New Zealand v England, 2nd Test, Wellington, 3rd day March 16, 2013

Delightful catches, and a disappointing miss

Plays of the day from the third day of the second Test between New Zealand and England in Wellington

Surprise of the day

The expression on Stuart Broad's face said it all. His catch to remove Kane Williamson was instinct rather than judgment. Williamson went for a drive to a delivery that was perhaps not quite as full as he thought and it did not miss the middle of the bat by much. Broad, head slightly down as bowlers often are in their follow through, had about half a second to get his hands into position in front of his stomach - it was, at least, a good height for catch - and the ball stuck. Broad, normally one for big celebrations, just blinked.

Missing fielder of the day

Five wickets down, trailing by not much less than 300. A time when a captain can just attack, right? Alastair Cook, though, is out of the Andrew Strauss style of conservatism and opted for two slips and a wide fourth to BJ Watling early in the wicketkeeper's innings. James Anderson, in the middle of a probing spell, found the outside edge with Watling on 2 and, of course, where did it fly…the vacant third slip. Cook stuck to his guns and did not plug the gap, but it was a missed opportunity to turn the screw.

Drop of the day

England's slip cordon is still not what it was when you had Strauss, Swann and Collingwood lined up there a couple of years ago. New catchers are still finding their feet (and hands) and too many chances are being missed. This time it was Jonathan Trott, at second slip, who could not hold a low catch by Watling when he was on 21.

Trap of the day

What do Tim Southee and Stuart Broad have in common? Neither of them are batting like a No. 8. New Zealand were still some way from the follow-on when Southee joined Watling, but instead of playing for his senior batsman at the other end, Southee, not one who enjoys the short ball, decided to have a dip against Steven Finn and promptly skied a catch to Broad at long leg. Demotion, who would think, is not far away.

Promotion of the day

As the second new ball approached, it was clear the hierarchy in England's pace attack had changed again. Finn had a spell with the old ball, and a successful one at that with two wickets, but in the space of a Test-and-a-half was about to lose his partnership with Anderson. Broad was rewarded for his impressive form with a chance to resume his pairing with Anderson and the move was a success as he cleaned up New Zealand's lower order.

Catch of the day

England may have missed a trick against Watling, but they made one against Hamish Rutherford. After seeing a delivery in Monty Panesar's first over spin and bounce from the footmarks, Cook brought Ian Bell into leg slip. Next ball, another one gripped and spun into Rutherford who prodded it around the corner where Bell sprang low to his right to hold a fantastic catch. Cook had every right to be at the centre of the celebrations.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on March 16, 2013, 21:46 GMT

    Does anyone remember Brett Lee taking a C&B wicket vs England - may have been 2005. Broad's C&B mirrored that in a "how did that stick" kind of way

  • Jimmers on March 16, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    It was Prior's idea to put Bell in there - I think Prior's got much more of an attacking instinct than Cook. Should let Prior set more fields, I like the way he thinks

  • Dummy4 on March 16, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    Agree with catch of the day, but it was Matt Prior who pushed for Bell to be put there.

  • Chris on March 16, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    Having a bit of flexibility with the opening bowling partnership has to be a good thing. A lot of teams would love to have 3 bowlers as good as Anderson, Broad and Finn can be when at their best. It's a pity only Anderson has the consistency, but at least you only need one of the other two to have a good day.

  • Ed on March 16, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    Southee never plays for his team - he just always comes out swinging, and pretty much always fails. Where is NZ's batting coach - how come there is no one telling him what role to play or how to play. Martin should bat above him now. No.9 or lower for Southee, until he grows up a bit.

  • sam on March 16, 2013, 6:40 GMT

    Bell is special close to the bat of spinners. Almost as good as Boon and Azhar used to be.

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