New Zealand v England, 2nd Test, Wellington, 2nd day March 15, 2013

Prior turns it on at the Basin

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

Comedown of the day
"As a batsman you have never scored enough," said Jonathan Trott on the first evening as he sat unbeaten on 121, clearly hungry to make many more on what had been a gentle first-day surface. That was as far as his score went. Facing his first ball of the day, from Trent Boult, he pushed half forward and edged a delivery he could probably have left.

Drop of the day
Tim Southee was very diplomatic when asked about the workload on the quick bowlers in the last few days. "You have to enjoy it," was his reply, and he kept a straight face. Quite how much he kept enjoying it on the second day as he continued to beat the edge without reward remains to be seen. There was a chance for him to take his second wicket of the series when Kevin Pietersen top edged a pull and it screamed through to BJ Watling - not the tallest wicketkeeper around - who flung himself off his feet but could not take the catch. By the end of the innings Southee had 1 for 216 as his returns for a Test and a half.

Rewind moment of the day
Ian Bell's 2012-13 Test season began with a moment he would rather forget when he charged down the pitch first ball against Pragyan Ojha in Ahmedabad and lofted a simple catch to mid-off. Much criticism followed, most of it justified. The situation in Wellington was much different - England were solidly placed and aiming to increase the tempo - but his mode of dismissal was very similar. Coming down at Bruce Martin, he aimed to clear mid-off but lacked conviction in the stroke which ended up picking out Peter Fulton.

Shot of the day
England, while not exactly losing their way, were not making the most of their overnight position, when Stuart Broad was dismissed at 374 for 7. Yet, in the blink of an eye, the momentum was back with them through another fine innings by Matt Prior. About half an hour before tea he appeared to flick a switch - 'time to get on with it' - and thumped Neil Wagner straight down the ground for a six into the strike screen. It was not a half-volley, Prior just drove straight through the line in a fashion any top-order batsman in the game would be proud of.

Late surge of the day
In the space of two deliveries, England's day went for decent to dominant. Stuart Broad made his first significant impact in Test cricket since the West Indies Test at Lord's last May (his wickets at Headingley against South Africa came too late) when he drew Hamish Rutherford into a wild drive that flew to first slip and then produced a peach of a delivery, full and fast, which took Ross Taylor's off stump first ball. There was to be no second hat-trick of the tour - he claimed one against the New Zealand XI in the T20 warm-ups - but he had given England a firm grip on the match.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 16, 2013, 1:02 GMT

    He is South African born player.

  • kent on March 16, 2013, 0:05 GMT

    Andy McG, please allow me to add to your plays of the day and has nothing to do with the action on the field of play and yet everything to do with it. Playing field of the day (Or should that be of the year or century} I made my first visit to NZ last year August and the first request I made of my host was to see the "Basin:" ( I apologise to those who have heard this before, cause I have repeated it many times since) When I planted my feet on its hallowed ground was an emotional moment for me. It is in my view one of the finest grounds in the world and I like to refer to it as a living narrative of the game. It provides the spectator with one of the grandest yet surreal experiences one can envision in an environment that is picturesque as it is serene. For those enjoying the game, savor every moment on this exquisite ground. It is worth a life time of experiences. I salute you Basin Reserve!

  • Ian on March 15, 2013, 23:12 GMT

    @64blip: Totally agree. Further, if England need to reduce the pressure on the front-line bowlers, they have Trott and Root, and possibly even Pietersen. Traditionally, England have never really made enough of any batsmen capable of turning in a few decent overs.

  • Samuel on March 15, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    Don't think I've ever wanted a 100 for a player as much as I did for Prior yesterday - he played so brilliantly he deserved one. Typical of the man to keep on pushing instead of playing for the milestone though.

  • Sean on March 15, 2013, 16:08 GMT

    It's tempting to think of Prior at #6, but he's been so effective because he's come in at #7. He can save the day or pile on the agony depending on the situation, but, importantly, he's not expected to. #6 is expected to make runs and that's a different kind of pressure. Gilchrist batted at #7 doing a very similar job to Prior, it's a great weapon to have. There are injury concerns with our quicks but I think we're better meeting them by managing workloads as best we can, unless a genuine allrounder appears. There would also be a problem with continuity, as when Prior left (or was injured) we'd need a new wicketkeeper and a new #6.

  • j on March 15, 2013, 13:27 GMT

    Awesome all round performance from England. Pieterson's played himself back into runs very nicely.

  • Dummy4 on March 15, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    I've always thought England could afford to bat Prior at 6 and have an extra bowler to give a better variety in the attack and reduce the pressure on the quicks who break down regularly under the sheer volume of flat out overs they are expected to bowl.

  • Dummy4 on March 15, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    Every Good team has had good and experienced keeper batsman. Dujon for WI, Gilchrist for Aus, Dhoni for India and Prior for Eng. Even SA had Boucher for years. NZ cant grow in stature till they find a good keeper.

  • John on March 15, 2013, 5:45 GMT

    Prior really is one of those batsmen that you would describe as playing with freedom. He's an invaluable asset for England and a great counter-attacker.

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