New Zealand v England, 3rd Test, Auckland, 3rd day

Boult, Southee put New Zealand in command

The Report by George Dobell

March 24, 2013

Comments: 79 | Text size: A | A

New Zealand 443 and 35 for 3 (Broad 2-7) lead England (Prior 73, Boult 6-68) by 274 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Nick Compton fell early after New Zealand used the DRS, New Zealand v England, 3rd Test, Auckland, 3rd day, March 24, 2013
Apart from losing wickets, England struggled for fluency: Nick Compton's 13 occupied just two minutes short of two hours © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Trent Boult
Series/Tournaments: England tour of New Zealand

A fine display of swing bowling from Trent Boult may have struck the decisive blow for New Zealand in an encounter against England full of twists and turns.

Boult, the left-arm fast-medium bowler, claimed 6 for 68 - his first five-wicket haul in Test cricket - as England were dismissed for 204 in their first innings. That gave New Zealand a first innings lead of 239 but, eschewing the chance to enforce the follow-on, they extended their lead to 274 before stumps.

Those second innings runs came at quite a cost, though. New Zealand, perhaps suffering from acrophobia as they realised the dominance of their position, stumbled to 8 for 3 at one stage in their second innings as England revived their slim hopes of forcing a win. Peter Fulton and Dean Brownlie saw New Zealand to the close without further loss, but New Zealand's lack of progress raised questions about the wisdom of not enforcing the follow-on.

Still, Boult's performance had earned his side an excellent chance of securing a rare Test series win over England. New Zealand remain the side in the stronger position, and with the pitch showing just a little sign of uneven bounce, it may not be easy to bat upon on the last day. No side has ever scored 350 in the fourth innings to win on this ground - though West Indies chased down 345 to win in 1969 - and, since they introduced drop-in pitches at Eden Park just over a decade ago, no side has ever chased more than the 166 Australia managed in 2005. Besides, without Kevin Pietersen, England appear a far more diffident side.

For a team dismissed as no-hopers by some commentators coming into the series, this has been an impressive performance by New Zealand. They are currently rated No. 8 in the Test rankings, but they have looked the better side for significant portions of this encounter and now have an excellent opportunity to embarrass the No. 2 rated team. New Zealand have previously only beaten England at home in one Test series, in 1983-84, and away in two, in 1986 and in 1999.

The pitch showed no signs of deterioration for most of the day. It is simply that New Zealand's seamers bowled a little fuller, a little straighter and gained a little more swing than England had on the first couple of days. In short, New Zealand bowled better than England's much-vaunted attack. Bruce Martin, who came into this series largely unknown outside New Zealand, generated turn and bounce that Monty Panesar, his left-arm counterpart, could not and, as a result, looked a far more threatening proposition.

Even in New Zealand's second innings, England could find minimal swing. New Zealand lost their wickets more to nerves than swing and Boult, bowling with decent pace, maintaining a tight line and managing to swing some back into the right-hand batsmen and angle some across them, was the most dangerous bowler on display. He was able to find movement that even James Anderson could not.

It was during the first session of the day that New Zealand hammered a nail into England's hopes. Generating swing, they claimed three lbw decisions in the session to leave England teetering on 72 for 5 at one stage.

Smart stats

  • Trent Boult's 6 for 68 is his best bowling performance in Tests, surpassing his previous best of 4 for 42 against Sri Lanka at the P Sara Oval. He has picked up 40 wickets at an average of 30.22.
  • Boult's 6 for 68 is eighth on the list of best bowling performances by New Zealand bowlers against England and the second-best in Auckland after Chris Cairns (6 for 52 in 1992) and Daryl Tuffey (6 for 54 in 2002).
  • The lead of 239 is New Zealand's fifth-largest against England and their second-highest when they have batted first. Click here for a list of matches when New Zealand have batted first and here for a list of matches when New Zealand have batted second.
  • The 101-run stand between Matt Prior and Joe Root is the sixth-highest sixth-wicket stand for England in New Zealand. The highest is 281 between Andrew Flintoff and Graham Thorpe in Christchurch in 2002.
  • Prior's 73 is his second half-century of the series and the 32nd fifty-plus score of his career. Prior's average of 46.84 is the highest among batsmen with 2000-plus runs at No. 7.

Tim Southee made the breakthrough in the third over of the morning. Having generally swung the ball away from the right-handed batsmen, natural variation resulted in one going straight on and striking Nick Compton on the pad. While the umpire, Paul Reiffel, declined the original appeal on the grounds that the ball may well have hit the bat before hitting the pad, New Zealand were quick to call for a review that showed that the ball had made first contact with the pad.

Ian Bell went in similar fashion. Bell, who had come close to running himself out in the second over of the day, diving to regain his ground after committing to an unnecessarily risky second run, was also undone by one that went straight on from Southee. Perhaps intimidated by the aggressive field utilised by New Zealand captain, Brendon McCullum - there were times when New Zealand's seamers had five slips - Bell looked unwilling to commit to playing at the ball and was caught in the crease when struck on the pad. He conferred with his batting partner, Joe Root, before deciding not to utilise the Decision Review System. It was a wise decision.

Boult, who had claimed the two wickets to fall the previous evening, claimed the final wicket of the session, beating Jonny Bairstow's tentative forward prod with one that pitched on middle stump and swung back just enough to beat the stroke. Again, the original appeal was declined but New Zealand utilised the DRS and were rewarded for their confidence. If Bairstow had looked somewhat out of form, it was hardly a surprise: this was his first innings in first-class cricket since the Mumbai Test in November and only his second since the Lord's Test in August.

Only two men offered meaningful resistance for England. Matt Prior and Joe Root added 101 runs for the sixth wicket, with Prior counterattacking fluently and Root defending with obduracy that would have had his Yorkshire predecessor Geoff Boycott smiling in satisfaction.

Whereas his colleagues prodded timidly - Compton's 13 runs occupied only two minutes fewer than two hours and England scored just 42 runs in 29 overs before lunch - Prior skipped down the pitch to drive Martin through the off side and when given any width from the seamers, freed his arms to drive through the covers.

His strength was his undoing, however. Offered some width from Neil Wagner, Prior attempted to drive on the up but could only slice a thick edge to point.

Dean Brownlie could be forgiven for breathing a sigh of relief. Brownlie, at slip, had reprieved Prior on 24 when the batsman had pushed hard at one outside off stump from the deserving Southee and edged low to Brownlie's right. Had the chance been taken, England would have been 111 for 6.

Prior's dismissal precipitated a swift decline. England lost their last five wickets for just 31 runs as Boult, armed with the new ball, returned to mop up the tail. Stuart Broad, now little more than a happy slogger, thrashed 14 in three balls but, in attempting to force the next delivery, sliced a catch to short extra cover before Steven Finn prodded at one angled across him. Anderon edged a beauty that left him, and Root, left with only Panesar for company, attempted to thrash a good length ball over midwicket and lost his off stump.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by 64blip on (March 24, 2013, 23:51 GMT)

Follow on? What were the chances NZ would be bowled out before setting a highly improbable target? Plenty of time left, give the bowlers a rest. If England can bat out a draw they deserve it.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 23:16 GMT)

@ JG2704 on (March 24, 2013, 18:48 GMT)> following on in modern times is inherently risky (unless on a spinners' paradise) because of better batting tracks. NZ would have risked England POTENTIALLY scoring big against a tiring NZ attack, then face a potentially tricky middling total themselves, ie: PRESSURE.

Far better now for NZ to bat again (as they are doing) under far less pressure, and dictate the pace of the game. Look at Fulton hitting out - no pressure, so he is going for it. NZ can set a target at their leisure, and by making it impossible for England to score the runs, put incredible pressure on England (rather than on themselves) whose only motivation is survival.

Posted by millsack on (March 24, 2013, 23:04 GMT)

maybe englands not really that bad, and this new zealand team is actually one of the best in the world?? ive been preaching for a long time we are better than we get credit for, when we can actually put a full strength team on the field. the problem is such a small cricket nation cant expect to have any depth.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 22:59 GMT)

As a Kiwi who has seen the Aussies demolish his own team and the other teams around the world time and time again; I would say underestimate them at your peril. Give them a sniff and they will destroy you. Everyone knows that they get a little bit more fired up for the ashes. So go on England, underestimate them like you underestimated us....

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (March 24, 2013, 21:44 GMT)

@Hira1 (post on March 24, 2013, 17:16 GMT): so if the guy that has produced 85 runs at 28 for the series thus far had been playing, things would be different eh? JG2704 has already said everything I would've written.

Posted by jb633 on (March 24, 2013, 20:40 GMT)

Excellent from New Zeland and truly pathetic from our guys. Why is Bairstow in ahead of James Taylor. Taylor has a tecnique fit for test cricket rather than the hit and giggle stuff that Bairstow likes.

Posted by chugster on (March 24, 2013, 20:36 GMT)

As an England fan i am naturally dissapointed by the display in NZ. We have some issues in the batting and feel we are at times naive and even yes cocky! However series like these are happening more and more often across the world.ONLY SA can claim to be able to beat anyone on any surface these days as the standard of test cricket is dropping off in a slightly worrying fashion. England have looked a mixture of tired,bored and have had a few injuries,this coupled with NZ playing really well and being the better side has led to where we are now. They dont look up for it in India they did and to all you Indian fans who have just beat the WORST aus side to travel to India EVER.Please remember England gave your boys a real beating in you own back yard on turning pitches having lost the toss 3 times and being 1-0 down.Pipe down and enjoy having beaten the Aussies as England (despite their issues) will in the summer. I look forward SA ripping India to shreds in nov/dec.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 24, 2013, 19:46 GMT)

@Kane_Williamson_... ps - obviously BM may have consulted with the bowlers who said they wanted a break , in which case that's fair enough

Posted by in_the_v on (March 24, 2013, 19:36 GMT)

I think too many people are being too harsh on Eng batsmen, when I dont think many other batting sides would have been any more successful against that pretty good bowling display. Big balancing act for Baz now tho, bat for too long = not enough time to bowl Eng out. Get to many runs = Eng wont go for win & bat out draw. Jeepers who would have thought this four months ago when NZC was in turmoil

Posted by JG2704 on (March 24, 2013, 19:07 GMT)

@Hira1 -Eng basically lost #1 when KP was in the side.Ok officially they didn't lose the #1 til after the 3rd SA test but the cushion they had after beating India was erased in UAE where KP was only outdone in patheticness by Bell. Yes KP(with Swann and Jimmys bowling which always get overlooked)saved us vs SL and his inns vs SA was also a potential match saving/winning inns but of the 2 defeats to SA Eng were much closer in the 3rd test(in KPs absence) than in the 1st test when KP played. Jonny scored 95&54 in that test (ave 4.50)& while KP may have done better74.50 is 50% better than KP's average.Not saying JB is a better batsman-of course not-but how can you tell whether the KP who was so awful in the UAE&1st Ind test or the one who was so brilliant vs SA/SL 2nd tests will turn up? Saying Eng lost the ranking because KP wasn't there is like saying a football team lost a GAME when they took a certain player off depite being 4 goals down at the time the he was substituted

Posted by JG2704 on (March 24, 2013, 18:51 GMT)

@Kane_Williamson_... See your point but Eng - despite what some might say - would bite your hand off for a draw right now.I don't see the likes of the top 3 going at any sort of pace. This is why I'd have made Eng follow on.NZ had so much momentum and if they were slightly tired I reckon the adrenalin of finishing off Eng so quickly would have carried them through the final overs of the day. Had they done that and just got Cook and Trott or even just Cook or Trott and Compton it would have been a worthwhile declaration. Don't get me wrong NZ will almost def win from here but imagine if NZ declare and Eng are in big trouble in the final session but way behind in runs and hang on for a draw it would be a kick in the teeth which may have been avoided if we were made to bat again. Also at least batting 4th NZ would know exactly how to pace the inns. Another point is I think it was expected that NZ would not make Eng bat again so Eng may not have been AS prepared to bat again.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 24, 2013, 18:48 GMT)

@Bob Friend on (March 24, 2013, 12:06 GMT) How do you work out that not enforcing the follow on removes any chance of England winning? If England bowled NZ out in a session then they might have 6 sessions to get 350? Don't get me wrong - England aren't winning this game no matter how it goes - so I'm not making a case for an England victory , just that I don't see how they're any more or any less likely to win by NZ not making them follow on.

Posted by NostroGustro on (March 24, 2013, 18:41 GMT)

Mike Hesson did stuff up the captaincy replacement and I was as bigger critic as anyone. But in the end, I think the right decision was made. Being at the ground, I've been lucky enough to have had the chance to interact with the coach over the last couple of days and he has been nothing but courteous, polite and generous with his time. Time to build a bridge NZ fans...

Posted by NostroGustro on (March 24, 2013, 18:36 GMT)

I can see both sides of the argument for enforcing or not enforcing the follow on. Tiring bowlers (all 20+ overs) and batting last on this pitch vs giving england a sniff etc. But I was suggesting before the last few english wickets fell that they should bat again. The loss of three quick wickets possibly supported the giving a sniff idea but you can't make a decision on the premise of a batting collapse.

Great bowling by NZ. Prior threatened to take the game away but his wicket just before the new ball really opened up the long tail spectacularly. His wicket (especially the timing) was the crucial one, and should be questioned by English fans.

Posted by Hira1 on (March 24, 2013, 17:16 GMT)

@R_U_REAL_NICK, I am sure "things would have been different had fully fit KP been playing" prove Eng lost number 1 ranking when KP was not included in last test against SA and prob will lost its number 2 ranking because KP is injured in this test

Posted by Hira1 on (March 24, 2013, 17:11 GMT)

I also thought that NZ should have ask Eng to bat again but after seeing Nz on 8-3, I consider this a right decision as Nz have all the abilities to falter on 4th day even if england setup a modest total, now if Nz manage to score 120-130 it would be diff for eng to chase more than 350 batting last on this surface

Posted by Apocalypse_EX on (March 24, 2013, 16:39 GMT)

I would really enjoy a NZ win. BMac is the key. Should score quick runs and give England a target just about enough to seduce them into chasing or else they'll just barricade themselves (and they are good at that)

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (March 24, 2013, 16:14 GMT)

Absolutely a sensible decision to not enforce follow on. Two more sessions of batting from NZ will rule out Eng's victory . If Eng could bundle them out in first session with target less than 400 then they have chance to win the series. Hope rain does not play its part.

Posted by 2nd_Slip on (March 24, 2013, 15:58 GMT)

With both Aus and Eng struggling against weak opposition away from home I fancy no team is going to dethrone South Africa any time soon. But on the plus side this will make the Ashes more exciting i guess ( esp. if Eng lose this one), the series will be worth watching with both teams coming from dissapointing tours(though i wish both teams had players like Amla,AB de Villiers ,Steyn and Philander to make the cricket as a whole worth while and of a world class standard)

Posted by DustBowl on (March 24, 2013, 14:54 GMT)

In the absence of KP, Bell was asked to step up........and did not AGAIN. Great passage of play when McC and his focused team reduced the rate to about 1.8 ! Did someone mention Gooch was talking up a 600 total prior to to-day's play?! How can Bairstow be expected to walk into a game with a six month lay-off?

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 14:24 GMT)

I'm divided on the follow-on issue, I can see both sides of the argument. I don't think the bowlers have bowled too much to be too tired, but it's more of the case of how much the WILL have to bowl in the next two days, so resting them now is completely understandable, especially considering that it's the seamers who are dangerous. It''s also making sure you don't bat last on this wicket: collapsing now and bowling at 330 odd is less risky than letting England back and chasing 220. Still, having a chance to win by an innings would have been pretty cool!

A little note about Mike Hesson, yes he made a hash of the Taylor issue, but I think he is very committed and gets alongside the players well. Good players don't always make good coaches so I'm not worried that he is "unqualified". I'll wait a little long before I pass judgment on him as a coach.

Posted by Kane_Williamson_Is_The_Best_Batsman on (March 24, 2013, 14:22 GMT)

NZ should look to give ENG a target of nearly 450 at a reqd. rate of around 3.5 so that the English batsmen look for scoring opportunities which could lead to their downfall.

Posted by cloudmess on (March 24, 2013, 14:08 GMT)

This looks bad for England. I just don't see how they'll save this game now. They would have a grain of hope of batting out for a draw if they allow NZ to bat most of tomorrow. But bowl out NZ for 150, they're chasing 390 in 5 sessions, I see only a NZ victory. You could argue that England were robbed by rain in the 2nd test, and have had the worst of the conditions in this series. But what marks out a great from a good side is their ability to still win when luck is against them. NZ have also played with spirit and skill, and perhaps this marks a revival for them.

Posted by hhillbumper on (March 24, 2013, 13:40 GMT)

well you have to give credit to the Kiwis.As for England can you just play properly.You beat india then lose to the Kiwis. The only consistent part of the England team is the inconsistency.

Posted by landl47 on (March 24, 2013, 13:30 GMT)

Fair play to New Zealand here. Boult and Southee bowled brilliantly, were too good for England and would have been too good for most sides in the world on this day. Unlike the first test, the England players didn't throw their wickets away, they were beaten by good bowling.

I hope England can make a fight of it, but props to NZ, they were the better side today.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (March 24, 2013, 13:08 GMT)

The 'inevitable comments': "things would have been different had KP been playing..." - already appearing on some of the threads. Really? Potentially, yes - I can't deny that... but we could just as easily have seen KP get out in his first over faced. Prior is so reliable for times like this; shame about Bell.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (March 24, 2013, 12:56 GMT)

@jmcilhinney (post on March 24, 2013, 11:38 GMT): The fact he hasn't spelt them correctly anyway, you could argue such players don't play for England in the first place...

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 12:26 GMT)


- I would say this success was more McCullum's captaincy than Hesson's coaching. Hesson definitely should go, he's underqualified and not cut out for the role.

@LillianThomson "What I would say is that the return series in England is going to be fascinating too, especially if Ryder, Vettori and Bracewell replace Fulton, Martin and Wagner."

- I would actually replace Brownlie with Ryder and keep Fulton in there. Ryder would be VERY threatening at number 4 or 5 and if he finds himself in with McCullum, they will wreak mayhem on many bowling attacks, particularly if they tire like the English have. Brownlie seems out of form at the moment. As for Vettori, I don't think he would be an automatic pick in place of Martin at all right now - Martin gets the ball to move substantially and this takes wickets - all Vettori does nowadays is use variation in line, length and pace to tie down an end, he doesn't take wickets like he used to. Bracewell for Wagner? Not convinced...

Posted by nlpdave on (March 24, 2013, 12:17 GMT)

NZ haven't suddenly become a good side just because England played badly with a truly overrated bowling attack. As for swing it is A) the ball, b) the conditions and C) the bowling action that determines this kind of movement. If A) and B) aren't working then C is irrelevant.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 12:06 GMT)

Correct decision not to enforce the follow on - it removes any chance of England winning. History has shown that you are better off batting again rather than risk batting last.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 12:02 GMT)

@LillianThomson - Why would Fulton be dropped again after scoring a 100 and holding the 2nd innings up? Vettori hasn't come to form yet and is looking towards the limited overs team more, doubts over Ryder still

Posted by Selassie-I on (March 24, 2013, 11:55 GMT)

Terrible batting from england. No excuse, these players are better than this. The bowling was good from the kiwis of course, but not getting shot out for 200 good.

Need to show some heart in getting a draw now. At least we can show that we're difficult to beat if nothing else. This will help us in the ashes as the aussies are just rollimg over at the moment.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 24, 2013, 11:44 GMT)

@kiwicricketnut ctd - Re NZ not making Eng follow on , I fully agree with you. Unless there's a situation where the pitch is looking flat but will definitely deteriorate later I'd enforce the follow on every time as you never know for sure with weather and it's good to know exactly how to pace yourself in the 2nd inns. Also it's not a case where it took them ages to get the final wickets so not a case where they were fruitless in the search for the final wickets.Not sure the timings but I reckon it was possibly less that 30 mins (play) from taking Prior to taking Root. So on that basis the NZ's bowlers would have had their tails up. Don't get me wrong NZ will still win (unless we show a superhuman effort to save the game) but I'd say making Eng follow on would have been a better way to go

Posted by JG2704 on (March 24, 2013, 11:43 GMT)

@kiwicricketnut - To be fair , I think the media , rather than the players have been talking about focussing on the Ashes and not on the job in hand. Maybe there was a little complacency pre series as we all felt that of the 2 winter tours we were more likely to struggle in India than NZ and that the shorter formats was the best chance of winning so there could have been a case of thinking the hard work was done but they'd have had a reality check from the way NZ have played in the 1st inns and series as a whole.TBH I think our media live in cloud cuckooland & go too much on past form and rankings as opposed to what their seeing on the pitch.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 24, 2013, 11:43 GMT)

@whofriggincares on (March 24, 2013, 3:56 GMT) Yes , your friend Mitty has done all the stats before and then ran away when I've responded. Our pace attack certainly isn't what the Media make it out to be. It probably was about a year or so ago but injuries/loss of form and our media still go on yesteryear's form. TBH I thought you guys would show a little more humility after just being whitewashed in India - a place where Eng have just won but maybe we live in different universes?

Posted by JG2704 on (March 24, 2013, 11:42 GMT)

Have to say very well bowled NZ . Unlike the 1st inns of the 1st match - Ken Fawcet - most of the wickets were fully earned rather than given away by careless batting and (if the 1st test,1st inns was due to complacency) this certainly wasn't. While I will give NZ full credit I can't post without a little self criticism and while I admire the efforts of Prior and Root , I feel Root (throughout) and Prior (to begin with) showed Martin way too much respect. Southee and Boult were always looking dangerous at the other end and almost had Prior early on and looked like they could strike at any moment so I feel we should have taken more runs off Martin. I also feel that the 3 wickets Eng took are more of a worrying sign than a positive as it shows that the pitch isn't becoming any easier to bat on. Congrats NZ whatever happens. However , I still say that with the momentum of the late wickets (with their tails being up) NZ should have made Eng follow on

Posted by jmcilhinney on (March 24, 2013, 11:38 GMT)

@Raju Krish on (March 24, 2013, 11:10 GMT), you do know that Monty Panesar was born in England, right?

Posted by handyandy on (March 24, 2013, 11:16 GMT)

As an Australian it gives me some hope that the Poms are struggling as much as they are against the Kiwi's.

The Aussie's are much at the moment but I would still rate them more highly than the Kiwis.

England may well have the advantage under English conditions but one has to wonder how they will cope during the return series in Australia.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 11:10 GMT)

Both Ashes team are getting thrashed..two looser team will meet in Ashes..I want australia to win the coming ashes because they still are better team compare to england team...England team without outside players like Kevin peterson, Trot, panesar etc are just pack of card with no quality...GO Australia go...thrash this English team

Posted by SamRoy on (March 24, 2013, 11:06 GMT)

Very happy to see Trent Boult getting six wickets against England. Now these guys will give him some much deserving respect. I think all the three young seamers (Boult, Bracewell and Southee) are talented bowlers and I like all of them. Though Boult is my favourite of the three as even though he is slightly less naturally gifted compared to Bracewell and Southee, he is the hardest trier.

Posted by weasel_zapper on (March 24, 2013, 10:54 GMT)

People bemoaning McCullum not enforcing the follow on? Much better to give our bowlers a rest, and bowl at England when the pitch will be at it's most variable and hopefully turning a bit. As Meety said if Brownlie hadn't of shelled that catch off Prior we may have been in a position to enforce but as is the right decision was made. We saw how Englands bowlers struggled in Wellington after enforcing, NZ would've been in danger of doing the same if they went without early breakthroughs and Englands top order will surely be more resilent this time around.

That was a really bad challenge by Taylor.

Pretty nervous watching us lose those wickets but hopefully Fulton can be the rock again tomorrow (never thought I would be saying that at the start of the series...) and the rest can put on a few.

Posted by LillianThomson on (March 24, 2013, 10:53 GMT)

Why is anyone surprised by the struggles of a team in which Compton, Bairstow and Root constitute 50% of the batting?

What I would say is that the return series in England is going to be fascinating too, especially if Ryder, Vettori and Bracewell replace Fulton, Martin and Wagner.

Posted by shortsillypoint on (March 24, 2013, 10:29 GMT)

Sandy / Bangalore - yes Ross Taylor may need another break. Losing the captaincy etc has affected him. Guptil will be back so he can slot in @ 4 or Ryder?

NZ swing bowlers could do very well in England. Martin must stay even if Dan V is back who should concentrate on the shorter version.

Posted by GurSinghgur on (March 24, 2013, 10:17 GMT)

So let's imagine that "...NZ will be lucky to post 150 in this Innings..." as posted by F at 0.7.36 GMT 24/3 "...leaving England plenty of time for an easy victory". And the almost 400 runs that are of course habitual in the fourth innings of Test matches???

Posted by Jaffa79 on (March 24, 2013, 9:50 GMT)

Very poor display from England. I think it was a mistake not to enforce the follow on, as it gives England a slight sniff in this game (I do mean slight!). Hats off to the Kiwis, they have outplayed England, who for whatever reason, have looked very poor. If NZ win this series, they will have thoroughly deserved it.

Posted by Glenn10 on (March 24, 2013, 9:45 GMT)

A great move not to enforce the follow on. Anyone who knows anything about cricket will know that the pitch will get worse and this will give the NZ bowlers a much needed break. I can't believe the comments against not enforcing the follow on. Clearly a fresh attack will be more effective. Another fast 80 odd will do it, I think we'll need one and a half days to bowl them out as the the pitch is still easy to survive on. However it is getting harder to score on, so 350 will be enough. If England force the pace it will be to our benefit. Great stuff from Boult, I predicted he was due for a bag of wickets and he's the key to the test. Thats not forgetting Southee of course. C'mon boys, we are close to a famous series win!!

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (March 24, 2013, 9:39 GMT)

Focussing on the ashes instead of us was a bit foolish but understandable i guess we arn't rated by the big boys, its come back to bite you but weirdly you could still sneak a win. I've read alot of posts over this series the ones about our pitches the most annoying, there has also been alot about the ashes, also a bit annoying but i've been roped into the debate through sheer frustration. Don't worry england even if you lose to us and you deserve too, you will destroy aussie, only clarke would make your batting line up and the bowling attacks are pretty much even, at home you should wipe the floor of them, so good luck with that and good luck to the black caps wipeing the floor of you guys.

Posted by bobbo2 on (March 24, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

Well done NZ. I agree nt to follow on as no doubt the bowlers were a bit tired. If NZ can get another 100 or so I give them a very good chance to win this.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 9:07 GMT)

NZ are certainly in the box seat in this Test, but those 3 wickets have just given England a glimmer of hope. Interesting first session of the fourth day awaits.

Posted by Smash42 on (March 24, 2013, 8:57 GMT)

Well done on the NZ team for surrendering the initiative.

@Crinklyoldbugger, Hesson's team could still well lose from this position.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (March 24, 2013, 8:55 GMT)

Hang on, where are all the English fans who claimed that this pitch was a road and a 'disgrace to test cricket'? Just shows you need to watch both teams bowl before judging the pitch.

And shows that the overhyped English bowlers have once again been found out. English fans and commentators seem to think that if their bowlers don't get wickets there must be something wrong with the pitch. Time to face reality, bowlers like Broad and Anderson with their 30+ averages are vastly overhyped.

Posted by philvic on (March 24, 2013, 8:49 GMT)

Completely crazy not to enforce follow-on. Decisions like this make you wonder....

Posted by Meety on (March 24, 2013, 8:33 GMT)

IMO - McCullum did the right thing & rest his bowlers. Another 130 odd runs from (NZ if they can get them), off say 40 overs, would give them 140 overs to bowl England out, in the 4th innings chasing a score that is statistically NEAR imposssible to get. Whilst England did not get past the follow on, Root's innings (IMO) forced McCullum to not enforce. Had Brownlie taken the catch & assuming the England lower order batted as they did, NZ would of had a 300+ lead & probably would of enforced the follow on before Tea. England may draw this game, but it willl be from good batting NOT McCullums decision.

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (March 24, 2013, 7:56 GMT)

Why wouldn't mccullum force the follow on, that was a dumb move in my opinion especially with the swing they were getting today, it might not be there when they bowl again tomorrow. They also let the door open a little, which has given england just a little sniff. With the lead they had the follow on was a must. Other than that howler i have been impressed with mccullums captaincy. As well as nz has bowled i don't think its wise to play 3 swing bowlers together if conditions don't swing then they all just bowl along the wicket at 135kmh not exactly life threatening, pick the best two and someone who is a bit quicker and bowls into the wicket, variety is key to taking 20 wickets for all conditions. Bowlers have been brilliant though so come on batters don't let them down, history is about to be made.

Posted by David_1946 on (March 24, 2013, 7:51 GMT)

Very poor decision by NZ not to enforce the follow on. Following a 23 over assault tonight, Southee and Boult could have come out refreshed tomorrow with a relatively new ball against a KP-less batting lineup that's under significant psychological pressure just to save the game. But by batting again, NZ risk get rolled cheaply and lose, as Cook, Trott and Bell, if they get a start, are well capable of running down 350. Whereas by having England follow on, if England collapse under pressure, NZ win; but even if England bat stoically, NZ are virtually assured of a draw, because England's first goal is safety, and Cook won't risk a loss by giving himself time to bowl NZ out. Eden Park is hardly a sub-continent dustbowl, and without Swann, Panesar's threat is greatly diminished. Hence any excuse of avoiding having to bat last doesn't wash.

Posted by wakemeupbeforeyougogo on (March 24, 2013, 7:45 GMT)

A lead of 420 with a day and a half to spare....England are goners!

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 7:36 GMT)

Looks like NZ will be lucky to post 150 in this Innings, leaving England plenty of time for an easy victory

Posted by Shan156 on (March 24, 2013, 7:28 GMT)

Really incredible. The #8 team has dominated this series and deserve to win. For Eng., this is a wake-up call but how many wake-up calls do they need before they become a consistent team? I cannot see anything other than a convincing NZ victory in this test. McCullum and his players deserve this win. They played the better cricket. However, Cook basically handed the game on a platter to NZ after winning the toss and inserting them in. Overconfident of his bowlers' abilities, he made a big blunder. Still, NZ played really well and are well on their way to a convincing victory. England have a long way to go and the Ashes now looks like a great battle between two evenly matched teams - both with a lot of weaknesses. This also proves that SA are way way ahead of the rest of the teams.

Posted by shortsillypoint on (March 24, 2013, 7:16 GMT)

Surely there will be a result, weather permitting. NZ effectively 274 for 3 in the second innings so they need another 100+ to apply more pressure. The next two days could be difficult for batting too. Trent Boult finally getting the rewards he has promised to deliver.

Posted by WILAD on (March 24, 2013, 7:01 GMT)

You see the Pitch aint half bad. Maybe NZ should have enforced the follow on and attack the distraught English at the time. Bowlers don''t feel tired when getting wickets. I'm sure Boult after a 5for would love to have another go. Nz still infront here because the pitch is getting more and more bowler friendly. Maybe a lead of just 350 would be enough.

Posted by nzcricket174 on (March 24, 2013, 6:57 GMT)

Come on, Black Caps, show this England side how average they truly are! Embarrass them like no team before.

If England lose this game, perhaps they should be relegated to playing Bangladesh more often. New Zealand were considered only marginally better than BD before the tour started, now they are about to win a test series which most predicted would be one, two or three-nil in English favour.

Enjoy the media back home!

Posted by Crinklyoldbugger on (March 24, 2013, 6:38 GMT)

Where are all the know it alls calling for the head of Mike Hesson now ?

Posted by sandy_bangalore on (March 24, 2013, 6:32 GMT)

As an Indian and a big fan of NZ cricket, I am thrilled to bits looking at the scorecard. Really hope the kiwis go on to win and make a mockery of the ICC rankings. There is some fine talent in there and they have no business to be ranked at no 8. And what would make this win even sweeter is the fact that the bowlers dismissed as no-names by the English media(boult, southee, martin etc) have performed better than their highlt rated English couterparts. Southee and Boult, if they fulfill their potential and stay injury free, will seve NZ very well for many years to come. Bit concerned about the form of Ross Taylor though. Got a terrible feeling that he may be in decline

Posted by Baxter_P on (March 24, 2013, 6:25 GMT)

Difficult choice for Brendon, but I would have enforced the follow on. NZ had England on the ropes; they should have gone for the knockout blow. Perhaps the bowlers were tired, but they had momentum; Southee and Boult had their rhythm and were in the zone. I'm sure they wanted to keep bowling. Or perhaps McCullum thinks the pitch will become slower and with variable bounce; possibly, but his bowlers were doing enough on it today that he didn't need to bank on it deteriorating in order to bowl England out. This mini-collapse has just served to offer England a bit of respite and a psychological boost. McCullum now has to assess how long NZ will need to bowl England out; a tough call. If Brownlie and Fulton plod on tomorrow morning, it just chews up bowling time. If they get out, NZ don't have a lot of batting to follow; an awful lot will fall on Brendon's shoulders. Unless McCullum plays a blinder, this whole third innings could just be a fruitless exercise.

Posted by Thefakebook on (March 24, 2013, 6:16 GMT)

England gonna loose or draw,now they couldn't beat NZ in NZ and OZ were white washed(are going to be surely)by india that means Ashes will be fun now lets see if every body is right and OZ will be demolished or OZ bounce back like they always do in condition that favor them.Good job Kiwis lot of respect you earned not going down at even once in this series(rain interruption is nature,stop blaming nature Eng fans).

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 5:52 GMT)

A brilliant performance from England, keeping up their 10 year test dominance. This is why England refuse to win a World Cup, so they can focus on the REAL cricket game.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 5:44 GMT)

After 2001 kolkata test between ind vs aus many teams are not trying Follow-on's

Posted by Mitty2 on (March 24, 2013, 5:39 GMT)

Not forcing the follow on? Please. Bowlers need rest. And test batsmen will always learn from their mistakes of the first innings, unless it is an inadequate pitch (ie all Indian pitches). The follow on should only ever be used if there's rain forecast and the if the end of test is near. Enforcing the follow on has so many examples of the team batting again scoring heavily in the follow on innings. And of course, with the nature of the pitch which is not that difficult to bat on (yes I've watched the test, kudos to boult), England would almost definitely score 300+, albeit at a slow rate.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (March 24, 2013, 5:12 GMT)

What a day! England must be ruing that first day because things have been fairly even since then, with the bowlers generally on top. There still doesn't seem to be a lot in the wicket but the bowlers have done enough and the batsmen have generally not done themselves many favours. I have to wonder whether the ball that England started with on day 1 was just completely lifeless. They changed that ball after about 70 overs and there was immediately more movement and the bowlers have been pretty much on top since. Even if that is the case, England still weren't disciplined enough with the ball and NZ were with bat and that's been the difference. Those 3 wickets for England late today offered a little bit of hope but, realistically, even if NZ get bowled out for 150-200, the game is probably still beyond England. The main issue is time and the fact that NZ scored slowly is good for England. Mind you, England did put on 421/6 in the 2nd innings at Dunedin so anything's possible.

Posted by whofriggincares on (March 24, 2013, 3:56 GMT)

Englands much hyped pace attack is once again being found out . Certain posters on this site would have you believe that they are miles ahead of the aussies. Lets look at career records of established bowlers. J. Anderson ave 30.46 s/r 58.8, S.Broad ave 31.45 s/r 61.7 , G.Swan 29.13 59.9 , M.Johnson 30.63 54.7 P.Siddle 28.77 57.5 N.Lyon 35 55. The two best up and coming bowlers J. Pattinson 22.41 41.6 and S. Finn 29.94 49.5. Johnson who the poms love to ridicule has a better record than all of your established seamers, Siddle has the best record of any of the established bowlers. Swan has a significant edge in the spin department but goes missing against Oz. And Pattinson is the most exciting prospect in world cricket way ahead of Finn. So whose attack has the edge in the upcoming Ashes?

Posted by Meety on (March 24, 2013, 3:50 GMT)

15 overs till stumps what a match this is turning into! The two early strikes by England have been key. I suspected NZ do havea collapse in them & I s'pose it is now or never for England. Plenty of time left, I think NZ should bat 40 overs into Day 4 for a lead around 400, (assuming they don't collapse). Either way for England to win or draw - they will need to do something historic.

Posted by Mitty2 on (March 24, 2013, 3:14 GMT)

English fans: before you cop all the comments about you justifying the 250-1 with comments about a flat and "bad for test cricket" pitch and then you being bowled out for 200, (ill leave that to the others) I'd just like to go against the inevitable comments that will be about root's innings.

He batted with supreme composure, and deserves credit and plaudits for it. He got beaten on many occasions but it didn't phase him; he batted for a good and needed 160+ deliveries. Despite only having a FC average of 39, he has taken to international cricket well. But I know, that many will say and bag him about not batting aggressively. The fact is, that if he batted aggressively earlier and got out, he would be the main scapegoat for getting out to a not so good shot, but if he bats out slowly and eventually gets out because of the lack of partners, he will be bagged again. There is no balance when there is no other supplementing and helping batsmen, so please, spare him the insults.

Posted by Minderbinder on (March 24, 2013, 3:13 GMT)

Much has been said about Australia's problems on rank turners in India in the run up to the Ashes, but England's frailties in familiar conditions against a solid but not spectacular bowling attack must be a concern for the ECB. An Australian pace attack featuring Pattinson, Cummins, Siddle and Stark/Johnson must be deeply concerning for England come July given their batting performance this series.

Posted by halsterry on (March 24, 2013, 3:13 GMT)

England have massively underestimated nz ranked well below them in ICC rankings boult showed everyone how to bowl on a flat pitch and southee was very good perhaps unlucky not to get more wickets. will be interesting to see how nz bat. Big ups to nz who have been berated by all things English and outplayed England.... So far. A thoroughly enjoyable match to watch test cricket is alive.

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (March 24, 2013, 3:07 GMT)

great stuff from NZ, pathetic from Eng batsmen, as a senior player bell (with 2 very new boys after him @ 5 &6) as usual fails to deliver yet again, with 78 runs in 4 inns so far on yet another poor tour for him, followed it up today by another pointless & insipid innings of 17... time to move on from bell

Posted by Staunch_for_NZ on (March 24, 2013, 0:39 GMT)

I actually hope NZ does not enforce the follow on if they have the a quality 20/20 innings not worrying about the wickets because we can afford to and give England 150 overs to do it or not!

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (March 24, 2013, 0:15 GMT)

I wonder what warm words and platitudes will be delivered to us by some junior member of the team this evening. PR and spin are not what is required,but senior players facing reality head and just admitting what is so obvious-ie that England are just not there for this game. McCullun does not have to do another thing to prove he is so far ahead of conservative Cook as to make it laughable. This game is now a fight for survival and in a way I hope they go down.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 0:10 GMT)

Well. I guess no one can argue about the pitch now.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2013, 23:55 GMT)

is there no enthusiasm to write this story? Seems very slow in coming out.

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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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