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

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 @;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.

Posted by NostroGustro on (March 15, 2013, 18:51 GMT)

If not for the two late strikes, I would have said a great fightback by NZ after the 1st day, and honours relatively even (forgetting the decision to insert the opposition!). However 66-3, rather than 66-1 has handed the honours squarely to England.

I'm hoping to see some grit and determination in the morning session, Brownlie and Williamson getting us through to lunch. And then a gradual increase in tempo through out the remaining sessions today. I do not want to see a repeat of the collapses we've had the displeasure of witnessing all too often!

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 18:42 GMT)

Nixon you miss the point! Prior is a genuine WK/BAT and without doubt the best no.7 in world cricket and possibly the biggest game changer since Gilchrist.De villiers is a batsmen keeping wicket - a superb bat no doubt but plays a totally different role. I agree that steyn is better than Jimmy but not a lot in it.Just hope the rain stays away now!

Posted by thekaz on (March 15, 2013, 17:48 GMT)

I would say, no bias included, Prior is the best Test match Wicket keeper batsmen in world cricket, for consistency and strike rate. Once again, he has taken England from a mediocre score on this pitch to a good one. The amount of times he's done this over the past couple of years, and contributed to England winning Test matches, invaluable team member. I fully expect England to win this test match from here.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (March 15, 2013, 17:13 GMT)

@Samuel H, I think you are jumping the gun regarding Root. A couple of weeks ago there were loads of comments on here saying he should open & Compton should be dropped. The latter has now scored 2 100s on the bounce. I will agree that he hasn't performed in the series so far, the way we had hoped following his debut in Nagpur & some decent outings in the ODI side. However I wouldn't be thinking of dropping him anytime soon. With just one significant contribution in 4 tests played I don't think Bairstow has made an overwhelming case to be selected & will need to be patient before he receives another opportunity.

Posted by bumsonseats on (March 15, 2013, 15:18 GMT)

the bit i heard was that anderson was the best swing bowler in the world not that he was the best bowler

Posted by bumsonseats on (March 15, 2013, 15:15 GMT)

greatest_ game. mate i think you need to get out a bit

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

@SamuelH It will cause an outcry and howls of outrage but, with the series live, England should pick Tredwell for the 3rd Test. However, I think that Monty will be rewarded for his loyalty and will keep his place. As you say though, this is not Monty's type of pitch and 1-101 in the series so far is probably, if anything, slightly flattering. On his day and in his conditions he is devastating, but he also has his limitations on other types of pitch.

Posted by AKS286 on (March 15, 2013, 14:52 GMT)

The pitch is very good for pace bowling. NZ misses experience fast bowlers. Southee don't impress. Jimmy & Finn to watch out. B.Martin's excellent performance in both tests. Very Late debut- talents wasted.

Posted by SDHM on (March 15, 2013, 14:34 GMT)

@landl47 - I think Root has shown signs in all his (admittedly short) innings so far in this series that he probably isn't as ready for Tests as people were claiming: his technique to the seamers looks a bit dodgy & it seems expectation may have got to him somewhat. Maybe time for Bairstow to get a proper crack.

Didn't actually think England bowled all that well in the final session until Broad clicked - that ball to Taylor was classic Broad, some more of that and he's well and truly back in form. Panesar has frustratingly slipped back into bad old ways and was comfortably outbowled by Martin (who was excellent); it might be time to accept he is a subcontinental specialist (and there's nothing wrong with that - what a bowler to be able to call on in those conditions), although he did at least try & bowl slower at times yesterday. It just doesn't come naturally to him though. Unless he picks up a few wickets I think it might be worth a look at Tredwell in the next Test.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 13:52 GMT)

NZ bowling has been decent recently, Southee, Bracewell, now Wagner, can rip through a team when they are in the mood. That is why we occasionally win the odd test abroad like in Hobbart and then Sri Lanka. It's our habitual batting collapses that cause us to lose so many and thus find ourselves down at no.8. NZ batsmen just don't seem to have the temperament for test cricket. Williamson is the best prospect, but he really needs to start converting that potential into serious numbers. Rutherford was excellent in the 1st test but he was given a few lives and so early so I wouldn't say the opener's spot is safe for the next while. We need good batsmen like Ryder back, otherwise we will never win a series cause we can't draw, only win if our blowers have a blinder.

Posted by Trickstar on (March 15, 2013, 13:22 GMT)

@NixNixon Not as funny as you obviously, Prior's keeping is far better than AB's, who seems to have hands of stone especially against the spinners where he simply doesn't have a clue. He'll have major problems keeping on sub continent pitches and that may cost SA dearly. We'll also see where he is when he's been doing both for a few years at international level like Prior has. You might want to rate AB the better batsman fair enough, but as a total package, who's man discipline is to Keep wicket in all conditions and bat in all conditions I'd personally have Prior.

Posted by landl47 on (March 15, 2013, 13:13 GMT)

The NZ bowlers worked hard and had something to show for it today, but any team after being put in would take 465 and say "Thanks!" This wicket is not as good for batting as was advertised and if England's bowlers work as hard as NZ's did England should get a decent first-innings lead.

Prior really has been in excellent form for a while now and he's a great man to have coming in at #7. Young Joe Root showed his immaturity today, getting out to a poor ball with an even worse shot, and Bell never seemed to find his timing. Finn batted well again, but bowled way too short. Broad's dismissal of Taylor shows what he can do when he puts the ball in the right place. Monty needs to slow down a bit and let the ball turn- Martin showed how to do that.

@Greatest_Game: what's odd about 4 batsmen scoring 80% of the runs? 3 of Australia's batsmen scored over 80% of their runs yesterday and 2 of India's scored 74% of their side's 503 in the second test. Your statistical knowledge needs some work.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (March 15, 2013, 13:05 GMT)

If the forecast is to be believed then the first session tomorrow is going to be crucial in terms of us try to force a victory. An ideal scenario would have us having NZL 7 or 8 down by lunch. If NZL Can get to lunch without loosing more than say 1 wicket, then they would have a great chance of being able to bat in to the last session and ensuring the follow cannot be inforced. If they manage to achieve that you would feel it would be almost impossible for us to win the game inside 4 days given the fact we would have to set a total & bowl NZL out in a day & a bit.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (March 15, 2013, 11:52 GMT)

Conditions seemed harder on day2,the wicket less certain at least till Prior batted. KP stuck at it,prepared to fight for runs though not in the best form bell and Root died to the same shot-the ball not being quite the tastey offering imagined. Root is in a period of grace but Bell needs to look to his own. Runs are required-153 in Queenstown is useful but does not count.A couple of centuries,large ones, would start to atone for a dreadful run-bar Nagpur. Bairstow really has to get the spot otherwise. Pror was sublime,a brilliant innings full of inventiveness and panache, aided by Finn who is obviously no mug. At 66-3 NZ may already have lost their way here;at least the game has shape,and one is reminded how well Compton and Trott played. It is possible NZ can be removed for less than 200 more. It depends on how Williamson, a good player, McCullum and Watling do.

Posted by NikhilGupta03 on (March 15, 2013, 11:35 GMT)

After some substandard bowling on day one,which was assisting pacers,NZ came up with their wily old fox on 2nd day-Bruce Martin.Bruce Martin bled through their attack,getting KP and Bell out.Apart from that NZ did not have much to brag about.Their batting let them down.With this it presents a collosal opportunity to Williamson and Brownlie.While the latter played an intrepid innings in SA, the former has not quite set world cricket on fire as he was touted to.Although Iam a big fan of Williamson,as he has played some solid innings-century in Srilanka,India and one against SA in new zealand-but he has not been able to consistently convert the starts into big ones.Hopefully.tomorrow he is able to bat the day through, and Iam saying this because I know he is capable of this.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (March 15, 2013, 11:24 GMT)

@Smash42 Averaging 31 in a struggling side is not the same as averaging 31 in a side that is sweeping all before it. He's a decent player; no Bradman, but his ODI and 1st Class record are quite good. These things are relative. A lot of fans will remember a guy called Allan Lamb - he was regarded as an England legend in the 1980s,. but averaged only 36, getting his runs when England were losing regularly, often badly. He played for Gloucestershire a couple of seasons ago and did a reasonable job for them.

Posted by Smash42 on (March 15, 2013, 11:02 GMT)

@Mitty2. A valid point you make. England being dismissed for 167 was embarrassing, but the shot selection employed by the English batsmen was as much a factor as good bowling by the Kiwis. NZ had the best of the bowling conditions. Once the English batsmen decided to apply themselves any chance of a NZ victory went out the window.

As for "my" bowling attack, you are assuming I am English. I'm an expatriate NZer.

Posted by khushalkhan on (March 15, 2013, 10:29 GMT)

Why is Swann not playing????

Posted by Mitty2 on (March 15, 2013, 10:23 GMT)

@smash 42, i don't think you can call them that based on two performances where the pitches have given absolutely nothing and there has been no swing available. rAnd due to the benign conditions it's even more testament for them to bowl you out for 160 odd (and more embarrasing). I'm sure that your bowling attack not even taking ten wickets for 460 must be a reflection ofjust how good they are in comparison.

Posted by Smash42 on (March 15, 2013, 10:08 GMT)

@CricketingStargazer. Williamson is underrated? Really? He averages a shade over 30 (which is for most test batsmen very substandard) and apart from a couple of good test innings has been a colossal disappointment so far into his career, considering he was feted as the next M.Crowe.

@Sushant-H. I keep hearing about the "potential" of some of these NZ cricketers but this pop-gun attack seems pretty mediocre and toothless.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 9:37 GMT)

This pitch and these conditions require careful batting hence the funereal scoring rates of both sides. Any adventurous play is risky so it depends on NZ patience to extend the game into the rain. With Panesar the wrong choice and also not on his game, selection may yet prove to be England's downfall. Can McCullum resist temptation one might ask? As a player of extraordinary one day innings (in all forms of the game) this might be a time to bat long. Bruce Martin seems to be increasing in stature with each game and for good reason he'll need to be taken seriously from now on.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (March 15, 2013, 9:26 GMT)

@NixNixon on (March 15, 2013, 8:59 GMT), de Villiers may be the best batsmen of current wicketkeepers but Prior is easily a better keeper. De Villiers is getting better and seems to have come to terms with performing both roles after a dip in his batting form when he first took the gloves, but you have to consider both aspects and I'd consider Prior the best across the two disciplines.

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip on (March 15, 2013, 9:15 GMT)

@gsingnh7 the usual well informed accurate opinion from you..." then england will crumble on deteriorating pitch on day 5...." ha ha - you mean like the way England crumbled on the deteriorating pitchs in India? No mate - it was India that crumbled on deteriorating pitchs, not England. Maybe you didn't notice, or choose to forget - but England actually pretty good against spin these days.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 9:05 GMT)

Think England will be reasonably pleased with the current position of the the game. At 267/2 overnight, and all out 465, possibly 80-100 short of expectation. Three good wickets to take before the close.

Posted by garibaldi on (March 15, 2013, 8:59 GMT)

Veyr impressed with McCullum's captaincy, the way he continued to set attacking fields when most captains would have lined the boundary - and the results: OK not exactly an England collapse, but they could easily have been declaring on 550-6 or so if things had gone their way, so hats off to the NZ captain. If England are not disciplined in their bowling tomorrow, they could easily lose their advantage.

Posted by NixNixon on (March 15, 2013, 8:59 GMT)

The ENglish are so funny, Prior the best wicket-keeper batsman?? Think thats de villers in all fairness and I heard on of the english commentators actually referring to j anderson as the best bowler in the world - lol - and that after steyn has been occupying the number one position for like forver plus outbolwed him in england.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 15, 2013, 8:19 GMT)

Losing the first 5 wickets foor such a low amount today at first looks poor but in the context of the game now looks good for England. Well played Prior. 82 valuable runs both for the quantity and the speed which they were scored at. All this has hopefully pushed the game forward. While a 500+ total would have been nice (to make NZ score 300+ to avoid the follow on) , I think most Eng fans would settle for this position now. To get NZ out for less than 264 (the follow on mark) I feel could be crucial to Eng's chances if the weather reports are to be believed. We should however not be complacent as Mr Singh's predictions have been bang on the money throughout all the threads/matches/series he has kindly contributed to.

Posted by bobbo2 on (March 15, 2013, 8:09 GMT)

If NZ bat well tomorrow then with rain on the way they could salvage a draw, which would be a great result. Well batted Prior, who I rate highly. Should be an interesting day tomorrow.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

Prior was just a touch away from going cheap, saved correctly on review. It has not been a dominant day from England. They have a huge head start from day 1, thanks to the muppets of NZ deciding to bowl first, but England lost 198-8 today. England got 3 wickets, but two were bad shots after weathering the new ball, but the last 10 overs not a single ball passed the bat, it got easier. NZ are still well in the game. As for today it was a very even day..I'd rather be in England's position of course

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (March 15, 2013, 8:00 GMT)

Contrast today (11 wickets fell for 264 runs), with yesterday (2 wickets for 267). The run rate has been identical, but today the bowlers have shown that this is a wicket which does offer some encouragement if you make the batsman play, which did not happen yesterday.

New Zealand have come back very well today but they are already three good wickets down and, on today's form, it looks like they may have given England as much as a 200 run start. Probably the key wicket tomorrow is Kane Williamson, who is another of the underrated New Zealanders: if England get him early, it is not impossible that New Zealand may struggle to save the Follow On; if he digs in, he can haul his side up to a decent total.

Posted by SamRoy on (March 15, 2013, 7:09 GMT)

@Sushant_H I think you are talking about batting ability of wicketkeepers. AB's keeping ability against spinners is laughable and Dhoni's keeping has regressed. Prior is the easily the best among the 3 overall. As pure wicket keeper though Prasanna Jayawardene, Chris Read, James Foster and Chris Hartley are far better keepers though except nobody except Prasanna seem to get picked for their national teams.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (March 15, 2013, 6:38 GMT)

Things do look different today, don't they? The pitch is not as flat as it appeared to be and batting is not as straightforward. Certainly this is not a certain draw as many were predicting with such confidence. Use the pitch well and it will work for you. Unfortunately, those of us who had doubts about Monty could be proved right: the factors that made him so dangerous in the UAE and India are making him look totally innocuous here... still time to change that though, if he is up to it.

Posted by Erebus26 on (March 15, 2013, 6:37 GMT)

On the subject of the NZ bowling attack, I think they've been determined but they've lacked a real cutting edge when England have batted well. Yes they rolled England cheaply in the first innings in Dunedin but the batsmen threw their wickets away, and a lot of the dismissals today came about by England playing attacking shots (Bell, Pietersen and Prior). Because of NZ's recent batting woes good batting wickets have been prepared and this hasn't helped the likes of Southee, Boult and Wagner (who all put in a long shift at Dunedin remember) when England have dug in. I don't blame the Kiwis though because if they prepared pitches that 'did a bit' for the bowlers then they would be at a clear disadvantage when facing Anderson, Broad and Finn.

Posted by gsingh7 on (March 15, 2013, 6:08 GMT)

nz will score 350 tomorrow and lread by 150 runs on tea time day after. then england will crumble on deteriorating pitch on day 5. nz win by an innings and england slip below aus in ratings.

Posted by Sushant_H on (March 15, 2013, 5:36 GMT)

After AB de Villiers, Matt Prior is definitely the best wicket-keeper batsman in the world right now. These 2 players can easily shift gears...from consolidating an innings to making a quickfire knock to playing alongside the tailenders (not to forget they are outstanding behind the stumps in any conditions). Many might think of Dhoni too, but there are question marks on his batting & keeping outside the subcontinent. As for Bruce Martin, in him NZ have found a capable enough successor to Vettori (his action too is a carbon copy of the veteran). England's collapse was a bit surprising, but the young NZ pace attack (including Doug Bracewell, who's not playing in this Test) looks promising & in my opinion, they can, if groomed properly, become a really dangerous force in the future.

Posted by matthEw12345 on (March 15, 2013, 5:30 GMT)

Congrats to the English Team making 465 is well done credit to Matt Prior on a cracking innings. And to there bowlers those to quick wickets by Stuart Broad has completely shut New Zealand out of this test match I pick this match will be over by the end of day 4 unless Williamson, Brownlie and the middle-lower order bat the whole day tommorrow

Posted by jmcilhinney on (March 15, 2013, 5:07 GMT)

That England total is disappointing given where they started the day but pleasing given where they were when Broad was dismissed. Well done again to Finn for hanging around and allowing Prior to boost the total, as well as for scoring a few of his own. They'll be well pleased with having taken 3 wickets in that final session too. It's amazing what an extra 300 runs in the first innings can do to put pressure on the side batting second. Good to see Broad taking wickets too. I thought that he bowled pretty well in Dunedin too. People seem to forget that he could have had Rutherford 3 times but for butter fingers and some slightly defensive captaincy. On the subject of Rutherford, while his innings in Dunedin was impressive, he could well have been out in the 20s, 50s and 60s, so expecting a repeat here was always a bit hopeful. He seemed much more subdued too, presumably because of England having scored far more this time around.

Posted by Smash42 on (March 15, 2013, 5:03 GMT)

Another victory for England by an innings. Unless the Kiwis can be successful with their rain dance.

Posted by Erebus26 on (March 15, 2013, 5:02 GMT)

NZ will be disappointed with losing those three wickets when they had fought hard to stay in the match today. Martin bowled very well and deserved more than four wickets, and if keeps bowling like that he may keep Vettori out of the team when the latter comes back to full fitness. Fulton looked all at sea today and it will be interesting to see how long his second coming lasts. He struggled to grind out 55 in Dunedin and was out softly here at the Basin Reserve. If he finds the going tough on decent pitches like this then I wonder how he's going to find the wickets in England in May. Rutherford fought hard but then got out playing a daft shot, but then it is only his second test and he's going to have days like this. He looks far more assured than Fulton does though, and he's certainly a notch up from Guptill.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (March 15, 2013, 3:36 GMT)

Another interesting oddity I noticed is that 80% of England's runs were scored by 4 of the 10 players dismissed, that is 40% of the dismissed bats me. 80% scored by 40% - another one for the books? Also the 40% who scored 80% are … ahem … "persons whose childhood years were spent at the bottom of Africa." Something in the water perhaps, or just an affinity for the Southern Hemisphere?

Posted by Greatest_Game on (March 15, 2013, 2:39 GMT)

Every England batsman was out caught. Of the ten dismissals, only three were caught by the wicketkeeper. That is indisputably unusual, but is it any kind of record? I checked the dismissals, and it seems that six were caught behind, and the others in the field. Certainly a question for the stats guys.

Posted by Fluffykins on (March 15, 2013, 0:09 GMT)

Been really impressed with bowlers work ethic have plugged away all morning,not sure what England will be happy with totalwise but maybe irrelevant given the dreadful forecast....

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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.
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)
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