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

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

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© 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.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 10, 2013, 21:51 GMT)

@Hira1 on (March 10, 2013, 15:02 GMT) You're right . "It is not possible for England to win without KP"

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 21:42 GMT)

to those predicting a 3-0 whitewash against kiwis and 10-0 against Australia, watch out. england is no good either. having been humiliated by saffas and pak, they will surely loose 3-4 tests to australia and both the ashes might actually be drawn, with australia winning the one in Australia and a possible drawn series in England. cricinfo, publish!!

Posted by Jaffa79 on (March 10, 2013, 21:19 GMT)

Well played NZ first and foremost. Whether they would have won had the first day not been washed out is debatable but they certainly won this match on points. I like the fact that England play attacking cricket in their middle order and lower middle order but sometimes, like in the first innings, you need a plan B; sometimes you need to rebuild, guts it out and accumilate. If NZ get Bracewell, big Jesse and Vettori in this side, they'd be a damn good team. That 'pop gun attack' would carve up the joke of a batting line up that the Aussies put out. Finn has a much better technique and more heart than that flat track bully Phil Hughes.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (March 10, 2013, 21:07 GMT)

@sonicattack That must have been a day's cricket to remember with the amazing England collapse and then the unexpected salvation in the form of Bustling Bob. There is no worse feeling in cricket than thinking that everything is under control and suddenly a natural #11 plays out of his skin as Bob Willis did that day.

It must have been pure frustration for New Zealand today although, two tours back the boot was on the other foot and it was England could not remove the #11 to win... Steve Finn must feel like a million dollars, but he'll probably never have an innings like that again in his life.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 20:59 GMT)

@5Wombats Nicely put. Having been dismissed quite a few times playing against Minehead, in Minehead, in club cricket, I can confirm it was bad luck and I was never out. ;)

Posted by Staunch_for_NZ on (March 10, 2013, 20:48 GMT)

All Kiwis knew England will respect the game second innings and lucky they did as NZ bowling attack has been world class for along time....bowling 20 wkts is not an issue usually it has been losses due to batting if you look back over last year....well the batting is looking like they are backing themselves again....NZ will feel they can push off from this weather shortened game and WIN the series.....NZ is set to start making inroads on the test rankings and England will help us nicely....we take this series then the two teams may meet neck and neck at 5&6 ranked....NZ 5 !! Nice game both teams

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 20:47 GMT)

England has to be saved by night watchman cause batsmen useless - looks good for the Ashes!

Posted by sonicattack on (March 10, 2013, 20:44 GMT) right you are (valiant tailenders are only enjoyable when they are on your own side)... was it only last year that Tino Best so infuriated us English supporters, but WI fans must have been over the moon. I know that Tino wasn't a nightwatchman but the same principle applies...and you mentioning Bob Willis, I was at the Oval that day, it was stirring stuff, Peter Willey played a blinder and Bob brought out his trademark hoick over cover. Anyway, I thought Finn did OK yesterday from what I saw, he may never do it again but sometimes once is enough and people will be talking about it whenever he comes into bat for the next few years.

Posted by 5wombats on (March 10, 2013, 20:18 GMT)

@DesPlatt - nice to talk. I'm not so sure about "luck" in cricket. Every time I get out in cricket it's bad luck - getting my off stump knocked back sucks, it's real bad luck. But every time I take an ugly swipe and it goes over the keepers head - that's just great batting... :-). I used to think that Chris Old was the unluckiest bowler in the world and that Dennis Lillie was the luckiest. Then one day (sitting in a park in Minehead in 1977 listening on my radio to Boycott getting his hundreth hundred...) I realised the truth which was that Lillie was just a fantastic bowler and that the difference between Old and Lillie had nothing to do with luck.... BTW I agree with you about Anderson (and Broad, he was unplayable too...) @Brisbane. That was amazing bowling on a nothing pitch and for zero reward.

Posted by king78787 on (March 10, 2013, 19:55 GMT)

Finn drew england the test. Thanks to him englan dmanaged to bat the required time, trott could get into form and a batting collaspe was prevented.

Posted by Munkeymomo on (March 10, 2013, 18:39 GMT)

@FFF: Give NZ credit for doing everything they could to win a 4 day match instead of posting patronising and belittling comments.

As a Somerset fan it was great to see Nick scoring but even better to see Finn getting a half century, well worth staying up for. Pitch was a bit poor but given another day there may have been a result, for whatever reason, so I wouldn't call it the worst I've seen. Nowhere near some of the roads I've seen in Sri Lanka (they produce a lot of sporting wickets but also some abysmal tracks too). Hope in the next test, England perform a bit better early doors but best of luck to the kiwis, their bowling doesn't look like they should be ranked 8th. Wagner was very impressive.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (March 10, 2013, 17:41 GMT)

England would have won without a doubt had this been a timeless test. The pitch was certainly a candidate for a timeless match: Nothing in it for bowlers at all. England won't make the rusty mistake 1st inns again, now they've shown 2nd inns they are firing again, and that despite leaving their brains in India, they've had them sent over on a first-class flight. Cook's critics must be getting a little irritated over Cook constantly proving himself the world's best test opener, and he's the captain too: You wouldn't find Michael Clarke of Australia taking on that kind of responsibility. Full credit to NZ though for bringing T20 cricket to the test arena.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (March 10, 2013, 17:35 GMT)

It was reasonably satisfactory to bat for 2 days to save that game after day 2 and as soon as Prior came to the wicket it seemed fairly obvious that we would save it okay. There was the spectre of a chance for NZ with Wagner getting life where no one else had a sniff. Good bowling by him. Trott played a great innings again and Finn was a revelation with his stoical defence and judicious shot selection-great effort. I agree with those who disliked the surface but that's the game-rich in variety. NZ usually give us a fright in most series we play. Will they orchestrate one or two more? They are at least combative, thankfully; I would rather see England have to fight than stroll to victory against them and walk away complacent and blasé.

Posted by jb633 on (March 10, 2013, 17:27 GMT)

@gsingh7- yet another brilliant analysis from you sir. I actually scroll through the forums just so I can check what you have posted. I then rely this on to the world as gospel. Honestly, keep coming and posting on England. We all wait in anticipation.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (March 10, 2013, 17:22 GMT)

@Gloucsfan (post on March 10, 2013, 15:59 GMT): So as not to damage the England bowling figures any further. That's all the selectors seem to go on at times...

Posted by samincolumbia on (March 10, 2013, 16:26 GMT)

Thanks to rain...saved England for the umpteenth time. Now the english fans will claim that they have the world's best all rounder in the world in

Posted by dropoutguy on (March 10, 2013, 16:24 GMT)

Curiously enough, it was this innings of 117 that made me think that Compton may have problems in Test cricket. Across the stumps, then a prod or a diagonal bat shot outside off..

I think he'll play on or nick off against good pace bowling. But there isn't that much good pace bowling in Test cricket right now.

Posted by Gloucsfan on (March 10, 2013, 15:59 GMT)

Why did we not bat for another half hour, then have half hour to try and get a couple of wickets?

Posted by Damo_s on (March 10, 2013, 15:40 GMT)

Well played in the end by England to save the match. Thats one in the eye to all the Australians expecting (hoping for) an innings defeat. Worry about your own team guys. Australia is the team with the biggest problems at the moment. Believe it.

Posted by KingOwl on (March 10, 2013, 15:31 GMT)

The first innings collapse shows how much of an impact the conditions can have. Reporters only write about how Asian batsmen struggle in seaming conditions. But the fact is that all batsmen do. It is just that some teams have bowling attacks which can leverage seaming conditions better.

Posted by Hira1 on (March 10, 2013, 15:02 GMT)

I hope KP is fit for the next match a big inning is due from him

Posted by JG2704 on (March 10, 2013, 14:49 GMT)

@anupamraj114 on (March 10, 2013, 13:49 GMT) Sorry bud and I'm not trying to say England are a great side or that they didn't beat a poorer Indian side in the last series than the one of yesteryear. Nor am I saying that SA are anything other than deserving of their number 1 status which they have proven by beating Aus and Eng in their back yards. However re your refs to SA "And winning just a single series in india dont make eng a great side. they have to win in uae nd sl which the current Sa team has done"

WHEN exactly? SA drew their last series in Ind 1-1 , drew the last series in UAE 1-1 and lost the last series in SL (albeit in 2006) 2-0. SA prob would beat India in India right now and SL in SL and Pak in UAE too but please , the current SA side have not done won in recent times in SL,Ind or UAE either

Posted by JG2704 on (March 10, 2013, 14:45 GMT)

@CricketingStargazer on (March 10, 2013, 12:17 GMT) I guess there are really no right or wrong ways here. If England had lost the test then it definitely would have seemed like the wrong tactic but by the same token , in the 1st inns , many of our batsmen lost wickets when playing relaxed/attacking shots. I'd also say it can depend on what sort of player you are naturally. For an attritional player like Nick to try and score quickly may be wrong just like a free flowing player like KP trying to play too defensively may be wrong. I think you have to judge on each individual player. To me someone like Bell doesn't do attrition too well and always looks less likely to get out when he is playing with more freedom

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 14:15 GMT)

Root is overrated. Let him play at least 30 innings across all forms then we can judge him. New Zealand will probably have no better chance to win now but give them all the credit for putting up a good fight.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 13:53 GMT)

Root or Compton ? . Me I'll go with those who know more about the game than most of us on here will ever do; the same people whose selections got us to #1. I'll also say this to those who are talking about a boring draw.... what would you sooner have... a attractive loss or an ugly draw. After their first innings debacle, and the NZ first innings, England were never in a position to go for the win, so the only choice was not to lose.

Posted by anupamraj114 on (March 10, 2013, 13:49 GMT)

@alarky....u forgot the days when eng were thrashed by pak. SA thrashed eng at home.5 years back eng were a side who didnt had courage to bark even at home. Even were beaten by india in eng when they toured last. Well every dog has its own day and this will continue . yesterday aus were great nd now saffas are. this trend will go on. And winning just a single series in india dont make eng a great side. they have to win in uae nd sl which the current Sa team has done. So think twice before comparing to SA.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (March 10, 2013, 13:39 GMT)

@SamuelH You are probably right on that, it must have changed the game plan when he didn't get out. Valient tail-enders are only enjoyable if they are in your own side, or you are neutral! I recall well Eddie Hemmings's 95* v Australia in 1983/84. Innings like that always drive the opposition to distraction! Another one that I recall was when Bob Willis scored 28* and partnered Peter Willey to a ton v West Indies, putting on well over 100 together. Or even Ken Higgs and Ray Illingworth coming together for Leics at 48-9 and putting on 200 before Higgs was run out for 98 chasing a batting bonus point!

It is a real change in method for Steve Finn because his previous 1st Class best of 34 came off about 20 deliveries! Once he got past lunch and the match was becoming safe I was expecting him to have some fun and start to slog a few: if he had, he might well have got a century, which at one point was on; as it was, by stopping scoring and blocking in the afternoon he killed his chances.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (March 10, 2013, 13:36 GMT)

@SamuelH on (March 10, 2013, 13:19 GMT), that SA series was severely affected by rain though. That said, NZ was still in the hunt to win one of those rain-affected games.

Posted by shillingsworth on (March 10, 2013, 13:33 GMT)

gsingh7 - Guptill, Vettori and Bracewell are all injured. Ryder is unavailable for selection. Brownlie played in this match. Apart from that, your advice to the NZ selectors makes perfect sense.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (March 10, 2013, 13:33 GMT)

So, bottom line, Finn-knee out-bats Pietersen on a flat deck. Now do you people understand my frustration with KP? Had that been Bell there would have been a much longer paragraph devoted to his failure, and many posters calling for his head.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 13:31 GMT)

This makes the series a far better prospect. Great stuff from New Zealand and they deserve more of a mention than they are getting. I suspect England are a little stronger even away from home there, but another few solid performances and the return of the likes of Guptill, Ryder, Vettori will make a hell of a difference to the closeness of this series. Despite it being a very dull game from day 2 onwards, it has done a great job of setting up the series.

Posted by SDHM on (March 10, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

@CricketingStargazer - despite how well he played, funnily enough I think Finn's innings had a lot to do with that. If he had been first out and Trott came in to bat with Compton, therefore having two batsmen together for most of the day, England would probably have scored quite a bit more quickly than they did - not rapidly certainly, but the runs would have flowed a bit easier. Hard to blame Finn though when he played such a massive role in saving the game and I enjoyed every stodgy block of it - there's nothing better than a nightwatchman scoring runs, just as there's nothing worse than a nightwatchman scoring runs against your team :P For those talking that this series would be a pushover for England, it's worth pointing out that South Africa only won 1-0 here last year - it was never going to be as easy as some people seemed to want to think. On to Wellington then!

Posted by gsingh7 on (March 10, 2013, 12:45 GMT)

nz after getting whitewashed in sa and whitewashed by dhoni and bcci's curators(selective watering and all) can return to old dark horses status by beating england 2-0 . bring back guptill vettori rider bracewell and brownie

Posted by alarky on (March 10, 2013, 12:31 GMT)

New Zealand has just completed a fluke. England will take care of themselves. They are one of the only two world class test playing countries who can hold their own anywhere now. The other is South Africa. All the others are like dogs that only bark when they are in their bark yards; or afraid to bark even in their backyards. I guess Steven Finn is riding high on his great success where by his name is in the record books as the one who caused the creation of the "Finn Law" to regulate No balls. Congrats Mr Finn!

Posted by JG2704 on (March 10, 2013, 12:23 GMT)

Finally - I will say how irritating Bob Willis's comms were re saying that Cook/Eng will have to revise thinking about Winning the series 3-0.

Maybe I'm wrong but I've not seen any predictions on the scoreline in the series from anyone in the England set up.

I'm not a fan of all these ex pros giving it the big one re scoreline predicting etc but at least Vaughan,Boycs etc have not passed off their own comms as though they were made by someone else

So Mr Willis , if want to say such things about winning 3-0 etc then fair enough , but please at least take responsibility for what you say and don't pass it off as something that came from the Eng players

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (March 10, 2013, 12:17 GMT)

@JG2704 Scoring slowly was a big risk. Two quick wickets at any time before Tea would have brought NZ right back into it. However, it is also true that had England batted a little more freely they could have lost wickets. As it is, I think that both sides will take positives (NZ being the reminder that they are very definitely not easy to beat at home and a couple of the bowlers will take home the scorecard and frame it - amazing economy and persistence). England will look at a decent batting performance on the last two days, but I still think that a little more effort could have been made to push the score along and leave NZ 25-30 overs to bat at the end. One thing is taking the opposition too lightly. Another is giving them too much respect :-). Today, England looked scared to lift a bat in anger.

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (March 10, 2013, 12:12 GMT)

I realise you are being sarcastic, @Mitty2, but the reality is that with an average of 7 runs an innings in 1st class cricket, Finn is a real bunny, flat wicket or no flat wicket.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 10, 2013, 12:11 GMT)

@Mitty2 on (March 10, 2013, 1:36 GMT) You were right about the pitch and it basically indicating how bad Eng played in the 1st inns. Re the comms about surviving the new ball vs Eng and that's it. - I'm sure if I/anyone could be bothered , there are a fair few examples of where we have started slowly with and dragged it back later in the day/inns Oh and re Broad only bowling well vs minnows - he was man of the series vs India (who were number 1 at the time and yes Ind were poor but there was nothing pre series to suggest the series was going to be a whitewash either way. Even in the UK summer of 2012 when Broad was way off form he took a 5 for vs SA and was also our star bowler in our last test win the last time we toured SA.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 10, 2013, 12:11 GMT)

@nlpdave - Nick still needs to prove alot at international level.However , I'll add to Munkeymomo's comms re Nick in that last season he played 6 of 8 away games (missed others - injury etc) Below are what Nick scored in the AWAY games he played

Notts 204 n/o Lancs 22,27 n/o Warwicks 5,133 Middx 1,69 n/o Worcs 108 Surrey 83,150

Last season Nick averaged around 100 in div 1 and Jonny/Joe around 50 in div 2.

There are reasons why you could play Root at 2 and inc Jonny in the side (as a more attacking move) and Root may be the naturally better player - and time will tell but right now Root has scored a 50 in 4 Eng inns , Nick has scored a ton and a 50 in 10. Nick scored his ton on prob the easiest of pitches but under massive pressure with so many talking about his place being up for grabs. Joe has done well so far but while scoring a 50 on debut in India is no mean feat , it was on the best batting track of the series and he was coming into a winning , confident side

Posted by Mitty2 on (March 10, 2013, 12:02 GMT)

@thebigboodha but that wouldn't make sense, because us English supporters are now going back on our words and now stating that it's a terrific perfomance from us to salvage a draw! I'm sure that before this test started, I, like many English supporters, knew that us beig ranked number 2 and NZ being 8th would bare an accurate foreboding for us getting a whitewash. We all said that this was also going to forebode the ashes because we were going to destroy a team six rankings below us.

But because we were obliterated in the first two days, we are know world beaters because we salvaged a draw against an 8th ranked bowling attack on a dead pitch! I think you forget that because we struggled against them, they are now, in our collective minds, automatically good, which coincidentally, makes us even better because we kept them out for two days!

Despite having lost three more tests than aus before the indian series and it now being one, and being destroyed by pak, SA and SL, we are better.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 10, 2013, 12:01 GMT)

@CricketingStargazer on (March 10, 2013, 8:33 GMT) Think you're a bit harsh there. It was a poor day's spectacle but a job done which was the main thing. Also (maybe clutching at straws a little here) keeping NZ out in the field for that amount of time may leave them (bowlers) a little jaded for the next game. While it may have been good to put NZ back in and get a few wickets , our bowlers will have best part of 2 days extra rest and when the next test is so close it could be a good thing

Posted by JG2704 on (March 10, 2013, 12:01 GMT)

Well played NZ , As Cook himself said , Eng were lucky to escape with a draw.

Re the game itself , the 1st inns (Eng inns) was the difference between the 2 sides. Eng batted extremely poorly and I'm not saying NZ didn't bowl well but I felt they bowled at least as well (if not better) in the 2nd inns with less reward due to a combo of slight fortune and Eng batting better. It'll be interesting to see how NZ respond to this. Will they take the positives from it in that they scored well against Eng (bar Swann) 1st choice attack or will they feel a little depleted in that they couldn't make the breakthroughs earlier in the 2nd inns?

Posted by DesPlatt on (March 10, 2013, 12:00 GMT)

5wombats. I agree with all of your comment except one aspect. There is loads of luck in cricket in an individual match. If a player is given long enough in a team, luck will even out. However, a player can be good enough to touch a ball which a lesser player will miss. I really need to say no more than that; the whole game is a fascinating mix of luck and skill. No one who watched Jimmy Anderson's first innings bowling at Brisbane in the last Ashes series would ever say there was no luck in cricket. He was simply too good for Aussie batsman to get a touch. It is how you respond to the outrageous bad luck you can have in cricket that proves a player and there Jimmy proved a champion.

Posted by 5wombats on (March 10, 2013, 11:34 GMT)

Amazing knock by Finn! People might say England were lacklustre and did not take New Zealand seriously. Maybe so. Fact is the kiwis outplayed us. NZ were better than England in the first digs. Only in England's second dig did England finally wake up. Lesser teams would have melted like chocolate soldiers. People might say we were lucky to get out with a draw. There is no such thing as luck in cricket but there is such a thing as class and both England openers hitting tons in a dire situation like that is class. Especially pleased for Compton - but well played to both sides in a competitive match. More please!

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 11:31 GMT)

I am fed up as an England supporter being called arrogant and complacent.i think you will find that most of the condescending comments posted were either by neutrals or posters masquerading as English. Any true England fan doesnt take any opposition lightly as we know exactly what can occur. I think New Zealand were very competitive I think that we were fortunate that our woeful first effort was not punished more severely and I look forward to the remaining tests. I am proud of my team when they battle through there is nothing wrong with that,but have said before I dont make disrepectful predictions about whitewashes and neither do the majority of real England fans.

Posted by 2nd_Slip on (March 10, 2013, 11:10 GMT)

Lucky escape for Eng in the end and very disapointing from a NZ point of veiw this was their best chance of a big victory because from here on i expect Eng to roll them over in the remaining tests.

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (March 10, 2013, 11:05 GMT)

If your best bowlers take more than 200 deliveries to get out a 6' 7" pace bowler who has scored a total of 70 runs in 18 tests, you know why you are ranked no 8.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (March 10, 2013, 10:36 GMT)

I find this tendency by so-called neutral posters to come on here and mock teams disturbing. You should treat opponents with respect. How would some of these posters feel if the same comments were made about their own team? In New Zealand conditions the New Zealand attack has shown that it can look after itself. The batting is more irregular, but there are players like McCullum (he always scores runs against England) and Taylor who have shown that they are top class and Rutherford has made the finest start possible.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 10:29 GMT)

another day's play and NZ could have conjured up a way to lose this game. My prediction NZ will get hammered in the next two games.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 10:19 GMT)

Good to close out the Test without any real worry on this last day. Excellent effort by Finn, but to lose a wicket to a run out? Poor. England will have to make the most of their luck here in the next two Tests.

Posted by Munkeymomo on (March 10, 2013, 10:18 GMT)

@nlpdave: Taunton was not a batsmans paradise last year, it was a minefield in some games. He still scored shedloads.

Posted by Mitty2 on (March 10, 2013, 9:59 GMT)

@brussellion, I said that satirically as the NZ Attack performed and bowled out your settled line up for 160, despite many of the English supporters saying that they were a 'pop gun attack' and the English batsmen would dominate easily, and this, obviously, wasn't the case in both innings.

Complacency and taking the opposition lightly goes hand in hand. Disrespect for the opposition is a result of complacency. Frankly, england took NZ lightly because they were complacent.

Posted by brusselslion on (March 10, 2013, 9:54 GMT)

With all this innovation going on, it's good to know that some things remain constant: Yet another @gsingh7 prediction - NZ to win by an innings - bites the dust. Mate, it's time to face the fact that you need to get another career. A tipster, you ain't!

Posted by Simoc on (March 10, 2013, 9:50 GMT)

NZ will be happy with that effort. I think the batters should do better though. Again they get from 25 to 35 so they're in and comfortable but don't go on. The mentality needs to change so they feel comfortable at 50.

Posted by brusselslion on (March 10, 2013, 9:48 GMT)

@gsingh7; @mitty: I also think that you are being a little harsh on NZ calling their attack ' pop gun'; it's not world beating but, as they showed in the 1st innings, with a bit of help from the batsman, they can do a job. I also don't think that England took NZ lightly, rather it was the fact that having so comprehensively and easily won their last Test series, complacency set in and England would have struggled here against any opposition. This was a welcome wake-up call that not all Test series are as easily won as the one we played at the end of last year.

Posted by Prawnburger on (March 10, 2013, 9:47 GMT)

@jmcilhinney. Day five is set in the context of the wider test. Both sides batted on a near-identical pitch, so I would say NZ's effort is a very relevant comparison.

Posted by ncurd on (March 10, 2013, 9:38 GMT)

@nlpdave except the majority of his runs last season were scored away, I think he managed to score a century or close to at every Test ground. Except where? Oh yeah Headingly because the 'immense' Root was scoring runs at a less rate against second division attacks. Compton fully deserves his chance and I've yet to see a compelling argument to why he should be dropped. Yes Root is talented no doubt about it but wouldn't it be better for him to learn his craft @6 then get promoted once one of the current openers gets dropped for poor form or retires?

As for Bairstow he's understudy to Prior he might get a chance to bat now and then but won't take a permanent place until Priors retirement. His job is to keep his FC record up to fend off the attack of the multitude of WK/Batsman currently vying for a place in the England team. Top of that is Buttler whos yet to replicate List A form in FC...yet.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (March 10, 2013, 9:28 GMT)

Captain Cook's critics must get bored of him constantly proving himself the Best Test Opener in the world. And Steven Finn is a better batsman than the enitre Indian and Australian test teams combined.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (March 10, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

@nlpdave In a word, no. Here's a fact-check for you.

Nick Compton, like his grandfather and great-Uncle before him, played for Middlesex and it was there that he broke into England U19s and then into England Lions after a fine Middlesex season (standard route into the Test side). By that time he was right on the England radar. Unfortunately, he was then caught up in the fall-out of the very unpleasant events around the Middlesex dressing room and his form fell right off again. He went to Somerset in 2010 to get himself back on the England radar. And he most certainly did not make himself a prime candidate to replace Andrew Strauss by taking advantage of small boundaries and flat pitches to score twice as may runs as anyone else by the end of May last season because everyone was struggling with the conditions.

Posted by brusselslion on (March 10, 2013, 8:59 GMT)

@gsingh7; @mitty: I also think that you are being a little harsh on NZ calling their attack ' pop gun'; it's not world beating but, as they showed in the 1st innings, with a bit of help from the batsman, they can do a job. I also don't think that England took NZ lightly, rather it was the fact that having so comprehensively and easily won their last Test series, complacency set in and England would have struggled here against any opposition. This was a welcome wake-up call that not all Test series are as easily won as the one we played at the end of last year.

Posted by Tom_Bowler on (March 10, 2013, 8:58 GMT)

If Broad only bowls well against the minnows he'll be licking his lips at the prospect of back to back Ashes series.

Decent performance to bat out for a draw given that was all we had to play for but that pitch was so flat, makes our batting in the first innings look even worse and the Kiwis efforts with the ball more impressive. Commentators were suggesting the next two tracks will have a bit more life.

Posted by Essex_Man on (March 10, 2013, 8:55 GMT)

Perfect final two days from England after a sloppy start to the Test. Shame the rained-off first day has robbed us of the win.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (March 10, 2013, 8:48 GMT)

@Geremy Schofield on (March 10, 2013, 8:30 GMT), in case you hadn't noticed, this report is about this day specifically. As far as I'm aware, NZ didn't bat today so why would there be anything about NZ's batting?

Posted by nlpdave on (March 10, 2013, 8:48 GMT)

Ironically, Compton's performance flatters and may only serve to delay the far better potential of Joe Root opening and Bairstow at six. I only hope the management recognise that Compton's hundred has to be balanced with Finn's fifty and his pre-test pedigree was largely created at Somerset, great pitch and small ground. For me he is far too tentative in defence and whilst it would be good for England if he continues to deliver three figure totals I really don't see that happening. It therefore only remains to see how long 'his turn' will last before they actually choose the better player.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (March 10, 2013, 8:46 GMT)

As for NZ, they'll be pleased to have put in a performance that had them holding the upper hand from the word go but disappointed to have missed out on what's probably their best chance of a win this series. Some NZ fans said before the game that it was a bad idea to play a Test at Dunedin because the likelihood of rain was just too high and they have been proven correct. The lifeless pitch didn't help their cause either. With England capitulating so meekly in the first innings, a bit of life in the pitch could have guaranteed a result. Maybe NZ wouldn't have taken as big a lead but England likely would not have been able to stonewall for two days either. More life in the pitches will help the NZ bowlers but probably hinder their batsmen even more. Rutherford looked good but had his share of luck so they can't rely on that every time. I think NZ will continue to fight admirably but I just see an improved England being too strong.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (March 10, 2013, 8:38 GMT)

Lots to think about for both teams after that game. While I didn't think it would be the case, it looks like England went into this game with one eye on the next Ashes and underestimating NZ. They've been shown in great style how dangerous that can be so I don't see it happening again. They will no doubt all knuckle down and look to be at their best for the remainder of the series. KP looked very scratchy and his form is a concern but he's the type who can turn it on at any time. If he is hurt then maybe Bairstow comes in and we all know what happened last time that happened, so it may not be the worst thing in the world. Root is the only other major concern but the fact that he was run out in the second innings means that you can't read too much into his duck. They'll be looking for more from the bowlers too but the remaining pitches should have a little more life. The other big issue is the fielding. They need not to get into the habit of dropping easy catches again.

Posted by IndiaNumeroUno on (March 10, 2013, 8:33 GMT)

Excellent batting display by Compton, Cook (and Finn!). For the Kiwis there will be a lot of positives to take. I'm sure England will not consider them as "minnows" for rest of the series. Hopefully we will get some results for the test matches. Looks like there are proportionally more results on Indian pitches recently than supposedly seaming/ bouncy/ pacy pitches abroad!!

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (March 10, 2013, 8:33 GMT)

I was disappointed by this final day. Fine batting by Trott and Finn (who I thinik has amazed everyone with his concentration and application, especially his Middlesex teammates who comment that he went a full month last season without scoring a run), but it was all a bit flat. England crawled along so slowly that there was never any chance of even a token declaration. Nick Compton batted on for a long time, but didn't go on to that really big score that he deserved. No other batsman really took advantage of the situation. And New Zealand worked hard, but showed themselves to be a bit limited and just as willing as England to sit back and let things happen, rather than try to make them happen.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 8:30 GMT)

This reporting is incredibly biased - a tedious labour for a draw being portrayed as some kind of victory. Where's the credit for a great performance from NZ? Remember, NZ bowled them for 167 then scored more than England's second innings-recovery in 60 overs less on a pitch that didn't change. Overall this test was a poor performance from a side ranked number two, and a strong showing from the eighth.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (March 10, 2013, 8:27 GMT)

Poor Gsingh7 still hasnt gotten over the absolute thrashings England dished out to india (4-0 & 2-1). Cheer up matey, theres no shame in being beaten by the best

Posted by jmcilhinney on (March 10, 2013, 8:25 GMT)

@Beige_and_blue on (March 10, 2013, 4:25 GMT), while NZ may well have won had there not been time lost to rain, to say that a decisive win to NZ was guaranteed is over-stating the matter somewhat. England still had two recognised batsmen at the crease who could have done quite a bit of damage on this pitch. It's also important to remember that England were batting for the draw right from the word go in their second innings. If there had been another day available then a win would still have been a possibility if they batted well so they would not have crawled along the way they did. Considering that NZ were gifted about 140 runs in their first innings courtesy of dropped catches, a target in the vicinity of 350 may have been a stiff challenge. NZ definitely had the upper hand but they've had that wrested from them before. All three results were possible.

Posted by wakemeupbeforeyougogo on (March 10, 2013, 8:20 GMT)

Great to see a NZ'der on debut show some steel. Good on England for batting through, however another day's play might have been interesting. NZ just lacked a bowler with some fire power, a shame Bracewell didn't play. Lets hope NZ presents some green seaming wickets for the next two tests as it will really test England. Guys like Southee and Boult are a handful on a seaming pitch. I agree, Mccullum seems to have the team on track, lets hope they keep it up for the next test. It's going to be hard to drop a bowler for the next one if Bracewell is fit, they all bowled well. Personally, I'd probably drop Wagner but a hard call none the less.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (March 10, 2013, 8:18 GMT)

@Mitty2 on (March 10, 2013, 1:36 GMT), while they may not be the best in the world, only a fool or a spiteful opposition fan would call NZ's bowling attack pop-gun. As for how England would have fared against SA or Australia, I'd say significantly better because, while I doubted it before the series, I think that England just took NZ far too lightly and were looking ahead to the Ashes instead of putting 100% into the job at hand.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (March 10, 2013, 8:17 GMT)

This was one rusty England, getting themselves out first innings and then bowling too short on a dead deck. A pitch on which that they turned up to the ground on day 2 thinking they were gonna put their feet up for a few days, only to hit every ball to a fielder. They certainly picked their moment to get lazy against a 20-20-blooded NZ attack, which has had an outstanding game. New Zealand used England's 1st Innings uncharacteristic (just ask any Aussie or Indian fan for starters :) and catatonic laziness against them superbly, playing a 20-20 innings' in a test match on a very flat pitch. Full credit to Rutherford and Mccullum, who is much better suited to doing what Michael Clarke does in batting down at 5 or 6 to face a tired attack and stay away from the new ball. 20-20 has changed cricket for the better.

Posted by 22many on (March 10, 2013, 8:00 GMT)

problem for NZ was the Englands number ten batted for over 200 balls.....couldnt get him out ....just shows, even with all the so called aggresive field placings and such proactive captaincy, nz failed to knock over a number ten and put themselves in a winning postion. Have a feeling this was their only chance in the series.

Posted by gsingh7 on (March 10, 2013, 7:59 GMT)

@ mitty -- yes , if nz pop gun attack was any good they wud have won match. rain saved england, again. hope nz win next 2 to win series 2-0

Posted by pommy80 on (March 10, 2013, 7:53 GMT)

Great response by a great team, chasing the match. Although it was a draw, it was far from comfortable. Good to see the top order get some extra time in the middle, although Pietersen's form is worrying going into the second test, but im sure he can turn things around. Credit to NZ performance, nearly was enough to pull off a famous win.

Posted by Blokker on (March 10, 2013, 6:50 GMT)

Still very disappointed with the reporting on this game. Thought it might improve, but it's actually gotten worse. Just look at the first word of each paragraph to see where the bias lies. Steve Finn - Finn - England - Pietersen - Pietersen - Finn - He (i.e. Fiinn) - Finn - England - Compton - Trott - England. So what is there to say except well done Finn England Pietersen Compton Trott England Trott England Finn for salvaging a draw were you playing again? Was there another team involved? I guess we'll never know.

Posted by Thefakebook on (March 10, 2013, 6:39 GMT)

There you go the English proving that they are way better than NZ job well done(clap clap).I'm a huge S.Finn fan nice to see the big guy get a test 50.Hope he takes lot wickets next test (minus the dead balls).And yes I'm a life long OZ fan but I also like out and out quicks like Steyn,Best,M.Irfan,and all OZ quicks Pat Cummins,James Pattinson,Starc,Hazelwood,Nannes,Tait,Paris,Sandhu and so on.

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (March 10, 2013, 6:29 GMT)

Well done england you got your draw, you didn't deserve it but you don't roll over for anyone and showed your class so for that you should be congratulated. Behind the whole test and still didn't lose thats tough to do. Black caps seem to be a tighter knit group under McCullum and seem to be playing as a team instead of individuals, his captaincy was inventive and proactive so there is some real positives for nz cricket fans. Maybe McCullum can recreate that fighting culture we were once famous for. Well done black caps, more of the same in wellington please, don't let your standards slip.

Posted by Glenn10 on (March 10, 2013, 6:20 GMT)

Another 4 hours and England was gone. Well batted gents and well bowled even though you have been accused of being "a Pop Gun attack". I acknowledge our attack needs a tearaway, however we are not that far behind Englands attack on paper. A class spinner is probably our downfall with Vettori out. At the moment where we will struggle to equal England is batting on a pitch that does something. Cook, Trott, Bell and Co look to have the edge on our guys and their records back it up. One prediction though - Trent Boult will have his day in the sun either in Wellington or Auckland with a 5 wicket bag. He bowled reasonably fast, and moved it both ways on a docile pitch without luck. He could become something special in the next few years. Moral victories mean little, but in this case we'll take it!

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (March 10, 2013, 6:10 GMT)

Great responce by the team. Once again Captain Cook grabs the bull by the horns & leads by example, from the front.

Posted by Mitty2 on (March 10, 2013, 6:05 GMT)

@optic that makes sense, discounting our bowling attack entirely based on one performance when john Hastings was in the attack.. John Hastings. Let us not forget that when starc and johnson are in the same attack; one of two things are inevitable, either the batting gets trounced for 200 or less, or the bowling gets trounced for above 500. The attack is much better when one or the other is in the attack (see Hobart or Melbourne). And please, since when are scores of 550+ and 600+ not 'piling them up'?SA are undoubtedly the best, but we actually competed with them.

To everyone who has been rather aggrevated about my comment, there is barely anything in it denigrating England, with panesar's darts historically and statistically only being successful in the sub continent and panesar not performing when the sole spinner.

Finn is either a hit or a miss, and struggles with the older bowl, Anderson is a swing king but bowls 130-135 k, and broad is broad (only bowls well against 'minnows'.)

Posted by simon_w on (March 10, 2013, 6:02 GMT)

I wonder what NZ might have had to chase if there'd been a fifth day? 130 runs ahead with five wickets remaining (and one of those gone being the nightwatchman) going in to a final day. A 200 run lead going in to the final innings of a Test has won far more matches than it's lost... If England hadn't had its now-habitual collapse in the first innings of the first Test in away series, NZ would have been under a lot of pressure, I think.

Posted by landl47 on (March 10, 2013, 5:32 GMT)

Well, England escaped with a draw, but they'll know what a lacklustre performance this was. The first innings was appalling, the bowling had little penetration and the plan was almost non-existent. If it wasn't for Finn as a batsman (his bowling wasn't up to much) they might well have lost. As for Bell trying to run short singles when the sole object was to play out time, where was his mind? No wonder Root wasn't prepared for that.

New Zealand played much better than England and if the pitch hadn't been as dead as a dodo (that phrase actually means something in NZ!) they might well have won. Strangely enough, it will be England who finishes the game happier, since the series is still 0-0, when it could and should have been 1-0 NZ.

Let's hope England go into the second test with a better approach. Just turning up isn't enough.

@Mitty2: 'survive the new ball against England and you'll quickly get on top'- so you're not optimistic about Australia's chances, then?

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 5:29 GMT)

Thank God for Steve Finn. Had he not taken 35 overs out of the last-day equation off his own bat, England would probably have gone down with barely more than a whimper. As it was, Ian Bell, exquisitely gifted though he is, yet again provided compelling evidence that there sits, where his cricketing brain should reside, a gigantic brain-shaped marshmallow, while KP again looked listless & lacking in focus. Having said that, however, it's exactly at times like this that he tends to respond by raising his batsmanship to the level of an art form. Beware a chastened KP at Wellington & Auckland.

For New Zealand, by contrast, there were far more plusses than minuses. Rutherford looks as if he might just be the missing piece of the top-order jigsaw that's bedevilled the Kiwis since Mark Richardson retired, McCullum's self-demotion has freed him up to play his natural game again, Martin looks like a more than adequate stand-in for Dan Vettori & all three seamers were hugely impressive.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 5:25 GMT)

Jonathan Trott, like he always does, has scored 45 and 52 in this match in the shadow of the others!! A class act and also a very technical guy!!

Posted by Optic on (March 10, 2013, 5:20 GMT)

@ Ranjit S Gulvady Good post and nice to here a opposition fan give credit where it's due, cheers.

Posted by Optic on (March 10, 2013, 5:17 GMT)

@Simon Timothy LOL because NZ playing away is the same as playing them at home, get some knowledge it helps. SA only managed 1-0 in a 23 test series .As a WI fan I would seriously pipe down, joke side for years and how many test have you won against us the past few years.

It's amazing all these fans of other teams who are scrapping the bottom of the rankings and far worse than England have some bare face cheek to try to have a dig, especially having just come from a series where we just rolled over India. If I was this lot I'd keep stum till the end of the series.

Posted by Optic on (March 10, 2013, 5:09 GMT)

@Beige_and_blue NZ played well but steady on bud, there's no way this was a forgone conclusion at all if we had 5 full days cricket. Apart from the fact we have 2 batsmen at the crease, the biggest thing is we wouldn't have gone at a snails pace if there was an extra day to go and also there's no way of telling how any runs England would have accumulated. For all you know, these last 2 at the crease plus what left could have taken the lead over 300, we saw how easy it was for our No.11 to bat. Then lets get it straight, is there anything in the last 12 months that suggests that NZ would have chased down over 300 no problem on a 5th day pitch. Enjoy the draw but don't get too carried away.

Posted by Optic on (March 10, 2013, 5:02 GMT)

@Mitty2 Us messing up a first inning of a away series is nothing new, it's how you comeback from it shows how good you are. Just like in India & SL even the last Ashes 517-1, we are good at coming back from poor starts, not always but more often than not. I can only imagine if Oz was on England's situation, they wouldn't have saved the test no way. Also this NZ 'pop gun attack' is very similar to the one that beat you at home and drew a series.

The bowlers you keep hyping up had huge trouble getting 20 wickets against SA didn't you, the only time you did was after they'd put 569 on. Bird has only played against a poor SL side.

Also you're great idea is lacking in one key area, you're not SA and are nowhere near as good as as them. You think you're lot will be able to see off the new ball and pile the runs up, come on they can't even do it in home conditions and couldn't in 09. You're also discounting Panesar because of that pitch, even the best spinners would have struggle on it.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 4:37 GMT)

Mitty2 take some humble pie mate It might have been different had we had Mitchell McGlenhagen in the side. He is far from pop gun. Besides our 'pop gun attack' bowled you out for 160 odd.

Posted by Beige_and_blue on (March 10, 2013, 4:36 GMT)

Mitty2: remember also that NZ's 'popgun attack' destroyed australia at the last meeting, in Hobart 13 months ago!

Posted by Beige_and_blue on (March 10, 2013, 4:25 GMT)

SO Mitty2 You continue to insult the NZ bowlers who were more effective and incisive in both innings than their English counterparts, are critical of a pitch which would have seen a decisive victory for NZ in 5 days had the rain not interfered and proceed to then tell us something irrelevant about another game played in difficult conditions. clearly you do not have a firm grasp on logic. I quote a well written and thought out article by a sensible English journalist: "But if we put aside all the waffle about complacency, lack of preparation, inauspicious horoscopes, global warming, or Stuart Broad's misaligned chakras, there is a simpler explanation for proceedings in Dunedin. New Zealand are playing better. Ergo, at the moment, they are the better team. This seems a far better approach than deciding beforehand which team is better, then trying to work out why they aren't winning.:

Posted by Porky_PigTheToon on (March 10, 2013, 4:19 GMT)

@ Lmaotsetung

lol; Agreed. He should bat at No. 4 as he has good technique unlike KP :p

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 4:11 GMT)

@RandyOZ: Where've you disappeared? Every good team is allowed a bad day. And the fact is England bounced back. As an Indian fan, it pains me to say this, but England and SA are the only 2 teams who're playing good test cricket. The rest of us are pure trash. Much as I'd want Australia to win the ashes, i fear you'll get walloped both home and away.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 4:06 GMT)

England fans could try and look at the positives but at the end of the day you drew a test match with a side that was whitewashed on flat tracks by westindies and destroyed by SF. poor just poor england

Posted by shortsillypoint on (March 10, 2013, 4:05 GMT)

Needed a day 5 - England escape

Posted by Lmaotsetung on (March 10, 2013, 2:27 GMT)

Eng got the all rounder they've been searching since Freddy retired!!!

Posted by Mitty2 on (March 10, 2013, 1:36 GMT)

That Steven Finn who averaged 10 before this innings can score a 50, and that NZ could muster up a score of 400 plus is indicative of how dead this pitch is. And both of these in retrospect, plus the nature of the NZ's pop gun attack, goes to show how pathetic england's first innings performance is. But kudos to them on replying in the second innings; something that Australia couldnt do in Hyderabad, albeit on a spin bowler's paradise.

I can only imagine how England wouldve fared against aus or SA in the 1st innings, morkel, steyn and philander, or pattinson, starc and bird wouldve been licking their lips.

With the inevitable draw, three ideas are evoked for me about the forthcoming ashes: survive the new ball against England and you'll quickly get on top (see SA's 600/2), panesar can only prosper on helpful conditions and shouldn't never be the sole spinner, and all though Clarke has scored many more runs than cook in 2012/13; cook is more effective, as he's at the top of the order

Posted by Tal_Botvinnik on (March 10, 2013, 1:16 GMT)

What a masterstroke by Chef! Brilliant innings by Compton,Cook,Trott and ... England's new no.3 Finn.

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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.
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