New Zealand v England, 2nd Test, Wellington, 2nd day

England ahead after making 465

The Report by David Hopps

March 15, 2013

Comments: 52 | Text size: A | A

New Zealand 66 for 3 (Broad 2-18) trail England 465 (Trott 121, Compton 100, Prior 82, Pietersen 73, Martin 4-130) by 399 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Matt Prior's fifty took England past 450, New Zealand v England, 2nd Test, Wellington, 2nd day, March 15, 2013
Matt Prior's attacking half-century, followed by wickets with the new-ball, secured the day for England © Getty Images
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An intriguing second day at Basin Reserve, which billowed one way then another in the buffeting Wellington wind, finally settled in England's favour as they took three top-order New Zealand wickets to take control of the second Test.

New Zealand's bowlers, under the cosh when the day began at 267 for 2, had made light of their onerous workload of the past week, sustained by some resilient left-arm spin from Bruce Martin, whose slower pace produced figures of 4 for 130 and a degree of turn not matched by Monty Panesar later in the day, and some determinedly enterprising captaincy in the face of adversity by Brendon McCullum.

But it all came to naught as Matt Prior advanced his reputation as one of the most dangerous wicketkeeper-batsmen of the modern era with a counter-attacking 82 from 99 balls. However much Tim Southee, the senior member of New Zealand's attack, had insisted after the first Test in Dunedin that "bodies were recharged," under Prior's assault they drained faster than an old Galaxy Ace.

England then inflicted further wounds with the ball. Peter Fulton succumbed to some aggressive new-ball bowling, clumping footwork causing him to edge James Anderson to slip, then just as New Zealand seemed to have weathered the storm, Stuart Broad picked up two wickets in successive balls. If Hamish Rutherford left rueing a poor shot, Broad cleaned up Ross Taylor first ball in impressive fashion.

An improving weather forecast, which now suggests the rain that a drought-stricken city is longing for may be delayed until Monday, will invite England optimism that there is still time to force victory.

This was all hard on New Zealand, whose four-strong attack had struck back gamely on the second morning. Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell and Joe Root all succumbed as England, superior overnight at 267 for 2, leant heavily on Kevin Pietersen and later Prior to complete their innings at tea content with their lot.

Smart stats

  • England's total of 465 is their highest in Wellington and the ninth highest by a visiting team at the venue. In each of their last three Tests in New Zealand, England have passed 400.
  • Matt Prior's 82 is his highest score in Tests against New Zealand. In 14 innings since the Test at The Oval against South Africa, Prior has scored six half-centuries at an average of 50.84. Three of those have come in away Tests.
  • The number of fifty-plus scores made by Prior (31) is just four short of the England record of 35 held by Alan Knott. Adam Gilchrist leads the overall list with 43 fifty-plus scores.
  • Ross Taylor's duck is only his third (second first-ball duck) in Tests. All three ducks have come since the start of 2011.
  • Taylor becomes the 14th New Zealand top-order (1-7) batsman to be dismissed for a first-ball duck against England.

New Zealand had bowled 170 overs in the second innings in Dunedin, in a valiant but failed attempt to force victory, and had only two wickets to show for another 90 overs on the first day in Wellington. The first day had belonged to Nick Compton and Trott, but Compton had departed late on the opening day and Trott followed to his first ball of the morning, and the seventh of the day, when he feathered a catch to the wicketkeeper.

Southee began with an impressive spell as England mustered only 17 in the first 10 overs. He had little luck as Bell's edge fell short of the slips and Pietersen top-edged a hook through the despairing fingers of the wicketkeeper, BJ Watling. He spent a short time off the field because he was feeling sick and when he finished wicketless he must have been feeling sicker still.

Pietersen responded to the arrival of the left-arm spinner Martin by driving his first ball for six, but any ambitions that Martin would provide England with an outlet were also stymied. Only with lunch approaching did Pietersen seem to get Martin's measure.

Bell had an attack of the Ahmedabads. He had fallen first ball to the left-arm spinner, Pragyan Ojha in Ahmedabad, dancing down the pitch to try to loft him over the top in what smacked off a crazily preconceived plan. It was far from the first ball this time - he had batted for more than an hour - but the outcome was just the same as he failed to deposit Martin down the ground and Fulton ran back from mid-off to hold a neat, swirling catch.

Martin, tossing the ball high, found appreciable turn, and he also unpicked Root, who tried to carve him through cover off the front foot and edged a turning delivery to slip. It was an ugly, misconceived shot and Root stomped off with a farmer's gait. His start to international cricket has been something of a fairy story and disappointments such as this are inevitable.

Pietersen has been variously ailing, the knee trouble which hampered him in Dunedin now joined by a dicky back which he stretched gingerly during his innings. He seems in the sort of state where he should not grip an autograph hunter's pen too tightly. But there was danger in his vulnerable body and he reached 73 before he was goaded into trying to hit Martin over the infield and, even with a strong wind behind him, picked out Fulton halfway back to the boundary at mid-off.

Prior fell shortly before tea, denied a seventh Test century that would have taken him only one behind England's most productive century-maker among England wicketkeepers, Les Ames, by Neil Wagner's springing catch to intercept a reverse sweep, denied it, too, by the recognition that England had no plans to bat beyond the interval.

Predictably, Prior peppered the boundary square on the off side for his fifty, but his range expanded after that. Barely a ball had disappeared down the ground throughout the series so when Prior despatched Wagner for straight sixes in successive overs it could not have summed up more resoundingly how he had changed the mood. On 46, he successfully reviewed umpire Asad Rauf's lbw verdict as he swept at Martin, replays revealing a thin under-edge.

Alongside Prior, the Watford Wall offered shelter. Steven Finn's nightwatchman heroics to save the Test in Dunedin had brought his batting new respect and he contributed 24 to a stand of 83 in 20 overs, unveiling a sturdy slog-sweep against Martin, before he drove Wagner into the off side.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by JG2704 on (March 16, 2013, 9:05 GMT)

@SirViv1973 on (March 15, 2013, 17:13 GMT) re JB - 2 significant contributions in the same test. Root has made 1 significant contribution in 2.5 tests so they're probably on a par right now although Joe is in possession right now. Having said that , it didn't do Jonny any favours. After his test vs SA , he was dropped for Patel who never showed anything with bat or ball in tests , then came back in and got a bad decision in the 1 inns he played and was out again

Posted by Greatest_Game on (March 16, 2013, 1:01 GMT)

@ Samroy. Sushant_H and NixNixon are right. de Villiers is the better keeper.

Records & stats for Prior & AB

Records: Most dismissals/inngs: Both 6. Most dismissals/match - AB (jointly) has the RECORD - 11. Prior's best - 8 (AB also has 8) Most catches/inns - both 6. Most Catches/Match - AB (jointly) has the RECORD. Prior not even listed! Highest inns total WITHOUT conceding a bye - AB on records list TWICE. Prior not listed. MOST BYES CONCEDED in an innings: Prior - 2nd (35), 3rd (33) & 9th (25). AB NOT on list. (Records @ http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/records/index.html?category=5;class=1)

Stats: The 2 main stats for keepers: MD - Most Dismissals/inngs & D/I (average Dismissals per Innings) Prior- Most Dismissals/inngs 6. Dismissals per Innings (ave), 1.634 AB (as keeper) - Most Dismissals/inngs 6. Dismissals per Innings (ave) 2.115

AB: much higher ave, 2 world records & least byes conceded records. Prior: only records - MOST BYES CONCEDED!

Stats don't lie!

Posted by Shan156 on (March 15, 2013, 22:44 GMT)

Monty is no Swann. He is a good bowler but not one for various conditions. He did good in the SC and in the UAE but has been mediocre everywhere else. It would be interesting to compare Swanny's stats with Monty's. I am sure you would find that Swanny would emerge way superior. It may also be true that when they bowl in tandem, Monty may have fared slightly better. But, any suggestions after the India tour that Monty should be the first choice spinner should be put to rest now. That honor truly belongs to Swann. As other posters have mentioned here, Tredwell should get a chance in the 3rd test unless Panesar gets a lot of wickets in this test. Hopefully, the England selectors would pick Tredwell.

Posted by dabhand on (March 15, 2013, 20:56 GMT)

@khushalkhan - because he's in hospital in the US having an operation.

@gsingh7 - I seem to remember you forecasting a whitewash for England in India, so that's poor old NZ doomed then if you are backing them and by the way, if they are to win by an innings they'll need to score at least another 600 runs and then bowl England out - this is a 5 day test, not an unlimited one !!!!!!

Posted by SDHM on (March 15, 2013, 20:39 GMT)

@SirViv - last one, sorry for the message board bombing. The difference between Compton & Root is that Compton is both technically solid & secure in his game - he knows exactly what he's about & has the defensive technique to keep anyone out. Root does not - but I've no doubt he will do in the future - and I'm not sure Test cricket is the place to learn: I've said I'm worried about his technique against seam bowling and with the return series against NZ likely to be in seaming conditions & back to back Ashes, I just wonder whether he really is the best bet over someone like Bairstow or Taylor at 6. I don't think so personally - one look at their respective first class records could tell you that too.

Posted by SDHM on (March 15, 2013, 20:36 GMT)

@SirViv - plus, I was never one of the ones calling for Compton's head. But then again, I'm a biased Somerset fan :P

Posted by SDHM on (March 15, 2013, 20:32 GMT)

@SirViv - I agree in many ways, don't get me wrong I think the lad is hugely talented. It's not a knee-jerk reaction to a couple of low-scoring innings, I just wouldn't have picked him in the first place personally. For a supposed opener his technique against seam bowling isn't great & he's looked a bit unsettled in the last couple of innings. People seem to forget Bairstow's pair of 50s against South Africa at Lord's - just think he'll be a better bet with what's to come, with 3 more Tests against NZ & the back to back Ashes.

Posted by Trickstar on (March 15, 2013, 20:05 GMT)

@davidpk Yes that's what Botham said, he actually said along with Steyn, Anderson is the best swing bowler in the world and who can argue with that, although I'm sure a few people will have a go.

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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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