New Zealand v England, 2nd Test, Wellington, 1st day March 14, 2013

Duck tales for the kiwis

Plays of the Day from the first day of the second Test between New Zealand and England in Wellington

Hype of the day

Brendon McCullum's 'Cook-Bradman' comments were still a talking point on the first morning. Opinions varied from him being over the top, pretty accurate, showing respect or playing mind games with the England captain. No one, though, really took it all too seriously. Neither did McCullum have to worry about Alastair Cook scoring too many as, in the 11th over, he rather oddly chipped a catch to mid-on against Neil Wagner.

Duck of the day

For much of the opening session, New Zealand had someone else sharing the outfield with them. A rotund duck waddled around the square, pretty much covering a full circle. At one point Hamish Rutherford tried to shoo it away, but the duck was having none of it and happily pecked away at the grass. It was in the firing line a few times, especially when stood at midwicket to Jonathan Trott, but shortly before lunch decided enough was enough and disappeared. Maybe duck was on the menu and he thought it was best not to hang around.

Repetition of the day

No, this is not a reference to the Barmy Army song book. Instead, it's about England's second-wicket stands at the Basin Reserve. In adding 210, Nick Compton and Jonathan Trott followed the century partnerships by Cook and Andrew Strauss (106) in 2008 and Marcus Trescothick-Mark Butcher (115) in 2002. By the time today's stand ended, it was England's highest for the second wicket in New Zealand, going past the 182 added by Michael Atherton and Alec Stewart at Auckland in 1997.

Spell of the day

When a captain has put the opposition in, he does not really want to worry about containment. But if wickets don't fall he cannot afford the run-rate to escape. McCullum was, therefore, hugely grateful for Bruce Martin's afternoon spell that kept England's run-rate under three an over until tea. Martin was shown plenty of respect by Compton and Trott, completing 12 overs during the middle session for just 18 runs.

Shot of the day

It might not actually have been the shot of the day, but Compton's cover drive off Neil Wagner was a fantastic way to bring up a century. He had moved to 96 with a square drive and could have been forgiven to nursing his way over the line, but surging on confidence he punished a wide delivery through the off side and, for the second time in five days, jumped in celebration, removed his helmet, saluted the crowd while his dad soaked it all in again.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nicholas on March 14, 2013, 9:11 GMT

    Now there's a good photo for the caption contest... That is a sad story though jmcilhinney; cheers for that.

  • John on March 14, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    For those who weren't watching the coverage of the game, rather sadly, the commentators said that the duck's mate had been involved in an accident during a NZ training session and implied that it had been killed (presumably struck by a ball). Apparently this lone duck, whose species mate for life, was wandering around in the forlorn hope of finding it's lost mate. One or two shots required it beat a hasty retreat so, if it's not careful, it may get to join its mate again after all. Quite a sad story really.

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