|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
May 24, 2008
Shots of the day
There were plenty to choose from courtesy of Ross Taylor, but it was during the latter part of his innings that he showed his truly explosive qualities. Even with a long-on in place he drove Ryan Sidebottom straight over his head for six. However, his brute force was really shown with two slog-sweep-pulls that sailed over the deep square-leg boundary. On both occasions Sidebottom dropped on a good length and Taylor went down on one knee with a huge swing of his bat. The second one of these almost ended up on the top deck of double-tiered stand. This was hitting straight out of the IPL.
Fielder of the day
England couldn't hit the stumps for trying at Lord's, with three clear-cut opportunities for run outs going begging. Today they had two in the space of three balls. It was surprising enough to see Alastair Cook hitting the stumps direct, although his catching has improved out of sight ground-fielding isn't his forte. England's real star, though, was Monty Panesar. He didn't enjoy the happiest of times with the ball, but his laser-guided throw allowed Tim Ambrose the chance to whip off the bails with Daniel Vettori in the air over the crease...
Schoolboy error of the day
...and that brings us nicely to the New Zealand captain. His dismissal will have had cricket coaches the length and breadth of the land squirming in anguish. "Ground your bat," they will tell their youngsters until they are blue in the face. Vettori should have taken note. Coming back for a second he didn't see the imminent threat from Panesar's throw, then in an instinctive reaction jumped in the air as he passed the crease. As no part of his bat or foot had previously been grounded over the popping crease he was given out, one of the more extraordinary run outs you'll see in a Test. "It was cricket 101, you slide your bat," said Taylor. "I'm sure he'll learn from that."
Fumbles of the day
It wasn't the best of days for all of England's fielders, however. James Anderson couldn't get underneath a skier from Jacob Oram which swirled around in the strong breeze. After the run outs from Cook and Panesar, Stuart Broad attempted a third only to throw miles wide of the stumps, even out of reach of Panesar who was backing up. That was the first five of the innings, and England gave away another when Kevin Pietersen had a shy and Michael Vaughan couldn't gather it at the stumps. Vaughan has never been the best in the field, even before his string of injuries, and there is often a sharp intake of breath when the ball travels at speed towards him. To complete an interesting day of fielding mishaps, Jeetan Patel had some major problems with an inflatable object. He chased it down to third man before the wind carried it off, much to the joy of the Old Trafford crowd.
Repayment of the day
Daniel Flynn was ready to bat following his nasty blow in the mouth, but before lunch he started to feel ill again and was taken away for further tests. As payback for the injury inflicted on his team-mate, Kyle Mills almost sent Ian Bell in the same direction. Mills cracked a powerful sweep straight into the back of Bell's neck as he turned for cover at short leg. For an instant it didn't look good as he stayed on the deck, while the physio was hurried onto the field. But he soon sat up and, after a quick check, was back on his feet still under the helmet. By the time Iain O'Brien scooped his pull into the air, Bell was in full working under and steadied himself under the catch.
Career-best of the day
Nothing can overshadow Taylor's 154, but he wouldn't have had the chance to get there if it hadn't been for Kyle Mills. New Zealand were 250 for 6 with Flynn heading back to hospital when Mills, with a previous Test best of 31, came to the crease. Mills has always looked better than his average suggests and some of his driving was out of the top draw. In fact, he dominated the seventh-wicket stand of 89 and reached his first Test fifty off 74 balls. "I thought he looked a lot better than me when he came out to bat," Taylor joked. "He hogged the strike as well, I'm not sure how many balls I faced, it felt like about two in six overs."
Accidental hero of the day
If it hadn't been for a stomach upset suffered by Tim Southee, O'Brien might not have played this Test. It is a 50-50 call as to whether Southee was replaced for form or fitness reasons, but O'Brien justified the decision by removing both England's openers. He trapped Cook with one that jagged off a crack into the left-hander like a legbreak, although replays showed it was high. Then late in the day he shifted a well-set Andrew Strauss thanks to a stunning left-handed catch by Brendon McCullum low to his left.
Bowlers who have been around for plenty of time but haven't played in cricket's biggest show
A look at some of cricket's most memorable strokes - and their makers