New Zealand v England, 1st Test, Dunedin, 5th day

Finn shines as England batsmen draw game

The Report by David Hopps

March 10, 2013

Comments: 111 | Text size: A | A

England 167 (Wagner 4-42, Martin 4-43) and 421 for 6 (Compton 117, Cook 116, Finn 56, Trott 52, Wagner 3-141) drew with New Zealand 460 for 9 dec (Rutherford 171, McCullum 74, Fulton 55, Anderson 4-137)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Steven Finn raises his bat after scoring his first Test fifty,  New Zealand v England, 1st Test, Dunedin, 5th day, March 10, 2013
Steven Finn reached the first fifty of his first-class career © Associated Press
Enlarge

Steven Finn, excelling in a new role as nightwatchman, struck a maiden first-class fifty to make a huge contribution towards England saving the first Test in Dunedin and saving face in the bargain. As Finn walked back to the dressing room with 56 to his name, and perhaps his first experience of pad burn after not far short of five hours at the crease, he was in danger of being rewarded with a full-time appointment to go alongside the gratitude of his team mates.

Finn's marathon resistance stretched until the second over after tea, at which point he succumbed to an ambitious slog-sweep at the left-arm spinner Bruce Martin. Spared Finn's sudden appreciation of the art of batsmanship, New Zealand might well have triumphed. As their bowlers strove gamely for victory on a docile surface, they will also have rued the rain and bad light which prevented play on the opening day.

England lost Nick Compton on a slow final morning, with Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen following in the afternoon. Ian Bell's senseless run-out of Joe Root, thrown out second ball for nought by a direct hit from cover, kept New Zealand's interest flickering enough in the final session to take a third new ball, but by then England's lead was 117 with four wickets and 25 overs remaining. Bell wisely saw the job through until, with the advantage stretched to 128, the match was called off at the final drinks break.

Pietersen's out-of-sorts innings immediately invited conjecture that he might be protecting an injury and, to add to the intrigue, he watched the last rites in front of the dressing room with a large black X on his right knee. To offer such target practice was especially dangerous in New Zealand, who can invent a sport for most things and who even now are probably drawing up the rules for world championship knee archery.

Pietersen, Trott and Compton fell to the unflagging left-arm swing of Neil Wagner, who will need every hour of his three days off before the second Test begins in Wellington, but New Zealand never quite got on a roll.

Finn could take much credit for that. The wagon wheel, which might one day be framed in his downstairs toilet, showed five boundaries scooting off in the general direction of third man, but he generally made good use of his long reach on a pitch which slumbered to the last. James Anderson, his predecessor, has taken a battering in some of the most threatening situations Test cricket can offer, but Finn got a cushier job and relaxed into it with aplomb. Wagner did test him against the short ball eventually, but only at around 130kph and only when his eye was in.

He reached his 50 from 142 balls, angling Wagner through gully, but then decided to take stock, scratched a new guard and did not score for the next hour and a quarter. His next single brought ironic applause from the Barmy Army and a blast from Billy Cooper's trumpet. It was just as well that he did dig in because Trott fell for 52 in the same over, Wagner taking a good leaping catch in his follow-through from a leading edge, and Pietersen soon followed to an inside edge from a nondescript shot.

Perhaps Pietersen was just having one of those days. Just as he is intoxicated by the big occasion, he can run on empty if a game feels flat. If he guested in a club knockabout, there is every chance that somebody would get him out for nought, just as there would be every chance that Finn would get a hundred.

Finn escaped a couple of tough chances; in the first over of the day edging very low towards Dean Brownlie at third slip and later, on 37, sending an edge between the slips off Kane Williamson. The middle of the bat often proved elusive, especially when compared to the timing shown by Trott, but his stay was testament to the work England's bowlers put in their batting.

England began the day still 59 runs behind and a couple of early wickets, with the second new ball still new, would have opened the door for New Zealand. However, it took them more than an hour to make the breakthrough which came when Wagner swung one back into Compton's pads who, for a moment, considered the review before deciding, wisely as replays showed, that it would have been a waste.

Compton's seven-hour innings - 117 from 310 balls - was a study in concentration and determination. He was given a warm ovation as he walked off, his father Richard leading the applause from the crowd, and was safe in knowledge that his Test berth is now secure.

Trott's half-century was effortless, a punchy straight drive off Martin emphasising that there would be no last-day encouragement for the spinner, who instead continued to toil on a dead surface.

England made only 53 from 28 overs between lunch and tea and Finn was responsible for 14 of them. But the overs were ticking down and for England, that was all that mattered.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: David Hopps

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (March 12, 2013, 3:04 GMT)

two boring teams drew the test match,whooptydoo,same for Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Posted by 5wombats on (March 11, 2013, 19:12 GMT)

@sachin_vvsfan - hello. We don't think rain helped England at all. Mind you - England were abject batting in their first innings and bowling in NZ first dig. Credit where it is due - New Zealand thrashed England for first 2 days and then England showed some spirit on final 2 days. @sachin_vvsfan as you know by now- we'll always call a spade a spade. As for the other thing - I'm ok. Thanks.

Posted by bored_iam on (March 11, 2013, 18:54 GMT)

Eng in Eng: 3-1/4-1 to Eng

Eng in Oz: 2-1/1-1 to Eng

Posted by   on (March 11, 2013, 13:24 GMT)

@Haris Usmani & others: I'm sure I'm not the only England supporter who's sick to the back teeth of being told by sneering ignoramuses who almost certainly didn't actually bother watching any of the action that England were 'humiliated' by South Africa last summer. Sure, we were comprehensively thrashed in the first Test at The Oval, but the second Test at Headingley ended with England only 123 runs away from victory with six second innings wickets in hand (would've been more if we hadn't taken a gung-ho approach at the start of the innings to make up for time lost to rain), while we were only beaten by 51 runs in the final Test at Lord's. Had any one of Bairstow, Prior, Broad or Swann stayed at the crease for seven or eight overs longer, we'd have won that game, drawn the series 1-1 & stayed at Number One. Come to that, had our fielders not dropped so many sitters (Amla alone, for example, profited to the tune of over 500 runs) during the series, we'd have emerged with a 2-1 victory.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2013, 12:21 GMT)

@Haris Usmani & others: I'm sure I'm not the only England supporter who's sick to the back teeth of being told by sneering ignoramuses who almost certainly didn't actually bother watching any of the action that England were 'humiliated' by South Africa last summer. Sure, we were comprehensively thrashed in the first Test at The Oval, but the second Test at Headingley ended with England only 123 runs away from victory with six second innings wickets in hand (would've been more if we hadn't taken a gung-ho approach at the start of the innings to make up for time lost to rain), while we were only beaten by 51 runs in the final Test at Lord's. Had any one of Bairstow, Prior, Broad or Swann stayed at the crease for seven or eight overs longer, we'd have won that game, drawn the series 1-1 & stayed at Number One. Come to that, had our fielders not dropped so many sitters (Amla alone, for example, profited to the tune of over 500 runs) during the series, we'd have emerged with a 2-1 victory.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 11, 2013, 11:24 GMT)

@Mitty2 on (March 11, 2013, 0:21 GMT) I'm not a fan of our media/ex players making silly predictions etc but they do it anyway. What I particularly didn't like about Mr Willis's comms was that he seemed to be passing off the 3-0 series prediction as that made by the players/staff. At least the other ex players weren't passing off their judgements/predictions as anything other than their own. Willis (unless any Eng player etc publicly predicted a whitewash) should be made to retract this as it gives our players an arrogance tag which is unjust/unfair if none of them have made any such predictions

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (March 11, 2013, 8:57 GMT)

I missed the action for two days (weekend) and not surprisingly Eng have drawn this. @5Wombats welcome back. hope you are doing fine now and we missed you in India series. As for this result lets admit Eng were also helped by rain and NZ attack is not pop gun. You can't expect them to repeat the same against a determined cook in second innings but then things would have been different if they had full 5 days of play. Compton might become more comfortable as the series progress. Given that there is no Bracewell it could well over be over for NZ in this series. But still hoping for a good contest.

Posted by Meety on (March 11, 2013, 2:48 GMT)

Great save by England. NZ had them in all sorts & regardless of the docile nature of the pitch (unusual in NZ), the Scoreboard pressure must of been immense. Happy for Compton, & will be interested to see how Root responds to his first blip in his International career. == == == No Bracewell for the 2nd Test will hurt NZs chances. == == == I think it would of been interesting if Cook declared a shade earlier so he had 10 overs at the NZ openers.

Posted by Mitty2 on (March 11, 2013, 0:21 GMT)

@JG2074, after years of being dominated by the Australians, all these ex English players are now coming out in force, inflating and unrealistically overstating the current English team's worth, and detrimenting others. Funnily enough, many of these english went all public before the SA series in this fashion, and this proved to bite them in the backside.

Michael Vaughan has reserved his reservations for the upcoming ashes, all though I do think he made a comment on the expected easy nature of this test series, but he's primarily been all about bagging Australia and ignoring the win loss record since the ashes (which is in aus' favor). All though it was spoken about in a joking context, even Andrew flintoff came out with predictions of 10-0. And I'm not even going to bother with boycott.

I remember a certain Glenn mgcrath predicting a 5-0 whitewash, and we all know how that turned out.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (March 10, 2013, 22:52 GMT)

@Drakester Bomber on (March 10, 2013, 20:47 GMT), that's very insightful, except that two England batsmen scored hundreds, another a fifty and there were two set batsmen still at the crease when the game ended. At least your last statement was on the money. England are looking good for the Ashes. Thanks for that admission at least.

Comments have now been closed for this article

TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
David HoppsClose
David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
Tour Results
New Zealand v England at Auckland - Mar 22-26, 2013
Match drawn
New Zealand v England at Wellington - Mar 14-18, 2013
Match drawn
New Zealand v England at Dunedin - Mar 6-10, 2013
Match drawn
NZ XI v England XI at Queenstown - Feb 27-Mar 2, 2013
NZ XI won by 3 wickets
New Zealand v England at Auckland - Feb 23, 2013
England won by 5 wickets (with 75 balls remaining)
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days
Sponsored Links

Why not you? Read and learn how!