to play in conditions to which they are not naturally accustomed. Don't really get your point.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on May 27, 2013, 19:07 GMT

    The bad weather has been forecast for weeks, hence the poor crowd and the stupidity of Cook's decision to not enforce the follow-on. England have played really well, but once again poor captaincy and decision making by the powers above may have thwarted another victory. If they weren't going for easy victory, why not play some of the fringe players for practice, and/or tried 5-1-5? Even when Swann was bowling well, Cook only gave him one measly slip. Just not attacking enough, which is disappointing.

  • howdle on May 27, 2013, 18:51 GMT

    just a note on the attendance, th ODI against Australia in late summer is all but sold out so youve got to assume the draw of New Zealand is a factor and the fact that lots of people will have already splashed out at least £55 on the ODI game

  • trav29 on May 27, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    @herath

    how are these conditions alien to NZ , NZ is probably closest to the UK in climate

    and when Pakistan were here last we did play them later in the summer

    if you gonna criticise scheduling at least get some facts right

  • on May 27, 2013, 18:38 GMT

    As somebody who lived in leeds for a few years and watched several matches at Headingley, it's a great venue and full of atmosphere. The fact is NZ aren't a big draw and the ECB charge silly money to watch them. It's not Yorkshire's fault. If this had been an Ashes test it would be sold out for the first 4 days.

    @Herath-UK - what are you on? Since when should England give the oppo an easier time? If they decide to have 2 days of match time before a test in alien conditions it's not England's fault. Let's not forget NZ are pretty use to the swinging/seaming ball. This deck is turning and that's mainly because somebody in NZ setup had a brainstorm and decided to play 2 left arm over bowlers and create loads of rough for Swann!

  • Pyketts on May 27, 2013, 18:34 GMT

    @yorkshirematt, nothing that like being three years too late with the lights!

    I'm certain that the other grounds I've mentioned would have sold a higher percentage of tickets.

    It's a shame as I like the challenge that playing there creates, it's a different challenge to many of the ground around the world and that's what test cricket needs but if they can't get their own house in order time moves on.

  • voma on May 27, 2013, 18:31 GMT

    @Herath-UK , i agree with you on that one . It would be a better idea to play the 1 day series and 20/20 . First up . But lets not forget England are playing in totally alien conditions in Asia .

  • voma on May 27, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    I enjoy watching New Zealand , but England are far better in every department . Its a entertaining test match , but its not competitive .

  • yorkshirematt on May 27, 2013, 18:10 GMT

    @pyketts Headingley should be installing lights this winter. As a Yorkshire supporter I'm as disappointed with the attendances on all three days as anyone as we will lose money, not to the near catastrophic extent of the year we hosted Aus v Pak when no one turned up, but it could mean no overseas player again next season. However, at these prices it would be the same at any ground for a low profile match such as this, excluding Lord's. With the cheapest ticket at £40 for the first three days and £30 today, you should be able to see why us hard up, tight yorkshiremen wanted to keep hold of our brass. It's grim up ere you know

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on May 27, 2013, 18:07 GMT

    When you've got Swann in your team, there doesn't seem to be any difference to watching him take 20 wickets in India, or rolling through the New-Zealanders on a flat pitch. Like a knife through butter.

  • whatawicket on May 27, 2013, 18:06 GMT

    leeds has never been one of my favorite grounds although it was my 1st ever ground when i was 18 in1968. in this test some are blaming trott and compton for lack of spectators on a bank holiday what rot this is test match cricket it may not always suit some but some of my memorial tests has been in typical similar situations. what most much remember we are in one of the longest recessions this country has known and there is just no money spare to watch test match cricket against NZ, especially in an ashes year

  • Herath-UK on May 27, 2013, 18:05 GMT

    I wonder whether it is fair by these teams travelling in the first half of the summer plunging to spectacular collapses in these unkind pitches alien to them. These matches become boring as the result is set on stone even before a ball is bowled. I wonder any international team won an early half of the series. Sri Lanka,WI,NZ & Pak do not get a level playing field travelling in the early summer. ECB should postpone the dates or at least start with the one day series giving the opposition some fair & square deal to play the more important Tests subsequently. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • GeoffreysMother on May 27, 2013, 17:54 GMT

    English test match wickets taking spin in May: I wonder if Australia have done their homework?

  • EnglishCricket on May 27, 2013, 17:46 GMT

    New Zealand have become a very bad team now. No wonder there wasn't much crowd today. I agree they need to play teams like Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh more and beat them first. Had the wickets not been super flat in New Zealand then they would've lost there as well. New Zealand is struggling to produce players like Crowe, Hadlee, Fleming, Cairns, Astle, Bond etc now. Different eras comes and goes I'm afraid.

  • on May 27, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    NZ need to figure out that batting line up. In no universe is Brownlie a better batsman than McCullum. McCullum should be coming in right after Ross Taylor and not having to bat with the tailenders everytime.

  • on May 27, 2013, 16:16 GMT

    Ha ha not able to cross even 200 runs in the first innings. It is outside chance to Kiwis to draw or win. It looks very pathetic team this NZ team. Most of the batsmen look like they are made for T20 format more than test format.This series looks like another boring one in England.

  • Pyketts on May 27, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    Why does Headingley deserve a test match? If you ignore the history of the ground it has no lights and the stadium is half full stadium.

    Ok it's not the most interesting Test Match but that is pretty poor for a bank holiday monday. It's easy to blame the ponderous batting but I suspect that tickets were bough well before the match actually started.

    About time the ECB sorted out this rediculous situation with the test grounds and only had games where the facilities are there and the majority of tickets sell i.e Lords, The Oval, Edgbaston, Trent Bridge and Old Trafford.

  • BRUTALANALYST on May 27, 2013, 14:16 GMT

    Sad to see even in Yorkshire one of the biggest cricketing counties the stadium is less than half full on a bank holiday for Test cricket even with their 2 local lads in the 11. I guess half the people watching yesterday either at home or in the stadium needed a break form cricket after sitting through that Comton / Trott display . . .

  • on May 27, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    maximum6. With respect to Andrew Strauss's declerations in the West Indies you should be aware of the facts concerning those two matches.

    In the Antigua test he had TWO of his bowlers afflicted by injury/illness which could have meant both of them being unable to bowl in part of or all of the final innings which would have meant he would have been left with TWO bowlers to bowl ninety overs.

    In the Trinidad test he declared leaving West Indies 64 overs to score 237. What did you want him to do??? Declare an hour earlier leaving them 80 overs to score 180 runs!!!! That would have been sheer stupidity, handing the match over on a plate.

  • Jadejafan on May 27, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    This series is too one-sided. Played South Africa and now England and are just about okay against these teams on flat wickets but when the ball is moving about, they just get destroyed by them. New Zealand should be playing teams like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh first and beat them then think of challenging the likes of England.

  • mikey76 on May 27, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    Cook really needs to be more adventurous with his declarations. 400 would easily had sufficed and would have given us precious more time to bowl out NZ. This whole don't take the weather into account policy is ludicrous, if you know it's going to be washed out on the 5th day then you force the pace. England will never compete for No.1 with this dour mindset.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on May 27, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    Great decision by Cook to bat on, given that this 2 match (yes, two) series is the only international cricket played before this summer. England were meticulous in their preparation before the last Ashes, just ask the Ozzies if that turned out any good for them...

  • on May 27, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    don't understand why cook batted on after lunch either we need to stamp our authority down before champions trophy & ashes

  • 2.14istherunrate on May 27, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    I am completely at a loss as to the reasoning behind batting on after lunch. It smacks of such woeful timidity that I am drawn to wondering what goes through the captain's head at such a time. Strauss was prepared to lose a series(v WI) because he feared the enemy's batting. Twice his declarations le4ft WI hanging on for dear life mi;les from the targe6t withEdwards dead batting everything. 4 times in history scores of over 400 have been made to win a game.$18 is the highest. On a number of occasions this total has been surpassed to draw,and even lose. In the recent past 414 and 380+ were chased down on almost the same date. In this series NZ have not passed 430 for 30 wickets. Yesterday the follow on was rejected. Modern Test captains, especially England's, need to grow a pair. Have a little bit faith Cook. How many will NZ make? 250 tops,IMO. Please throw away the defensive manual and stop asking Nanny about everything. Let us win with panache and style, not like a doddering granny

  • landl47 on May 27, 2013, 12:31 GMT

    With the pitch flat and the ball not swinging, NZ's seamers have looked pretty toothless this morning. However, Williamson has taken all three wickets to fall and the ball is turning sharply out of the rough. Swann's going to be a handful.

  • on May 27, 2013, 12:24 GMT

    great to hear.........................................................

  • on May 27, 2013, 12:24 GMT

    great to hear.........................................................

  • landl47 on May 27, 2013, 12:31 GMT

    With the pitch flat and the ball not swinging, NZ's seamers have looked pretty toothless this morning. However, Williamson has taken all three wickets to fall and the ball is turning sharply out of the rough. Swann's going to be a handful.

  • 2.14istherunrate on May 27, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    I am completely at a loss as to the reasoning behind batting on after lunch. It smacks of such woeful timidity that I am drawn to wondering what goes through the captain's head at such a time. Strauss was prepared to lose a series(v WI) because he feared the enemy's batting. Twice his declarations le4ft WI hanging on for dear life mi;les from the targe6t withEdwards dead batting everything. 4 times in history scores of over 400 have been made to win a game.$18 is the highest. On a number of occasions this total has been surpassed to draw,and even lose. In the recent past 414 and 380+ were chased down on almost the same date. In this series NZ have not passed 430 for 30 wickets. Yesterday the follow on was rejected. Modern Test captains, especially England's, need to grow a pair. Have a little bit faith Cook. How many will NZ make? 250 tops,IMO. Please throw away the defensive manual and stop asking Nanny about everything. Let us win with panache and style, not like a doddering granny

  • on May 27, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    don't understand why cook batted on after lunch either we need to stamp our authority down before champions trophy & ashes

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on May 27, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    Great decision by Cook to bat on, given that this 2 match (yes, two) series is the only international cricket played before this summer. England were meticulous in their preparation before the last Ashes, just ask the Ozzies if that turned out any good for them...

  • mikey76 on May 27, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    Cook really needs to be more adventurous with his declarations. 400 would easily had sufficed and would have given us precious more time to bowl out NZ. This whole don't take the weather into account policy is ludicrous, if you know it's going to be washed out on the 5th day then you force the pace. England will never compete for No.1 with this dour mindset.

  • Jadejafan on May 27, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    This series is too one-sided. Played South Africa and now England and are just about okay against these teams on flat wickets but when the ball is moving about, they just get destroyed by them. New Zealand should be playing teams like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh first and beat them then think of challenging the likes of England.

  • on May 27, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    maximum6. With respect to Andrew Strauss's declerations in the West Indies you should be aware of the facts concerning those two matches.

    In the Antigua test he had TWO of his bowlers afflicted by injury/illness which could have meant both of them being unable to bowl in part of or all of the final innings which would have meant he would have been left with TWO bowlers to bowl ninety overs.

    In the Trinidad test he declared leaving West Indies 64 overs to score 237. What did you want him to do??? Declare an hour earlier leaving them 80 overs to score 180 runs!!!! That would have been sheer stupidity, handing the match over on a plate.

  • BRUTALANALYST on May 27, 2013, 14:16 GMT

    Sad to see even in Yorkshire one of the biggest cricketing counties the stadium is less than half full on a bank holiday for Test cricket even with their 2 local lads in the 11. I guess half the people watching yesterday either at home or in the stadium needed a break form cricket after sitting through that Comton / Trott display . . .

  • Pyketts on May 27, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    Why does Headingley deserve a test match? If you ignore the history of the ground it has no lights and the stadium is half full stadium.

    Ok it's not the most interesting Test Match but that is pretty poor for a bank holiday monday. It's easy to blame the ponderous batting but I suspect that tickets were bough well before the match actually started.

    About time the ECB sorted out this rediculous situation with the test grounds and only had games where the facilities are there and the majority of tickets sell i.e Lords, The Oval, Edgbaston, Trent Bridge and Old Trafford.