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Plays of the day from the third day of the third Test between New Zealand and England in Auckland
March 24, 2013
Welcome wicket of the day
It had been a long time since Tim Southee was able to celebrate a wicket, with his last one coming from the third over of the series, when he bowled Nick Compton. Since then he had gone past the bat plenty of times without reward. So no wonder he was insistent on a review against Compton, almost before Paul Reiffel began shaking his head. It was the perfect call, the ball had struck the pad before bat, and was heading straight for middle stump. New Zealand were celebrating before confirmation came, and none more so than Southee.
Near-miss of the day
At the height of their problems, with five wickets down, England were struggling to keep the scoreboard ticking over. In a moment of near desperation, Matt Prior pushed the ball towards mid-on and thought there was a single on offer. It was a grave misjudgment. Fortunately for Prior, Doug Bracewell, on the field as a substitute, could not hit direct, and Prior was able to dust himself and carry on.
Boundary of the day
There are few players around who adjust their tempo between formats as well as Joe Root. His innings on the third day was a reprisal of Ahmedabad, where he faced 229 balls on debut, with the dead-bat making a regular appearance. He gained his first boundary off his 19th delivery, then had to wait another 107 deliveries to double that tally, when he tickled Bruce Martin through short fine leg.
Predictable dismissal of the day
Stuart Broad's brief innings could not really have gone more to type - a few edges, a driven boundary, a crunching pull over midwicket for six, then a brainless drive next ball that picked out cover. He has become little more than a hit-and-hope batsman, yet he should be so much better than that. A Test No. 8 has to be able to have a decent defence, which appears to have deserted Broad in the last 12 months. Since his unbeaten 58 in the second Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in early 2012, his highest score was 37 against South Africa at Lords.
Decision of the day
The follow-on is out of fashion nowadays. Alastair Cook would not have enforced it last week if it hadn't been for the weather forecast in Wellington. This time it was Brendon McCullum's choice, and he decided to bat again, presumably to rest his bowlers, and allow Bruce Martin the last innings on the pitch. It also meant that a unique occurrence remained. The only time New Zealand have enforced the follow-on against England is the 1983-84 Christchurch Test when they rumbled the visitors for double figures twice. At 8 for 3, McCullum may have been feeling a little less sure of his decision.
Review of the day
It was another busy, and good, day for the DRS. However, one occasion where its use was wasted, came when Ross Taylor was given lbw. Broad, as he occasionally does, did not really turn around in his appeal, as he was sure it was out. Initially, too, Taylor looked happy to walk straight off, but eventually asked for a review. He only needed to see it once on the big screen to know he was gone, and had almost reached the boundary by the time he decision was confirmed.
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Andrew McGlashan
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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