New Zealand v England, 3rd Test, Auckland, 5th day

Prior helps England hold on for heart-stopping draw

The Report by George Dobell

March 26, 2013

Comments: 264 | Text size: A | A

England 204 (Prior 73, Boult 6-68) and 315 for 9 (Prior 110*, Bell 75, Williamson 4-44) drew with New Zealand 443 (Fulton 136, Williamson 91, Finn 6-125) and 241 for 6 dec (Fulton 110, McCullum 67*)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Matt Prior and Monty Panesar walk off after securing a draw, New Zealand v England, 3rd Test, Auckland, 5th day, March 26, 2013
The last-wicket pair of Matt Prior and Monty Panesar safely negotiated the 19 balls they needed to © Getty Images
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It may not have been pretty, it may not have been assured and it may have owed rather more to fortune than they would have liked, but England's last pair somehow clung on to seal a draw on the final day of the Test series against New Zealand in Auckland. In a thrilling advert for virtues of Test cricket, Matt Prior and Monty Panesar played out the final 19 balls of the game to frustrate a deserving New Zealand.

There were several occasions on a wonderfully absorbing final day when it appeared New Zealand's victory was inevitable. When England lost Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow either side of lunch and when they lost Ian Bell the over before tea, it seemed New Zealand were on the brink of just their second home series victory over England - the first was in 1983-84 - and their first Test series victory over any top eight opposition since they defeated West Indies in 2006.

But for all England's faults - and there have been times in this series when they have looked a very modest outfit - they possess an admirable resilience. They have been outplayed for long tracts of this campaign but remain, as Leonard Cohen put it, as stubborn as those garbage bags that time cannot decay. Surviving for 143 overs might be considered not only a Dunkirk moment for England cricket, but as admirable in its own way as coming from behind to defeat India in India.

There were several heroes for England. Stuart Broad, who tempered his attacking instincts so completely that it took him 62 deliveries to get off the mark, produced his longest Test innings since the Lord's Test against India in July 2011, while Ian Bell resisted for just short of six hours in seeing England to the brink of the tea interval. But most of all there was Matt Prior who may have produced the definitive innings of his career to thwart an excellent New Zealand seam attack that that threw everything they had at him on a pitch that remained true for batting to the end.

Prior's innings was, in many ways, odd. While his colleagues clung to the crease with the desperation of a climber sliding down a rockface, Prior played with a freedom that seemed to belie the match situation. Despite the fact that runs were irrelevant throughout the last day, he rarely declined an opportunity to punish the loose delivery and reached his century - his seventh in Tests - from only 148 deliveries with his 18th four. The logic was simple: he reasoned it was better to play his natural, positive game than attempt something unfamiliar. His innings may be remembered alongside Mike Atherton's unbeaten 185 in Johannesburg, in 1995, and Dennis Amiss' 262 against West Indies in Kingston, in 1973-74, as one of England's greatest match-saving contributions.

But he, and England, enjoyed much fortune and many nervous moments on the road to safety. Most pertinently, Prior somehow saw the bails remain unmoved after the ball thumped into the stumps when he had scored 28. Struggling to deal with a brute of a bouncer from the wholehearted Neil Wagner, Prior saw the ball bounce, via the bat handle and his neck, onto the stumps but fail to dislodge a bail.

Prior was also adjudged leg before to Tim Southee by umpire Rod Tucker when he had 16 - the Decision Review System showed a thick inside edge onto the pads - and on 20 he survived a loose top-edged pull off the same bowler. Neil Wagner, running back from midwicket, was unable to cling on to a desperately tough chance.

Perhaps New Zealand may rue some missed chances, too. Both Bell and Jonny Bairstow were dropped in the over before lunch as Trent Boult, swinging the new ball back into the right-hander, brought tentative edges to the slip cordon from deliveries angled across the batsmen. Bell, feeling for one angled across him that he could have left, was grateful to see Dean Brownlie, at fourth slip, put down a relatively straightforward chance, before, two balls later, Bairstow pushed hard at one some way from him and was fortunate to see Kane Williamson, in the gully, put down a sharp chance.

Batting had appeared relatively straightforward for the first 100 minutes or so of the day. With no hope of scoring the further 391 runs they required to win the game when play resumed in the morning, Bell and Joe Root instead concentrated on occupation of the crease. The pair batted without much trouble for 28 overs, settling in as New Zealand used the seamers sparingly ahead of the second new ball.

But everything changed once it was taken. New Zealand claimed the second new ball the moment it was available and, with its first delivery, Boult produced a beauty that swung back and struck a half forward Root on the pad in front of the stumps. Root and Bell discussed the worth of utilising a review under the Decision Review System, but decided, quite rightly, that the on-field umpire had made no mistake.

Bairstow, with only two first-class innings behind him since August, was fortunate to survive his second delivery. Boult, with an inswinging yorker, appeared to strike Bairstow on the boot before it hit the bat in front of the stumps, but New Zealand did not appeal. Replays suggested that if they had, Bairstow would have been in some trouble.

But he did not last long after lunch. Southee, bowling from wide of the crease, managed to make one bounce and straighten from just back of a good length to take Bairstow's edge on its way to slip.

Prior and Bell took England to the brink of tea. Bell, in particular, looked admirably solid and drew the sting out of the attack when they were armed with the new ball but, the over before the interval, he was drawn into feeling for one outside off stump from the wonderfully persistent Wagner and edged to third slip.

If New Zealand's seamers were impressive, their frontline spinner was not. Bruce Martin, perhaps feeling the pressure of expectation, struggled with his length and rarely found the turn that might have been anticipated. For much of the day he was out-bowled by the part-time offspinner, Kane Williamson.

With only four overs to go and England seemingly safe, McCullum surprisingly brought Williamson back into the attack, perhaps with an eye to the trio of left-handers at the bottom of the order. It proved a masterstroke: Broad's worthy defiance was ended when he prodded half forward and edged to slip before, two balls later, James Anderson fell in the same manner.

While Panesar endured some nervous moments - he was perilously close to playing-on first ball and, comically, almost ran himself out when diving well short of his ground in attempting a sharp single to get off strike - Prior proved a calming influence, took control and saw his side to safety.

A draw is, in many ways, a harsh reflection of New Zealand's superiority in two of the three matches in the series. Their bowlers found swing, seam and spin that England's did not and their batsmen displayed a balance between discipline and aggression that England could never manage. While McCullum was inventive and positive as captain, Alastair Cook was increasingly reactive and passive. Few would deny that New Zealand looked the better side.

Perhaps McCullum should have declared earlier. But New Zealand can take heart from this performance. Their pursuit of victory may have been frustrated, but they showed themselves at least the equal of the No. 2 rated Test team and showed that, under McCullum's leadership, they have the materials to rise in the rankings in the months and years ahead.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 28, 2013, 21:10 GMT)

Re BM's declaration - and I've posted similar elsewhere - I'm starting to wonder (on hindsight) if he meant to declare earlier?

The reason I say this is because

A- It totally goes against the grain - the attacking nature of the guy as a player and as a captain B-It seemed like someone else (management) called them in. Why wouldn't he (as he was out on the pitch) do it (declare) totally off his own back?

I'm wondering if maybe he got so intensely carried away with the playing (batting) the game that time passed quicker than he realised? I'm sure (as we probably all did)he felt that NZ would be good for the win anyway - esp when our top 3 went on day 4 - but I find it hard to comprehend that BM would feel that he would need 480+ runs to play with. I'd have thought he'd have backed his bowlers (in the form they were in) to defend almost anything above 375 and with Eng's constant slow scoring would be more worried about enough time to bowl Eng out than enough runs to defend?

Posted by JG2704 on (March 28, 2013, 21:10 GMT)

@SirViv1973 on (March 26, 2013, 19:47 GMT) There's a player called Chris Woakes. Check out his averages for Warwicks with both bat and ball in 2012. Right now (even more) I feel we need to try 5/1/5 because our bowlers are not firing half the time.

Posted by Sanga007 on (March 28, 2013, 18:36 GMT)

this is the kind of cricket I'm living for!

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (March 28, 2013, 10:38 GMT)

@JG2704 (post on March 28, 2013, 9:47 GMT): ah forget about it mate; some people just think Magic Monty is too dangerous a batsman and maybe would have won us the game had BC declared too early!

Posted by JG2704 on (March 28, 2013, 9:47 GMT)

@64blip on (March 26, 2013, 21:04 GMT) There were a few of us who argued strongly that BM should have followed on and 100% batted too long. If you want eveidence of my input



(March 24, 2013, 11:42 GMT/ 11:44/ 18:48 / 18:51 GMT)

(March 25, 2013, 10:36/ 17:38 GMT)

Funny how the person who intimated that I didn't understand the game when I said about BM not following on/batting too long seems to have gone missing. Yes I never thought Eng would pull it off but I still felt BM increased our chances of saving the game by batting on too long by a much higher % than he'd risk losing the game by 1st - making us follow on and 2nd - giving us 100 runs less to chase

Posted by GrindAR on (March 27, 2013, 21:41 GMT)

It was not a regressing field day to not to impose follow-on on english. It actually fired back. BMC might have thought pessimistic, in the end it the result was disappointing for NZ. As most of us know, after a long overhaul sequences, this team is set to be promising. Lets see how they carry-on to their next series. I wish, there is a good weatherman on NZ skies to divert the rain away from the grounds. All being said, Hats-off to NZ for an excellent show and regaining their groove they had in 90s and early 2Ks. Now all they need is "Killer Instinct" to demolish the opposition with authority. They came close in results, but never showed that on field. When they start to show, everyone will like them as once WI were liked by most part of the cricket nations...

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (March 27, 2013, 19:02 GMT)

Joe Britto on (March 27, 2013, 6:20 GMT) Agreed in respect to no one being consistent bar SA, they play a lot less test cricket than England, India and Australia so maybe less affected by injuries (check tests played last 2 years). West Indies and Sri Lanka have been generally weak in tests for some time and not sure why Bangladesh is on your list as I cannot remember them even winning a tests in recent times with the occasional ODI/T20 win against weakened touring teams.

Posted by Indefatigible on (March 27, 2013, 16:22 GMT)

Whoever said that Test cricket was boring must be running for cover. What a game of cricket!!!

Posted by liz1558 on (March 27, 2013, 14:46 GMT)

@AltafPatel and the follow on - maybe, maybe not. England batted a lot better in their second innings, and NZs top order froze in the headlights second time round. They could easily have been 5 down for 50 if England had held their chances. Also 8/3 is a lot easier to recover from when you already have 250 on the board; 8/3 when chasing 150 spreads panic. McCullum was right in his estimate of NZs performance and their attitude: 'reasonably proactive'. This series was like watching a medium weight outfox a heavyweight - he danced around him, landing jab after skillful jab, although weary that his opponent, if given the chance, could do some serious damage. In the end he made the heavyweight look ponderous, wore him down, had him on the ropes, but lacked what all medium weights lack when punching above their weight: a knockout blow.

Posted by AltafPatel on (March 27, 2013, 12:48 GMT)

@Privilegetheatre Chantimelle Grenada : 'New Zealand cricket haven't given awards in any of the T20, ODI or Tests this year.' This is the reply from Cricinfo when I posted same question to them. Seems strange but it's fact !

Posted by AltafPatel on (March 27, 2013, 12:44 GMT)

Fulton had been surprised finding for NZ. Bruce Martin and Wagner as well. Taylor back in the squad with full fitness. This team seems to be stable and drawing series (could have won in fact) against strongest No.2 side would have given them lots of confidence. All the best NZ.

Posted by AltafPatel on (March 27, 2013, 12:37 GMT)

NZ paid for not letting Eng following on. The decision could be justified in case they lead the series. Big mistake they made to win the first home series against Eng at home.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 11:43 GMT)

Who won the man of the match and man of the series award?? This is strange, none were announced..... I dont think I have even seen this before in a test series

Posted by please_concentrate on (March 27, 2013, 9:28 GMT)

@meety, you make a very valid point about the poor catching, but you should probably have referred to all FOUR innings, as England dropped a few as well - I think Fulton was put down on about 30 in the 1st, which may have changed the complexion of the game somewhat if it had been held. However, it wasn't and we ended up with a nail biting 5 day test

Posted by WhoCaresAboutIPL on (March 27, 2013, 8:42 GMT)

I think this match - although much appreciated - says nothing more than that the whole schedule is still over-full. To have three different series in such a short period is asking for burn-out. In most recent cases the fun matches (ODI and 20:20) have come after the Tests, here they came first. In either schedule the visiting side is at a disadvantage. I look forward very much to the two upcoming return matches - if they are also drawn and/or won by NZ then they will certainly have proved themselves. Again this tends to lean very much on the early English weather…. On another point, many authors take the rankings very seriously, but surely severely rain curtailed draws should be discounted? I would suggest that if more than 25% of the match is lost then that match is declared null and void for ranking purposes. It seems that only 76% of the potential (450) overs were bowled at Dunedin and 67% at Wellington, which suggests my estimate is about correct.

Posted by Hammond on (March 27, 2013, 7:42 GMT)

@Sean Cilliers- funny that you completely forget to mention England winning in India only a few months ago, something that Australia only do every 30 years or so.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 7:21 GMT)

Shows how much the England side has slid down the pecking order in word cricket. A very brief stint at number 1 and they were talking about creating a legacy. They are a decent team but nothing more, SA just completely destroyed New Zealand and England celebrating Mediocricy with a drawns series against New Zealand.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 6:20 GMT)

A great victory for Test Cricket indeed!

Presently it is really quite difficult to distinguish which are the Top 6 Test Teams in the world.

Except for South Africa which is perched safely for the present on Top, none of the otherTest playing nations have shown any real consistent performance.

England, India, West Indies, New Zealand ,Australia , Sri Lanka , Pakistan & Bangla Desh.

It will be interesting to see the latest Test Rankings .

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 6:09 GMT)

England celebrating a drawed series against the same NZ team we brownwashed home and away, this tells me that we (SA) are miles ahead of other test playing nations and long may it continue.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (March 27, 2013, 5:46 GMT)

@SurlyCynic on (March 26, 2013, 9:21 GMT), you might want to try looking at things objectively. Runs made no difference on the final day because England couldn't win. All that mattered was time. Prior is getting all the accolades because his innings looked good, he scored a hundred and he was there at the end, but Prior actually faced 89 deliveries fewer than Bell though, so how can you discount Bell's actually greater contribution? Prior was not out so may well have faced more deliveries if given the chance but England were probably sunk without Bell's contribution. He was a match-saver, whether you have the wherewithal to see it or not. As for his being dropped, are you going to judge your own Hashim Amla only on the runs he scored before being dropped on SA's last tour of England? If that's how you're going to judge Bell then Amla didn't even earn a 50 on that whole tour.

Posted by Meety on (March 27, 2013, 3:52 GMT)

@Keeran Sivasupramaniam - LOL! "....may b 2 wickets in 2 balls GO kiwis..." - you got the two wickets in two balls almost right, but it was the 8th & 9th wicket unfortunately for NZfans! @Mitty2 on (March 26, 2013, 6:55 GMT) - actually I am pretty sure Jonsey2 WOULD of & probably HAS! @ JG2704 on (March 26, 2013, 17:05 GMT) - I am NOT a fan of Broads, but that was arguably the finest 6 runs @ a S/R sub 10 I have ever seen. Something like 60 balls to get off the mark. I'm with you I thought he'd get 30 off 25 balls swatting to mid on! re: declaration, I backed Brendan Mac, thought he only needed a lead of 400 though. I think IF you follow on, you hand an advantage back to the other side. Had England scooted along @ 4rpo in the 2nd innings (a bit of an IF), England could of built a lead of 200 runs & had 2 sessions @ NZ. Ultimately though (IMO), the decision to bat on was NOT, the determining factor, it was the poor catching in BOTH innings by NZ!

Posted by philknight on (March 27, 2013, 3:20 GMT)

The NZ cricket family has suffered a lot over the last six months and I am sure no true fan of the game would have begrudged us this victory. However, the English team must be applauded for their pride and courage. I am sure both these traits will take them to Ashes success over the next few months. I also hope we have proved to the world that we belong on the world cricketing stage. The big countries tend to only play us in two test series and that is hurting our development. This three test series was a rare pleasure and crucial to continue our rebuilding process. I believe our test team would benefit from certain players being told to only play first class cricket in both NZ and the UK and tests. These players would have to be financially compensated for losing possible income from ODI and 20/20 cricket and the obvious question is where that money comes from. Williamson, Boult, Rutherford, Watling, Southee and Bracewell would be the obvious candidates.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (March 27, 2013, 2:14 GMT)

This wasn't always the best Test match as far as the skills on show were concerned but that last day was about as thrilling as it gets. It was a very good effort by several of the England players to scrap to a draw under immense pressure but, let's be realistic, they would not have been in such a hole to begin with had they played better. They were below par with the ball on day 1 and with the bat on day 3 and probably again with the ball on day 4. NZ definitely outplayed England but I can't agree with those who say that NZ deserved to win. If they deserved to then they would have. England were lucky with Bell's drop in particular but fielding is part of the game and if you don't field well enough then you don't win. I didn't see too much sympathy for England when they dropped Rutherford in game 1 or Amla repeatedly back in England or Pujara in India. Prior was lucky the bails didn't come off that once but if they had then you'd have to consider him unlucky under the circumstances.

Posted by Insult_2_Injury on (March 27, 2013, 2:09 GMT)

I'm neither a pom, nor kiwi, but I am a Test Match cricket fan. As a contest, this match provided all the drama which makes Test Cricket the pinnacle of the sport. Hold this up to the spotlight and the drama of a five day contest coming down to the last ball is exactly the type of examination of talent real cricket fans look for. Sure some draws are due to unimaginative captains, as well as contrived pitches, but draws like this showcase the ebb and flow of true competitive cricket, regardless of positions on an ICC ranking.

Posted by Pontiac on (March 27, 2013, 0:38 GMT)

How disappointing that there was no man of the match or man of the series named. In all the articles today, not a one seemed to mention that we all had the career-defining efforts of Peter Fulton (apparently he's a sheep farmer when he's not playing first class cricket) to put New Zealand into such a position.

Posted by vsssarma on (March 27, 2013, 0:35 GMT)

The way NZL came up from their disastrous SAF tour is commendable. They have 2 new players Rutherford & Martin. Williamson was a revelation in a bowler's hat.

ENG has much to think about. They came from a high zone but what happened in NZL for them is that they were greatly challenged and stretched.

My ratings of players:

ENG: Prior 9.91 Trott 9.43 Finn 8.50 Compton 8.48 Broad 8.12 Cook 8.01 Anderson 4.74 Bell 4.36 Pietersen 3.16 Root 2.07 Panesar 1.8 Bairstow 0.0 Overall ENG team 8.80

NZL: Williamson 10.0 Fulton 9.88 Martin 9.21 Rutherford 8.72 McCullum 8.64 Boult 8.61 Wagner 8.05 Southee 4.84 Watling 3.01 Brownlie 3.0 Taylor 2.78 Overall NZL team 10.0

Posted by jabberwocky123 on (March 26, 2013, 22:09 GMT)

Another great advert for DRS. Matt Prior was given out with a full fifty overs of the day to play. Had that decision stood England would have been beaten with a session to spare and every writer on here would be writing 'the comprehensive nature of the defeat means England cannot blame the umpiring decisions'.

All this makes the BCCI's stance a continuous source of bafflement. Their concerns about the predictive element of Hawkeye are understandable, even if most people don't agree with them. What's baffling is the vast majority of overturned decisions are decided by technology that is 100% - where the ball pitched, where the ball struck the batsman or, as with both Broad and Prior today, a single replay showing a thick inside edge. All these things can be easily seen without the predictive element of Hawkeye. People would take their concerns about Hawkeye or thin edges showing up on Hotspot more seriously were it not for their refusal to use technologies which work 100% of the time

Posted by dalboy12 on (March 26, 2013, 22:07 GMT)

@BoycottsWife Were you watching the series --- NZ was the team most likely to win in Dunedin. There is no way you can say the weather robbed England from being up 2-0 going into the last test. They got bowled out for 167 on a road of a pitch.

Just a note -- we have a very dry summer here in NZ (drought conditions) which probably played a part in the pitches all being a more dead than normal.

Lastly big ups to the England supporters, you all played a huge part in this series and it was great having you here and showing us Kiwis again the joy of watching test cricket that has really suffered here in the recent times. Also was great having your commentary team used on our TV coverage. Great series

Posted by 64blip on (March 26, 2013, 21:04 GMT)

Coulda, woulda, shoulda... Were any of those now saying the follow-on should have been enforced, or the declaration came too late predicting a draw when England went in to bat? Or when they were 90 - 4 overnight? Of course not. Great fight by England and unlucky New Zealand. 99 times out of 100 they run out winners.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 21:03 GMT)

Wonderful test cricket, well played NZ, well saved England. Just incredible, gripping, pure theatre.

Which is what makes it all the sadder. There's a lot of joy on this thread, a lot of love for the game we all adore. Yet still, after a match like that, some people can't let go of their petty, nationalistic agendas. Seriously, no point naming names, we all know who, grow up. And less I be accused of bias let me point out that I find this drivel deeply disappointing when it comes from England fans, too.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 26, 2013, 21:01 GMT)

@Michael Cosgrove - 9:47 GMT) Yeah you're right. Every Eng fan came on these threads and said we'd win the series with a hand tied behind our backs. Oh and you forgot we all said we'd do it blindfolded too.

@SurlyCynic - 9:21 GMT) I'm really surprised you've not touched on the birthplace of Prior yet? It's repetitive , recycled jargon for sure but that doesn't usually stop you

@Fast_Track_Bully -, 10:39 GMT) You're right there and no one can take that away from them. They certainly did a better job than the last country we toured

Posted by JG2704 on (March 26, 2013, 21:01 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge -, 7:34 GMT) Really embarrassed by your comms re the state of the series. Absolutely no need to get all egotistical with the NZ whose fans are a decent bunch

@DocBindra on (March 26, 2013, 8:50 GMT) Writing things in CAPS doesn't make you any more factually correct

@Mambahunter -, 8:58 GMT) AB is more a batsman/Wk - Prior is more a WK batsman.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (March 26, 2013, 20:57 GMT)

@That'sJustCricket Why would you hope for a defeat for England just because they had the temerity to beat India. By that logic we should want SA and Pak to lose but we couldn't care less unless it's anyone against aus

Posted by Nerk on (March 26, 2013, 20:41 GMT)

Well done New Zealand. The young fast bowlers are starting to up their game (not mentioning any names...Southee) and McCullum looks to be the captain they have needed since Fleming.

England fought hard, but their strength seems to be playing on spinning decks. Perhaps we might see 5 dustbowls prepared for the Ashes. Don't laugh, its happened before.

Come on kiwis, continue the resurgence.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 20:39 GMT)

A draw against New Zealand ? The chest thumping celebrations after the whitewash in the summer of 2011 seem a long time ago. World number one team ,set to rule the world for a decade etc, etc. Sad fact is England are celebrating a draw courtesy a ball failing to dislodge a bail.England minus KP are a pretty poor side. KP was responsible for the series win against India and for levelling the series against SL.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (March 26, 2013, 20:31 GMT)

I think the problem for Eng was that the players & if we are honest the fans thought all we had to do was turn up & we would win this series. This was after all no2 against no8 in the world, on paper a miss match, a NZL side who had lost 7 out of 8 tests & Eng coming off the back of an historic series win in Ind. Instead we found a tough & spirited NZL side who played some great cricket. Pretty much the entire team performed above their modest records, something all of us would have thought impossible at the outset. For Eng although most of the batsman contributed a significant score at some point, no one other than Prior batted with any level of consistently. Perhaps the biggest disappointment though was the bowling. All 3 seamers had one inns where they bowled well but none of them backed that up & Monty was comprehensively out bowled by a 32 yr old debutant. Eng lacked any real intensity in this series & there will be much to ponder ahead of the back 2 back ashes series.

Posted by Thefakebook on (March 26, 2013, 20:24 GMT)

Yet again NZ could not finish job.But Eng leave the series with no win loss in momentum???

Posted by bender6 on (March 26, 2013, 20:21 GMT)

BEST TEST MATCH EVER!!! only bad point was we (NZ) didn't win, but I really didn't care too much, it was simply too magnificent to take sides. I salute every memeber of both teams, but man of the match is Matt Prior, he got in the team in NZ last tour, and cemented himself as the best wk/batsman in world cricket this tour- he must love NZ. Great to see the mutual respect from both teams, it warmed the cockles of me heart.

Posted by Lmaotsetung on (March 26, 2013, 20:18 GMT)

Cardiff 2009, Centurion 2009, Cape Town 2010, Auckland many teams have managed this type of houdini act in the last 5 years? Most would roll over and give up but not these lads. Keep in mind none of these matches ended in so called fading light...they went the full distance unlike Dhoni's heroics in 2007.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (March 26, 2013, 19:47 GMT)

@JG, I think all the regular posters are aware of your preference to see us play a 5/1/5. However I think it is even less likely to happen now than in the recent past. I think the case was stronger a year or so ago when Bresnan & Broad were in the side & both offering something with a bat. I know Broad did a fine job in a rear guard action today but his ability to contribute runs down the order appears to have seriously diminished & with Bresnan's future as a batsman & bowler in doubt then I just think the tail would be too long. Woakes might be the player who could come in & give the team balance but we really don't know if his bowling will have enough penetration at this level or how his batting would fair against the world's best bowlers. We dare not get in to the position Aus find themselves in where they are picking players who aren't batsman or bowlers but they can do a bit of both, something we have already spent a long time doing during the 90s.

Posted by Herbet on (March 26, 2013, 19:37 GMT)

A nail biting draw can't hide that England have looked pretty average in this series. Without Swann our bowling has looked flat and Panesar has been shown up to be what he is, a bouncing turner specialist. The middle order continues to look brittle, the whole top order one paced and the batting generally disappointing, albeit inexperienced. At least we are only playing Australia most of the time this year.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 19:28 GMT)

NZ and McCullum blundered BIG time by NOT giving follow on England in which case NZ would have beaten England hands down with time to spare. McCullum missed a great opportuniity here. What a shame!

Posted by CricketMatrix on (March 26, 2013, 19:16 GMT)

New Zealand should have really won. the bowlers bowled their heart out and really toiled out there. It would've amazing for the fans for them to pull of a victory here.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (March 26, 2013, 18:53 GMT)

@Adolphous Griffin, It's impossible to say what would have happened had McCullum in forced the follow on but at the time I did think it was a very defensive move. To my mind BM was heavily influenced by what had happened in Dunedin, when Eng piled on the runs 2nd inns, having been bowled out cheaply in the 1st. If Eng would have matched or surpassed what NZL did in their first inns then chasing 200 to say 240 would have been tricky for NZL given the fact that their batsman are not too accustomed to being in that sot of position against 1 of the higher ranked sides. In hindsight I would think McCullum probably wishes he would have backed his bowlers, if they would have managed to bowl Eng out for anything less than 400 2nd inns then you have to think the batsman would have got them home.

Posted by AKS286 on (March 26, 2013, 18:52 GMT)

No doubt Southee is a world class bowler. I always miss kyle Mills in tests. He is a good swinger of the bowl like Jimmy. A left arm pace bowler always missing in Eng side. @ front_foot_lunge kindly don't compare Prior to Mathew Waste.@Cynic Ifyouplease on (March 26, 2013, 17:55 GMT) yes without DRS this match was lost Broad & Prior were saved by DRS. I hope NZ will continue with this team without injuries.

Posted by ThatsJustCricket on (March 26, 2013, 18:25 GMT)

I would be honest here, as an Indian fan I sincerely hoped for a defeat for England, especially after they beat India in India, but, England actually showed why they are #2 in the world. The fightback was amazing. Superb play from NZ as well. This is one of the best of Test cricket overall.

Posted by sportchat on (March 26, 2013, 18:25 GMT)

I'm not a fan of the England team, but they've come a long way from once being an over-rated team after beating the Aussies, but their victory in the pressure cooker environment in India, and now their heroics against New Zealand, England have matured into a decent side. I say decent, because the litmus test will be facing an in-form Australia and Pakistan side, then we'll see if they have what it takes to be the best.

But, hats off to England, i can't begrudge their moment of glory. No one, (even the experts), thought they could pull it off. Adding steel to the game is not historically England's strong point, so congrats!

Posted by Shan156 on (March 26, 2013, 18:17 GMT)

@JG2704, re: @sandy_bangalore's comments, Boult and Southee performed better than our seamers in this test but God knows how they are far far better than our bowlers based on performances in one test. And, if that is indeed the case, then Indian bowlers are worse than any England bowlers based on their 0-4 whipping in Eng and 1-2 defeat in India which in turn would mean that the Indian bowlers are worse than Boult and Southee too.

Also, @JG2704, I agree that Baz should have Boult a bit longer and perhaps he should have enforced the follow-on but I believe it all started with Cook's silly decision to insert NZ in after winning the toss. If Eng. batted first, I think they would not have found themselves in this position. This was a good batting wicket. We should have made first use of it and put in a big score. Who knows how scoreboard pressure would have acted on the Kiwi batsmen? At the end of the day, though, Baz proved he is a more inventive and positive skipper than Chef.

Posted by Shan156 on (March 26, 2013, 18:07 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster, who is celebrating a draw? We are merely appreciating the resilience shown by this Eng. side. Granted we did not do as well in this series as we would have liked but NZ really played better cricket than us for most part of the series. Don't you remember Gambhir's epic match-saving innings in NZ and if you do, don't you appreciate that? I surely do. On paper, England should have easily defeated NZ but cricket is not played on paper, is it? Forget what the rankings say, NZ played gutsy cricket and deserved to win. But, Eng. really fought hard and so the draw, in the end, was a fair result.

@Front-Foot-Lunge, I agree with @JG2704. The NZ fans were a lovely bunch and so were their players. Despite being a hard-core Eng. fan, I really felt their disappointment. But, NZ fans need not despair. This was as good as a win. After the SA disaster, they have shown that they can play really good cricket and trouble better ranked sides. Fulton, Baz, KW, Boult, Southee, take a bow.

Posted by Shan156 on (March 26, 2013, 18:02 GMT)

@JG2704, I think we should play 5 bowlers in the summer series. It is going to be a long year and we need to have more bowling depth. Forget our backup, even our first choice seamers are struggling. So, it is important that we get more bowlers a look in the XI. Onions would be a handful in England, I think. If we could a fit and firing Tremlett, then I think we would be OK. Cook, Compton, Trott, KP, and Bell should take the responsibility to score most of the runs and I think they will do fine in England. Prior has been magnificent for us and you cannot ask for anything more from him. He will do great at #6. I agree that the tail will appear really long in that case but if Broad sorts out his batting, Swann returns, and Bresnan finds his nip with the ball, I think this should not be that big a problem.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 17:55 GMT)

See how DRS worked! Without it England would have been gone! Replays would have proved spoilsport and thereby depriving of an exciting finish. Almost all big chases are marred by huge appeals being given; DRS here arrested the practice. BTW, Prior played a gem. Cook's poor decision to field first must have haunted him no end; Some brilliant stuff by the lower order somehow spared him that misery.

Posted by cric_J on (March 26, 2013, 17:38 GMT)

Yesterday I read an article (on cricinfo only) where Matt Prior said"We do it the hard way.".And now I surely know that he meant what he said.It was a champion effort from Prior ,Bell and Broad.I have never seen Bell as a very dependable batsman but he was just so focused today,that you had no choice but to admire his efforts.And what to say of Prior ?He was his usual dependable and "Dial Matt when England in worry "self.The kiwis were clearly the better team and deserved to win.BUT IF THERE IS ANY REASON WHY ENGLAND SHOULD HAVE DRAWN THE SERIES IT IS PRIOR'S SUPERB EFFORTS THROUGHOUT THE SERIES,WITH BOTH BAT AND BALL.And then there's Broady.The moment he walked onto the crease ,I was praying he would take inspiration from his 169.I don't know if he did,but whatever he did worked out.He fell,got hurt,bled,danced all round the pitch but still managed to hang in for 2.5 hrs.Probably his was the effort that ensured Eng draw the match.Well done to these lads but we expect much more.

Posted by rookie4u on (March 26, 2013, 17:08 GMT)

That's Test Cricket at its best... A draw in the end still couldn't steal the magic of longer version of this game. Thrilled to see such an effort. I would like to appreciate both the teams for putting up such a brave show. And, also to the NZ Board for making a competitive where bowlers and batsmen get equal opportunity to play the game in high spirit. I expect that the Indian sub-continent teams to learn something from here. Its not always winning that matters. Its the quality of the game that sets a high standard. I wish India cricket management could understand this and stop making such rubbish pitches where the game ends on 3rd day. That's pathetic show of cricket. Absolutely rubbish.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 26, 2013, 17:05 GMT)

@Shan156 on (March 26, 2013, 5:18 GMT) /jmcilhinney on (March 26, 2013, 6:32 GMT) You know how I stand with the team formation as I think you (Shan) think likewise. The problem with moving Prior up as I see it is that you lose a player in the bottom half of the order and also having a specialist batsman at 7 seems a luxury to me.

@Meety - Not sure I've seen a final day with so many twists and turns. When Bell went I thought that would be it. Broad would have a heave and maybe score a quickfire 30 and that would be it. To me Broad played way above himself and deserves as much credit as anyone. On the day , I felt BM should maybe have kept Boult going a bit longer with the new ball. Don't often feel for the other side but this time I do.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 26, 2013, 17:04 GMT)

@sandy_bangalore on (March 26, 2013, 5:27 GMT) Can understand your sentiments esp re the media but let's also re

"Boult and Southee are far far better than the overhyped English bowlers, and without KP, their batting is nothing to boast of, Prior and Cook apart" -

Re the bowlers - def in this series but they have to do it over time. Re the batsmen - while I wouldn't boast about any of them - would you not say Trott is a decent batsman. Nick scored 2 tons in this series and Bell looked good today - and Root is promising - no?

Posted by JG2704 on (March 26, 2013, 17:04 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster on (March 26, 2013, 7:12 GMT) Lol at you commenting on double standards. In the past you said you hated test cricket but then are extremely prolific on our threads. Oh that's when India are doing well and England are struggling of course. When it's the other way around you go into hibernation. Yes it was not a good series for England but maybe come back when India show similar resilience when their backs are against the wall.

@Front-Foot-Lunge on (March 26, 2013, 7:34 GMT) Really embarrassed by your comms re the state of the series. Absolutely no need to get all egotistical with the NZ whose fans are a decent bunch

@DocBindra on (March 26, 2013, 8:50 GMT) Writing things in CAPS doesn't make you any more factually correct

Posted by JG2704 on (March 26, 2013, 17:04 GMT)

@Bring_back_Wright -, 8:30 GMT) David_1946 -, 10:03 GMT) Guys - both spot on , I said this at the time. Simon Doull was also dead against leaving the declaration so late and I'd have made Eng follow on to being with. I feel you have to play the percentages see below. Also I felt it went against the way BM went about the game with his attacking fields etc

@DustBowl - 11:18 GMT) I disagree. I'd say a huge point, not a small point

@wakemeupbeforeyougogo -(, 8:54 GMT) They did declare too late for sure. I said it at the time. Eng were never going to chase 400+ with the batsmen they have in that space of time. I said to another poster that it was far more likely Eng would hang on for a draw with an hour or 2 less time to bat than chase 400 with an hour or 2 more to bat

Posted by JG2704 on (March 26, 2013, 17:01 GMT)

@jackiethepen on (March 26, 2013, 12:57 GMT) Agree re Bell. You also have to give huge credit to Root (who along with Bell looked the most solid) and Broad who stayed with Prior doggedly for practically the whole of the last session

Posted by JG2704 on (March 26, 2013, 17:00 GMT)

Re this series. Got to be honest I never thought I'd be relieved with a draw but due to a combo of Eng underperforming and NZ playing superbly that was exactly my feeling. I'd also say that it was more NZ playing superbly than anything else so full credit to them. Also like to congratulate their fans on these threads for - so far - all conducting themselves in a sporting manner despite naturally feeling a little aggrieved at not winning the series. I'm not sure I've seen one totally disparaging comm. from a NZ fan on these threads. I would also like to apologise for a couple of ours for their comms and can assure you their comms in no way represent my comms. It's a shame you get the usual folk from the usual places recycling their junk here but congrats NZ and NZ fans. Hope you go on from here (except in the next series of course)

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (March 26, 2013, 17:00 GMT)

As a England or NZ fan this was an absorbing as ever. For neutral fans, despite the 0-0 & if your honest, this was entertaining test cricket. Try explaining that to an American! England were not at their best but big ups to NZ who put up a superb fight, a great responce after the SA tour. As a England fan I think youve gotta be honest enough to admit that after the 12 rounds, NZ would have slightly edged a points decision.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 26, 2013, 17:00 GMT)

Re the declaration continued.

As I said I'd have made Eng bat again. Unless your bowlers are knackered (which could be the case) you know what you're going to be chasing on the last day if you enforce the follow on and unless the pitch is likely to deteriorate a great deal then it his highly unlikely the other team will set too big an ask. If they do you just have to say fair play. Ashes Headingly 81 is very much a rarity.

Eng's top 4 batsmen were Cook,Nick,Trott and Bell - a naturally slow scoring top 4 as you're likely to see so - and despite what the media might say - If BM declared on anything 375 upwards the chances of an Eng win would have been remote to say the least. And setting 480+ meant that Eng were never going to do anything but dig in - which was no easy task for sure. You surely have to play the percentages. Which is most likely - Eng chase down 380+ with an extra hour or 2 to chase or Eng cling on with an hour or 2 less to survive?

Posted by akc5247 on (March 26, 2013, 16:53 GMT)

Beautiful game of cricket; fantastic character shown both on and off the field. AMAZING game of cricket. Hats off to everyone, and especially the Barmy Army - man, are they SOME support for the english team!!!

Posted by JG2704 on (March 26, 2013, 16:47 GMT)

Re BM's declaration. I said at the time that I felt he went on for up to 100 runs too long and while I still felt NZ would win comfortably I feel that they greatly reduced their chances of winning by batting on too long. 1stly I'd have made Eng follow on. I think it was between lunch and tea they bowled us out and I feel the bowlers (while maybe tired) would have had the momentum/adrenalin to carry them through to the end of the day and if they took 2 or 3 wickets I'd have said game over. Maybe the bowlers preferred a rest in which case fair play. I'd be interested to find out. I wonder - strange as it sounds - if BM got so involved out there that he didn't even realise how far they were ahead? It seemed that he was himself called in by someone else so that could be a possibility. It (IMO a safety 1st declaration) would certainly go against his onfield attacking instincts.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 16:05 GMT)

I always thought that McCullum should have enforced the follow on. With around 200-all out NZ bowlers will not be so much tired, neverthless they would have had enough rest to bowl on next day. The similar kind of mistake Ganguly did in Sydney, 2004, not enforcng the follow-on which cost India a famous test series win in Australia.

Posted by GrindAR on (March 26, 2013, 16:05 GMT)

Good game folks... McCullam need to ue Kate wisely a he was the one who made breakthrough during their bowling. Kate turning more admirable player in thi match. Hope to see him continue his trend.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 16:02 GMT)

Prior is the most under-rated WK-batsman, in the international cricket at the moment. What spirit! What application!

You do feel for the NZ boys. they raised their game several notches in this series. With a bit more luck, they might have won the series, too. Excellent show.

Test cricket at its best!

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 15:11 GMT)

New Zealand unfortunately only have themselves to blame for the draw. They dropped Bell and Bairstow in the last over before lunch , had they taken Bell's wicket as they should have I firmly believe they would have won the game. Sorry NZ but apart from one or two like Bolt you have only yourselves to thank for this draw instead of a win.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 15:09 GMT)

From an England fan I'd like to say thanks to New Zealand for an exciting and absorbing test series with excellent cricket played by your guys, love the country and their youngsters coming through nicely, well done!

Posted by swat1999 on (March 26, 2013, 14:46 GMT)

This is an excellent game of test cricket. All the wicket keeper around the world must learn from Mat Prior that how to defend his team during the crisis. Oh my God i love it.

Posted by shubham.nishad on (March 26, 2013, 14:32 GMT)

The resilience shown by England cricket team is something worth praising. Matt Prior innings was a masterpiece and it shows that test cricket shows how good a batsman is. Batting all the way through to save the test match shows true character of a batsman. Moreover the way England approached the last day of the match, especially tailenders, their efforts have proved that no other form of cricket is better than test cricket.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (March 26, 2013, 14:23 GMT)

My expectations of England at the end of day 4 were not very high;I was surprised they got to lunch today let alone tea,......and the final hour? Extraordinary and hardly for real. Therefore when Wiliiamson took out Broad and Anderson I could hardly have been less surprised, though unsatisfied,. Monty's first ball hardly changed that but when he faced the final over from Boult it was really do or die, and the scampered single meant that Prior just had to bat out 4 balls. Transcendant stuff from the England boys, and a day too extraordinary to be fully grasped. At least the spirit is still there because if they can bat 9 hours to save a game they never realty competed in they can do many things. The spirit of Colly lives on! though the 1998 Old Trafford escape was also there for discussion. It seems sad that Kiwis only get 2 tests here as they are a 3 test side and have been outstanding. Fulton's and Prior's facws made an interesting contrast, while McC hobbling around completed it.

Posted by BoycottsWife on (March 26, 2013, 14:23 GMT)

Hang on a second, "a deserving New Zealand", "England lucky to get a draw" - what? If it hadn't been for the weather, England would have been one or two nil up going into the final test. All this nonsense about New Zealand showing amazing team spirit and having turned a corner etc. England were still,overall, the better team with perhaps a draw overall being just about fair enough. This is very frustrating!

Posted by jb633 on (March 26, 2013, 14:13 GMT)

A decent show in the last day from our guys and Prior is truly a world class performer. Any conditions any match position he has the answers. Also I must say congrats to NZ as they hammered us in this game and on average deserved to take the series. From an English perspective the time has come to get back to the drawing board and rethink. We have let things drift over the past 18 months and we can't afford to rest on our previous good performances. For 18 months now the main issue has been the seam bowling and the lack of pace/swing. I don't know what has happened to our guys but the bite has gone. At this level you can't just trundle in and expect things to happen. You have got to make things happen. Our guys for 18 months (against good sides) have just looked too slow. Maybe a chnage of personnel is required or a rethink about their roles in the side. I would hate for the ECB to try and make Finn a stock bowler for example. He needs to be utlised properly.

Posted by samincolumbia on (March 26, 2013, 14:11 GMT)

Ha...the supposed #1 team narrowly escapes being thumped by a minnow team!

Posted by cric_J on (March 26, 2013, 14:09 GMT)

For the past 4 days I had been hoping that Eng would play to their potential and get into a winning position in the match.And on each of those my wishes were denied by some superb display from NZ and some below par one from Eng.When we lost Cook yesterday ,I (like most others) had no hopes of Eng being able to save this match.Especially with Bell scoring a tumultous 8 off 70 odd balls.BUT for all their flaws Eng (as stated above) have this distinguished ability to come with something incredible when pushed to the wall.Bell, Prior and Broady did just that.At 7 down at tea, the NZ commentators had been discussing that it would take NZ only 10 overs or 1 hour to knock out Eng(and few would have differed).

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 14:05 GMT)

@ DeckChairand6pack "I'm going to stick my neck out here and predict that this year's Ashes will be won by the team that is least inept." .Assuming no intervention by the weather or inconsistencies by the umpires, isn't that the way the result of every cricket match is decided

Posted by AKS286 on (March 26, 2013, 14:02 GMT)

Excellent performance by Matty Prior really brave & intelligent innings. The never give up attitude of Eng saves this match and provide courage to fight till last breathe. This kind of attitude only comes when team understand that what is the meaning of Pride of Country. This attitude also reflects how eagerly poms are looking at No.1 spot. poms justifies their ICC rank 2 team and FaF's innings against Oz reflects being No.1 you never give up. Win or loss is different but courage, pride, honour, fighting attitude more matters. some teams lost matches 4-0 without any fight and surrenders from the beginning of the match and come up with excuses like DRS, Pitch but not accepting their failures. Good cricket by NZ continue with this team & ignore injuries.

Posted by Fluffykins on (March 26, 2013, 13:58 GMT)

@ nav84 do you by any chance work for the Daily Sport?

Posted by British_North_America on (March 26, 2013, 13:56 GMT)

This is what test match actually is.Teams plays for 5 consecutive days and the end result is a drawn.Do you people still think it should be continued?

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 13:43 GMT)

Atleast from this match itself, Captains have to understand how time plays the pivotal role. Had New Zealand captain declared the innings, they might have got enough time to chance or bowl out England. The precious moments are lost by opting to bat instead of inviting England to follow on..........Poor guys.....Well done England tail enders.........

Posted by DeckChairand6pack on (March 26, 2013, 13:33 GMT)

I'm going to stick my neck out here and predict that this year's Ashes will be won by the team that is least inept. And boy, it is going to be a close one! On the plus side, it may motivate me to muck out and paint the shed this summer.

Posted by MeijiMura on (March 26, 2013, 13:31 GMT)

New Zealand will never get a better chance to win a test match and a test series against England. New Zealand lost precious time and overs by batting on past lunch on day four and inexplicably wasted a further 30+ minutes by batting on after Fulton was dismissed in a pointless time wasting and over consuming exercise. England was never going to chase down a score of 400+ batting last, especially without KP in the line-up. If that wasn't bad enough the New Zealanders spilt chance after chance gifting Bell and Prior lives which ultimately cost them the test match. Full marks to Bell and Prior for batting as long as they did and contributing massively to England's effort to draw the test and the series, but they were given a helping hand by shoddy fielding and a late declaration that could have and should have seen them having to bat for a further 30 minutes than they actually did in order to save the test and the series. An additional 30 minutes could have been all NZ needed to win.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 13:08 GMT)

Glad that England got out of that one with a draw. Lucky, maybe, but still unbeaten. Overall, I think it can be classed, from a results POV, as a successful winter, although most would probably have had the results of the two series as the other way round. It will be interesting to see how this NZ fare in the early English season conditions, something they've done on their last couple of tours.

Posted by jackiethepen on (March 26, 2013, 12:57 GMT)

This is a factual report that is a bit low key and doesn't capture the heroics of the day. There was nothing straightforward or ordinary to bat for a day to save the game after the loss of 4 wickets. Apparently it has only been done before by 3 sides in the history of cricket!! This was absolutely compelling stuff from the opening ball to the last one. Bell and Prior rightly stand above the others, and Prior deserves the plaudits for being there at the end. But Bell soaked up 271 balls for nearly 6 hours, 89 balls more than Prior. Root also played his part as did the totally out of form Broad who stuck at the crease with absolute tenacity. Monty was just part of the magic by surviving. This really was great cricket. Prior plays that way whatever the situation, but he deservedly rode his luck. Bell closed down his beautiful stroke play and just batted like a man on a mission. Yes they were dropped etc. But Fortune favours the brave.

Posted by Stark62 on (March 26, 2013, 12:46 GMT)

After seeing this performance, I'm going to back Aus to win the ashes!!

Posted by whoster on (March 26, 2013, 12:42 GMT)

It wasn't an especially memorable series, but what a fantastic climax. Only Test cricket can conjure up situations like this, and what a wonderful advert both teams provided on the final day. NZ can feel a little hard done by because they dominated two of the three Tests, but England again have shown great resilience. NZ look a far better team than the rankings suggest, and they've got some exciting young players coming through. Williamson with the bat and Boult with the ball look particularly good. England have got out of jail, and as well as NZ played in this series, England looked pretty ordinary at times. I expect England to win the return series in a few weeks time, but NZ are no pushovers, and hopefully the two Tests will be highly competitive. Well done both sides for providing such drama and excitement on the final day!

Posted by WilliamFranklin on (March 26, 2013, 12:37 GMT)

Ian Bell as much behind this as Matt Prior. 270 odd balls!

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 12:37 GMT)

Well, New zealand deserved to win the contest thoroughly !

Posted by sonicattack on (March 26, 2013, 12:30 GMT)

@nav84 - it's probably pointless saying it to you, but Monty Panesar is English

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 12:30 GMT)

We are meant to be a better team than NZ but they gave us a lesson in how to make the best of what you've got. They played with tenacity and skill. They deserved the series victory that eluded them.

I'm really worried about the state of our test team. We are far too inconsistent. The youngsters are not making the step up as many thought they would, our bowling looks toothless and something doesn't seem quite right in the dressing room. Contrast this with South Africa's test team, which plays with confidence, ruthlessness and cohesion. We are no more than average as a team.

Flower's time as coach must surely be drawing to a close. He's done a lot for the team, but things seem too cozy. Either that or the cupboard of emerging test players is bare.

At least Prior has shown what he's capable of, two fifties and a ton in 5 innings - not bad for a no. 7 batsman. Not much else good coming out of this series for England.

Posted by siri12345 on (March 26, 2013, 12:13 GMT)

well played england.actually i was cheering for a kiwi win just when i realised that this england draw is actually a good thing for the rankings.because the deserving team got tostay at no 2 position instead of the overrated overhyped pitch doctorers home tigers.cricinfo please publish.

Posted by bobbo2 on (March 26, 2013, 12:09 GMT)

@Liz1558. A game of football goes for 1.5hrs. A test is 5 days giving the superior side plenty of time to dominate. England probably are no.2 in the world, meaning SA are light years ahead. Both teams played well in patches but I thought England would be far stronger

Posted by kreeketer on (March 26, 2013, 12:04 GMT)

The series result is good representation of the fact, how Test cricket has become very difficult and challenging in this era where players play 3 formats. Very difficult for any world class team to dominate always in a test series. England clearly escaping a overseas test series loss in NZ. Well played Kiwis and I am very happy to see the Kiwis keeping the England batsmen in check in most of the sessions. End of the day a Win for Test match cricket. Well played both teams.

Posted by nav84 on (March 26, 2013, 12:04 GMT)

Twice in 6 months, a South African and an Indian have saved England from humiliation on foreign soil. In November KP and Monty did it against India. Today Prior and Monty did it against NZ. What would England do in cricket without South Africa and England. If only these two countries could play football as fine as they play cricket, England would not have been trophy less since 66. :P BTW in tests, Prior is the best keeper-batsman while ABD is the best batsman-keeper.

Posted by sonicattack on (March 26, 2013, 12:03 GMT)

Once again, a great advert for test cricket. It may not have been pretty, but it certainly was enthralling and nerve racking. I feel for NZ, who have totally outplayed us in this test, but I always believe that saving a test that should be lost is often just as important as winning a game, and for those who are critical of England should bear this in mind, especially some Indian and Aus fans whose teams haven't done too much in this matter recently. Prior's knock was magnificent, and, yes, to make any significant score or spend a considerable time at the crease, there is always an element of 'luck' (whatever that is). SA fans will know this in remebering Faf du Plessis' great knock v Aus last year.......oh, and it was great to see McCullum setting really attacking fields, That is also what makes Test Cricket truly great!

Posted by Fluffykins on (March 26, 2013, 12:00 GMT)

Dont think you a likely to see a celebration like Prior's on reaching his ton,just goes to show who the great man was playing for out there...

Posted by CamS71 on (March 26, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

DocBindra on (March 26, 2013, 8:50 GMT): You won't find any true England fan who will say anything other than NZ outplayed us during this Test & the series as a whole. You also won't find any who reckon we have either the best bowling or batting line-ups, though Prior is arguably the best keeper/bat (his keeping is a step above ABDV). So where do you get the 'England so overrated' nonsense from. By who? They are 2nd in the world for a reason, but rightly some distance behind SA & just ahead of the pack. You come over as bitter & petty. Can't you just rejoice in a great game of cricket. BTW, NZ should rapidly rise up the rankings if they can keep this level of performance up, esp when DV & Bracewell return to bolster the ranks.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 11:52 GMT)

Bravo England! What a marvellous draw! Its almost like pulling off a win. Brilliant batting from Prior. Also great support from Broad.

Posted by pt_pt on (March 26, 2013, 11:49 GMT)

Great Test match, one to remember really. This is why NZ all ways needs a 3 test series, give a chance for these types of matches to happen. Disappointed that only 2 test will be played in England. I think this should be changed now and a 3rd test be fitted in.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 11:47 GMT)

A match does not have to be decisive for being interesting!

Posted by EGWdxb on (March 26, 2013, 11:44 GMT)

well played to both the teams and truly a genuine test match

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 11:38 GMT)

Kiwi's back to being Kiwi's again...

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 11:35 GMT)

Heart breaking! how much i hoped England will lose, after they thrashed India in India... But they have shown that they are a very good team by coming back and drawing the test match.

Posted by Great-shot444 on (March 26, 2013, 11:35 GMT)

What a match , England you are the best

Posted by cloudmess on (March 26, 2013, 11:27 GMT)

It's good for an English supporter to have seen a draw, when with 4 wickets down overnight, a loss seemed unevitable, perhaps even by lunchtime. But fair play to NZ - they were the better side in the series, and not least in this game - and they have given England an almighty reality check.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 11:25 GMT)

The declaration and the result provide a case in strategy. Shd BBM have decalred earlier? If the pressure of having to score runs been piled on England wd they have wilted? Here the chase was beyond them and so no pressure to score runs was there so they cd be bloody minded on 'Occupy Crease' mission which suits England's main batsmen like Cook, Trott and Bell. On the other hand, the weight of scoreboard and the long duration (143 overs) to play out caused enough pressure to make England break. Kudos to them that they survived. What went wrong for NZ was their inability to use the old ball well and ironically for a traditionally good fielding side their shoddy catching. Baz made it safe for NZ (cant lose from here) but also for England (can stonewall for a draw). Probably he reckoned well what his bolwesr cd do but not what his fielders wont. That was tragic. I wd imagine the result was contributed to England's determination and New Zealand's poor fielding 40:60.

Posted by liz1558 on (March 26, 2013, 11:24 GMT)

So when Man U drew 1-1 with Swansea, it made them an average side? It's a sign of a good side that they can hold a resurgent team in their own back yard. New Zealand under McCullum have performed like a bottom table club under a new manager. England were taken by surprise by a pumped up team that showed some intent - it hardly makes England unworthy of being 2nd in the world rankings.

Posted by rudiphillipsSOUTHAFRICA on (March 26, 2013, 11:21 GMT)

brilliant by england... showed their fighting spirit and new zealand have shown they have the wherewithal to play test cricket at its best. it also shows how far south africa are ahead in world test cricket seeing that they pulvarised both those teams.

Posted by DustBowl on (March 26, 2013, 11:18 GMT)

The three highlighted post sum it all up well. Small point - NOT a criticism, as McC established himself as an excellent captain very quickly. Could he have declared earlier? - runs were never a factor - only Prior could do a Gilchrist and get the runs. Time was THE factor, and it was, with Pansesar batting. The Kiwis have taught England a deserved lesson - which should be useful for ALL 7 Tests in the summer. NZ are a couple of players away of being several rungs up the ladder. Forget the 45 it was against a pace attack = to the very best. PS Panesar hasn't a clue on his own - Swann, then Treadwell. PPS Bell well done, now for a few more please.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 11:15 GMT)

it wast heart stopping, nail biting, grandma crying, grandpa dying moment. Well played NZ wish you good luck. Bring back the NZ cricket heritage once more. England was awesome also. End of the day it was the test cricket that won million hearts across the globe. I love test cricket than any other formats.

Posted by kentjones on (March 26, 2013, 11:15 GMT)

NZ certainly deserved victory for their outstanding performance in this series. Test cricket has again demonstrated its ability to make heroes out of those willing to fight it out and ride their luck and villains out of heroes, and displays the uncanny ability of the test match to turn the status quo on its head. NZ continue to prove their worth at this level, which is no real surprise to me. I have repeatedly said in this forum that NZ is a really good side. The good news is that they will only get better. There is a belief and confidence that is quite apparent, and like I said before, they have gotten their groove back. All you other test teams, watch out NZ is on the go.

Posted by CrICkeeet on (March 26, 2013, 11:10 GMT)

Mccullum's late declairation costs NZ.... There's no need 2 giv a unbelieveable total of 481 where world record is 418 in d whole 130+ yrs history in d 4th inngs.... bdw WELL DONE NZ.... really a gr8 match...

Posted by NixNixon on (March 26, 2013, 11:09 GMT)

As a South African I really enjoyed watching this game last night, what an awesome display of test cricket and again this just goes to show that test cricket is the real deal - nowhere to hide, pressure and midgames, the battle for survival. Well done NZ and well done ENG for saving the game.

Personally I think NZ can take a lot out of this, I hope they will show some consistency in their selection and continue with this 11, give them a chance to gel as a team and to understand each others game. Add bracewell and ryder to the squad and NZ can really challenge some of the bigger teams. NZ has got guts and they want to win and play with pride for the badge. Well done McCullum (one of my favourite players)!!

Posted by Selassie-I on (March 26, 2013, 11:09 GMT)

@ Posted by on (March 26, 2013, 5:48 GMT) Thanks for your comment, however this match was really exciting at the end, it ebbed and flowed, it's the beauty of test cricket! you don't have to have a result to have an exciting match, most of the best are draws. If you prefer one side hammering another then perhaps you shuodl stick to t20?

There is a huge difference betweena high scoring draw that barely gets into the 2nd innings and a thriller like this!!

Well played both teams, England scraped away with this one, looking forward to the return ina few weeks.

Posted by 07sanjeewakaru on (March 26, 2013, 11:09 GMT)

Test cricket is the only sport one can really resembles to life.It has everything.Cruelty of disappearing everything you earn,Disappointment of crumbling compelling dreams that you wished you can really achieve. Value and power of Perseverance and determination and patient ....Really its not a sport. To me it's a University of life.So don't make obituary statements about this ultimate sport.It's a Blasphemy.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 11:07 GMT)

Let's not forget NZ BEAT South Africa IN SOUTH AFRICA in a ODI series only a few weeks before this series started. Those saying they are a really weak side are doing them a real dis-service. This was a real ding dong series. NZ playing (and preparing) to their strengths; which is exactly as it should be with home advantage. It could have been 2-1 either way had the first 2 tests not been so badly rain affected. In contrast the Oz/India series was a one sided hammering by India (of a side England beat in a test series only a matter of weeks earler). SA stand out as the best team by a full head and shoulders. England/India/Pakistan are in the chasing pack. New Zealand are definitley on the up - wheras Australia? Wow how low can they sink with these great new "super young seamers" that fail to perform match after match. Aussies have a team full of "Stuart Broad like" seamers. All mouth and no substance.

Posted by Jaffa79 on (March 26, 2013, 11:04 GMT)

@ Mitty2, I really don't get what you are trying to say. If you read my post, I said that England were dire and there are loads of questions/problems for England to ponder. Where have I looked at all the positives? I mentioned that I'd rather be in England's shoes than Aus, as the Ashes are around the corner!! I am just being honest as England have undoubted issues but Australia seem to be in crisis, with massive problems with selection, the coaching staff and key personnel in all areas of the team bar quick bowling. I don't think it is being unfair to assert that, with home advantage, recent performances and recent Eng-Aus history, that I'd rather be in England's position. Please clarify you point...

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (March 26, 2013, 11:00 GMT)

Lucky poms escaping once again ..... just maybe running out of it -luck- what with NZ having another crack at Eng humiliation this time back in Eng .... Don't think they will miss this time a repeat of the glorious summer of '99 ...... a 2-0 result will be just for NZ ... Wait ..what will happen in the biggest event ... Ashes with the world's most potent pace battery of the young Aussie speedsters about to wreak havoc on Eng.No use cursing luck then .... they just have had an unfair chunk of it and it runs out..... lucky escape today but the biggest humiliation awaits poms in few months in the Ashes . 4 man Aus pace battery is going to provide scenes of 80s WI pace attack in action back then..... and Eng are to be on receiving end again.....

Posted by whofriggincares on (March 26, 2013, 10:56 GMT)

Even when @ffl is trying to be serious he sounds silly . England should have been 2-0 up heading into this test, mate that comment shows that you have no sense of reality. Interesting to see" the best top order in the world" get rolled cheaply on that "dead" pitch. Oh and to complete the trifecta as good as prior is (very) he is not even the best south african keeper batsmen let alone the best in the world. I think AB has the title as the number 1 keeper/batsmen.

Posted by saview on (March 26, 2013, 10:55 GMT)

Two things strike me. Either England are on the slippery slide, or NZ have improved markedly. They were pitiful in the tests in SA. Probably a bit of each, which leaves SA so far in front of the chasing pack that it's unlikely they will be caught for some time. Oh yes, please don't describe Prior as being fortunate because a ball rebounded from his neck on to the stumps without dislodging a bail - he would have been unfortunate to get out in such a a manner! It was a great innings by Prior. Interested to see how NZ get on away from the comforts of home - that will tell whether they really are improving.

Posted by IndianInnerEdge on (March 26, 2013, 10:54 GMT)

What a terrific test match, fab last day's play! as a neutral i feel this is a fair result, although NZ could have held on to their chances to win, the ump was atrocious..! also the delayed declaration cost NZ some valuable time. All in all, looking @ the quality of this match and the last 2 tests of the india-aus series, happy to see test cricket alive and kicking - as we head off into another round of headless brand toting cricka-chicanery of the IPL variety....there is a reason why its called tests-and today's play showed this....Test cricket rox and is the ultimate...!

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 10:44 GMT)

Matt Prior is the hero - but Stuart Broad? Tremendous contribution. 77 balls, 2 hours, 30 overs - without him Prior would not have been able to do what he did! Broad is the unsung hero - at least to me! This is test cricket at its best - not the crappy stuff that India and Australia played just the other day!

Posted by CrICkeeet on (March 26, 2013, 10:40 GMT)

DRS should b must for test..... This series is a perfect xample 4 dat... bt un4tunately BCCI so far cant realise that..

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (March 26, 2013, 10:39 GMT)

Congrats NZ for pushing England to brink of defeat. That exposes the England woes.

Posted by Big_Chikka on (March 26, 2013, 10:37 GMT)

New Zealand punched above their weight in this series, lets see how they do in the coming year. Boult, was disappointing in the second innings, BUT, put the blame on dropped chances, he had Bell and one other dropped with new ball. Totally understand if he's upset at the result.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 10:37 GMT)

New Zeaand will ne kicking themselves they had their foot on England's throat and couldn't seal the deal! Also it's a worry for England not being able to win a series v a team as poor as New Zealand!

Posted by voice_of_reason on (March 26, 2013, 10:30 GMT)

There are many people who don't understand how a match played over five days can end in a draw and many who believe that five day draws are the reason that T20 is the future and Test cricket will die. But the ebb and flow of this match, the skill and determination shown by both sides, offered cricket that should be appreciated by players, officials, spectators and administrators alike.

This match tested so many skills, which is why it is called a Test match. In a limited overs match, the opportunity to test skills are, well, limited. That is why Test cricket will survive. It is why it must survive.

Posted by CaptainMainwaring on (March 26, 2013, 10:29 GMT)

I appreciate that people want to praise NZ for their performance in this Test, but the truth is that they have botched their best chance in a long, long time to pull off a great win. Why on earth was England not made to follow on? And why on earth did McCullum delay his declaration until England knew they had a real chance of survival? Daniel Vettori, where are you?

Posted by brusselslion on (March 26, 2013, 10:20 GMT)

Great effort by England on the final day to come out of this Test with a draw, however it shouldn't be allowed to disguise the fact that this was a bad tour for England. They have been outplayed by the Kiwis in most departments and were lucky to escape with a drawn series. Averages do not always tell the full story - e.g the record book says that Broad scored only 6 runs today but the innings was much more important than that - however, they do give an indication of events and the series averages for most of the England team do not make good reading. Let's hope it was a blip but, as I've said before, I have real concerns about the England attack.

@Cpt.Meanster on (March 26, 2013, 7:12 GMT): Dear, oh dear. Not still bitter about England's series win in India, are we?

Posted by Fluffykins on (March 26, 2013, 10:19 GMT)

Rivetting stuff at silly oclock in the morning, only test cricket can do that!

Posted by Pinarsh255 on (March 26, 2013, 10:18 GMT)

34 year old opener scoring centuries in both innings, Williamson starring with the bowl, Broad blocking and blocking. This is what both the team needed. England a call to stop or delay the decline, a reality check. Kiwis a strong performance to forget the Taylor episode and get along as a team. Brendon finding the correct batting position for him and the respect of his team mates. This is what Test Cricket needed. No debates over the pitch, the DRS. Let the bat and ball do the talk. Congrats to both the teams. A day for cricket, a day for all the fans.

Test cricket has seen a lot. Its not going to die. Neither is T20. It is the 50 over cricket which is in danger.

Posted by VinodGupte on (March 26, 2013, 10:09 GMT)

this is indeed a moral victory for NZ. the series is 0-0. ENG could not win and were in a position of losing the last one. good work by NZ.

Posted by nlpdave on (March 26, 2013, 10:07 GMT)

An unlikely escape but, England have done this before and that perhaps should have been remembered. For all the positive things about McCullum's captaincy its ironic that when he needed this characteristic most it deserted him. Failing to enforce the follow on and batting for far too long cost NZ this match. Far from being an encouragement for NZ one might be asking if they can't win when conditions and events favoured them so much can they beat anyone? Perhaps it's just cricket evening things up. Cook makes a howler by offering NZ first use of the pitch when the ball failed to deviate at all and McCullum returned the favour.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 10:06 GMT)

They can play all the ODI's, T20I's, IPL, BPL, BBL, CPL and whatever else they want to dress them up as, but Test cricket is unapproachable in its nuances, skills, endurance and ever-varying qualities....the limited-overs game in whatever format doesn't come remotely close to all test cricket has to offer...two teams going hammer and tongs at each other right up to the final ball to gain the upper hand - so much to admire.... In addition, if only the BCCI would stop being so pompous, bombastic and superciliously officious and embrace DRS - it improves cricket so much - just ask one or two of the Indian players if they're not quite sure.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 10:04 GMT)

Fantastic innings by Bell. He showed his value to the team, and great strength of character. Always up for the fight!

Posted by David_1946 on (March 26, 2013, 10:03 GMT)

@JG2704: You said "But I said that I felt he should have made us follow on and even more strongly that he declared up to 100 runs too late and I think my views were vindicated purely by it going deep into the final session regardless of the result." Excellent analysis; I likewise believed that NZ should have enforced the follow on (see my post on Sunday). And, failing that, the declaration was way too late; it left England a required run rate of 3.36, when they had struggled to achieve 2.5 throughout the match, and their #1 priority was always going to be survival. Still, as has been pointed out, it resulted in an exciting finish to a hard fought series.

Posted by Mitty2 on (March 26, 2013, 10:01 GMT)

@glance to leg, love that comment. But as an aussie, just hate soccer naturally haha @surlycynic, i agree with you on the defensive aspect of bell, but he is needed for england. The top three are very good at consuming time and occupying the crease (which is great), but don't really score runs that quickly, and with Bell and KP in the middle order once a start has been made, they can really up the anti and score quickly.

On the mccullum decision to not follow on, and for the very large lead, it is always easy to criticize the decision/s retrospectively, but at the time, with the huge work load of the NZ bowlers, plus cook and co's habit of doing very well after a failiure, you can't genuinely say that enforcing the follow on is a good idea. And the lead of 460+ was scored very quickly and gives a mental edge due to the pure demolishing of the bowling attack, this physchological win usually affects the batsmen on the opposing side, as is evident with compton's early dismissal.

Posted by shortsillypoint on (March 26, 2013, 10:00 GMT)

In hindsight NZ batted too long or didn't start the acceleration until it was too late. What might have happened if they ordered the follow on? Also, as some of us have been saying, Kane Williamson needs to bowl more. Still, what a different tune the English press and fans are playing today. Lucky hardly covers it. May will be interesting in the UK.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (March 26, 2013, 10:00 GMT)

@Pras_Punter LOL sounds like sour grapes.

You also missed one advantage with DRS. It will also expose (and embarrass) batsman who nick and refuse to walk(remember ricky ponting in WC 2011?) Perhaps there wouldn't even be a contest with DRS (chennai would have become more one sided contest)

That said i just hope it is a matter of time BCCI brings in DRS (after srinivasan era)

Now bring on the Ashes and we will see more excuses :)

Posted by Sanj747 on (March 26, 2013, 9:56 GMT)

Prior is a class act. Best wicket kepper batsman going around. England will be disappointed. Good show by NZ after a long time.

Posted by Mitch1066 on (March 26, 2013, 9:55 GMT)

Well once again England managed get a draw. Well played prior . England clearly need to get back to ruthless like had being on road to number 1.i think overall we should take heart we seam have fight in our belly but surely should not be coming too require this to daw . Being good test series and reason why test cricket is amazing

Posted by 6Stumps on (March 26, 2013, 9:53 GMT)

Incredible! An absolutely riveting finish to a match that hung in balance till the last delivery was bowled. I am a neutral but it gives me immense satisfaction to see the lion-hearted efforts of both teams who gave it their all and then some more. My heart bleeds for NZ who played the game with unassailable spirit and came within sniffing distance of victory. Yet I have nothing but only respect for this wonderfully tenacious and resilient English side that fought tooth and nail. The match ended in a draw, but then we sometimes need such draws so that the game itself might emerge victorious. Well done NZ and England.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 9:53 GMT)

Wonderful to read so many people cheering on test cricket. Want to add my voice to the rising throng, even though I wasn't able to watch a ball. Followed every game on cricinfo and loved the ebb and flow. NZ has a long way to go before they can call themselves a good test team. But this series will give them tremendous heart. I think Train Stationer's somewhat surly comments are, with respect, the cricketing equivalent of "baa humbug", on a day where two teams demonstrated why test cricket is such a special, special sport. Well done England. But (and with the pride of a kiwi who was at the Basin for every ball of Jeremy Coney's 174 against England in 1984) FANTASTIC EFFORT BLACK CAPS. Test cricket lovers the world over are proud of you and grateful for what you have done this month.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 9:51 GMT)

@SurlyCynic. A 6 hour innings of almost 300 balls is hardly someone who "bottled it" After a day of batting a mistake is more than likey. I'm not a massive Bell fan, but without his 6 hour occupation of the crease England would have lost by a mile. Where runs were meaningless, his innings (that took up almost twice the time and balls of Prior's) was by far the most important.

Posted by Mitty2 on (March 26, 2013, 9:50 GMT)

@milhouse79, even after being put to shame by a team that many of you english were stating that you'd easily walk over, you still have to mention australia. Same goes with FFL. There have been, apart from the luck of today, and apart from compton scoring two tons on flat and easy batting decks, absolutely no positives for your side from this series. And for those who wish to dispute the "luck", i ask you, did you see the ball hit the wickets? Your bowling has not at one single stage looked like taking 20 wickets, whereas an inexperienced NZ attack has numerously. Your world beating batting line up (and your only strength) capitulated for under 205 twice; all on very good batting decks. And to top it off, cook has portrayed himself to be a very negative captain. Was it 9 or 10 men on the boundary? Sure, a comment is warranted about our dreadful performance in india, but that india doesn't anymore have the three walking wickets in sehwag, gambhir and singh, and ashwin bowled MUCH better.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 9:47 GMT)

I don't know what the English supporters were cheering for at the end. Before the series they said they would win with one hand tied behind their back.

Posted by Sephaka on (March 26, 2013, 9:47 GMT)

What an amazing Test match, and a truly committed and gutsy (and desperate in a good way) performance by both teams. One of the greatest things to come from this one is talking about how an incorrect umpiring decision cost a side the match and the series! There were several incorrect calls made by the on-field umpires (which could be excused after 5 days of intense cricket) which were over-ruled in favour of the correct decision. So instead of the message boards being full of "if only the umpire had of seen the massive inside edge from Prior, England might have hung on" etc, it's all about the cricket, the heroism of Prior, the comeback of Peter Fulton, the talent of the young Kiwi pace attack. Great advocate for the DRS.

Posted by voma on (March 26, 2013, 9:43 GMT)

Firstly , well played New Zealand .The whole series , they have put pressure on this experienced England side . But for another brilliant innings , by the best wicket keeper/ batsmen in the world now . It would of been 1-0 to the kiwis , and they deserved it . England beat India easily in India !! , then struggle here . What a brilliant game test cricket is .

Posted by Anwar-Lara on (March 26, 2013, 9:42 GMT)

Well i am so proud to call myself a test cricket fan.. brilliant game well played both teams.. after Matt Prior's comments on the eve of 4th day, i thought England might pull it off and they did...

Posted by glance_to_leg on (March 26, 2013, 9:36 GMT)

Truly wonderful example of why test cricket is so fascinating. The only version of the game that truly tests character as well as skill and athleticism, which is ultimately what great sport is about (and why rugby union and cricket are so superior to, say, basketball and soccer). An utter delight to see NZ playing so well. It will be interesting to see how NZ fare in England (rather well I suspect on this evidence), and also interesting to see whether a mediocre England can cope with a wounded Australia. As an English supporter, I hope England can recapture their fight (there were hints yesterday). Most of all, though, congratulations to NZ.

Oh, DocBindra, very few England fans over-rate their team; we are simply pleasantly surprised when it does well. Indeed, very few cricket fans outside India exaggerate the qualities of their own side, which is why it is generally so enjoyable to watch cricket with fans from other nations.

Posted by Nothing_Lost_For_Ever on (March 26, 2013, 9:36 GMT)

@David Besser, 77 balls is the record

Posted by PrasPunter on (March 26, 2013, 9:35 GMT)

Congrats to Eng and NZ for staging a fine display of test-cricket. The following are quite evident.

1) Test cricket is alive and kicking. Even IPL can't kill test cricket.

2) Prior is the best WK batsman around at the moment ( assuming that Sanga doesn't keep in tests )

3) To win matches, one need not doctor pitches - the Kiwis almost did it on a wicket that was good even on day 5. Congrats Kiwis.

4) Once again, the value of DRS is there for every to see - Eng was able to successfully reverse 2 decisions which helped them a long way. Of course, we can't change those we prefer to live in stone-age. Why talk about them when we talk about progress and development.

Long live Test cricket. Cricinfo, please publish - from a die-hard fan of Test-cricket.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 9:34 GMT)

One thing is certain. There will be a long and passionate debate about whether England's stubborn batters saved them or New Zealand's fielding lapses bailed them out. And such debates which cannot be easly resolved are good for Test cricket. My tuppence is that the Blackcaps letting Bell and Bairstow slip through their fingers moments before lunch was the reason Prior could stage his heroics. Let the debate rage :)

Posted by bobbo2 on (March 26, 2013, 9:30 GMT)

Followed it all day at work. So proud of my NZ team. Didn't get the win but who would have thought NZ would dominate so many days of the series. And we'll done today England. I rate Prior as he always stands up. Big well dones must go to McCullum and the coach Hesson who has coped his fair share. Finally NZ looks a good outfit and it doesn't just seem a flash in the pan. I think McCullum will do great things with this team by NZ standards. Great day of cricket. Nothing in sport compares to a decent Test match. I'll ignore the IPL and wait for the real deal to resume in a few weeks.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 9:25 GMT)

This is test cricket and this is why England is No 2 test side, I always apprise high those teams who performed well under unfriendly conditions. so 9/10 for England 7/10 for NZL Good Luck next time

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

NZ only looked good because England made them look good. They are still a very weak side

Posted by SurlyCynic on (March 26, 2013, 9:21 GMT)

Great test, what shame NZ couldn't seal their deserved series victory. Can't believe how much luck Prior had, but he did play well too.

As for Bell, despite being dropped, regularly beaten and being given every chance to save England - once again he bottled it and gave his wicket away. Sadly, this was expected and it sums up the disappointment of his career. Good at posing in forward defensives, no ticker for the fight. Shane Warne was right.

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

Was Broad's innings of 62 balls before scoring a run any sort of record?

Posted by FAB_ALI on (March 26, 2013, 9:11 GMT)

In the end, a fitting result for the series. Both teams were evenly matched throughout.

Posted by Jaffa79 on (March 26, 2013, 9:10 GMT)

Matt Prior proved what a great player he is once again. I have always admired his ability to go out and take the bowling on but have had doubts at times of his ability to graft. This innings has definitely proved me wrong! This should not detract from the fact that England have been dire for the majority of this series and Kiwi fans should feel hard done by in not getting a series victory. Lots of things for England to ponder: why have the bowlers lost their mojo? Saker needs to be working overtime there! Has Monty played his last Test (there aren't any tests on the subcontinent for a while)? Does England's middle order look one paced without KP (we bat ourselves into a hole too often)? Also, wthout being too critical, I haven't been overly impressed with Cook's captaincy; it is early days and I am not suggesting a change or anything like that but he has looked a bit unimaginative and defensive. All things to think about! Mind you, I'd much rather be in our position than the Aussies.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 9:03 GMT)

Batting to save a Test match is always difficult, and even as an Englishman I had written England off, but the performances that Bell and Prior (especially Prior) showed in this Test were herculean. This should have been the Kiwi's match and series, but England's resolve has proven to be one that's difficult to break. This ranks up there with The Great Escape at Cardiff in 2009. Ultimately, Test Cricket was the winner.

Well played New Zealand. You have exceeded everyone's expectations. Hold your heads high lads, you've been brilliant. We look forward to the return series in May.

Posted by Mambahunter on (March 26, 2013, 8:58 GMT)

@ pommy80 Your statement: "What an innings by Matt Prior. Best wicketkeeper/batsmen in the world." is not quite true. The best is a bloke by the name of AB de Villiers. He is probably the best in all formats. But it was a great match and great innings. Well done to both teams for enhancing the image of test cricket. The series shows that there is a huge gap between South Africa and the second best team.

Posted by wakemeupbeforeyougogo on (March 26, 2013, 8:54 GMT)

Khurram, you talk a load of dribble. NZ didn't declare to late, they made it safe and based on the wicket allowed themselves more than enough time. Players don't have a crystal ball they don't know whats going to play out in time...I say the winner was Test Cricket and up the IPL!

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 8:53 GMT)

NZ have played to their full potential this series well played to them, but they still werent quite good enough to win a test match against ENG as for ENG their batting in this series has been nothing short of shambolic totals of 167 and 204 in the 1st innings is just awful on the very flat pitches in this series they must post big scores in 1st innings this is how you put pressure on and win test matches instead of fighting for draws...

Posted by DocBindra on (March 26, 2013, 8:50 GMT)

How the mighty have fallen...the GREAT new hope for the future and the present barely held on. Yes, a great exhibition of Test match cricket and a good game no doubt but really is this English team all that? Can't use the subcontinent and dustbowl excuses but England got outplayed in 2 of the 3 games in English conditions. Wasn't for Prior, England was done! This team is aging right in front of our eyes and they will have to claw and grab for everything. England is the MOST OVERRATED TEAM IN THE WORLD, just ask the English fans and they will tell you how GREAT this team is. The best bowlers, the best wicketkeeper and the best batsman in the world, all reside in this current outfit. ...In all this, no credit needs to be taken away from the Kiwis. They outplayed the English in 2 of the 3 games. They have to focus on consistency now and better days and results await them.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 8:44 GMT)

Great stuff from NZ. And what a brilliant advert for Test cricket. England did not play well, but NZ bowled and batted positively for most of the game and were always hunting for the win. This makes the series which starts in 6 weeks actually mean something. "Unfinished business" for both sides. Again - Test cricket shows why it is head and shoulders above other forms.

Posted by CamS71 on (March 26, 2013, 8:39 GMT)

What a brilliant game. Test cricket is the zenith. That is all.

Well actually no. Bad luck NZ as you were clearly the better side in this game & throughout the series. It's really good to see you back as a force in Test cricket & I wish you all the best going forward. Fabulous country, fabulous people. Maybe we should have 5 Tests against them this summer instead of the Aussies ;o) (joking...)

Latly, Matt Prior! Forget any stats, he is currently our best player.

Posted by K1W1inAus on (March 26, 2013, 8:32 GMT)

That was a interesting test match and bestly thanks to the DRS being used we can all go home knowing no team was robbed by wrong decisions. Many times in the past there have been injustices EVEN in India.I like all three formats of cricket but how do you watch a 5 day match when you have to work.

Thanks to England for relaxing too much in Beaut NZ that you played that way too ( relaxed, NZ tours must be too cruisy)

Posted by Bring_back_Wright on (March 26, 2013, 8:30 GMT)

Disappointing result, but what a match! Great example of why there should be no tiered structure in test cricket, as many suggested after our SA disaster.

It's natural to think of the what ifs (what if Bell wasn't dropped, what if the bails fell off), but that's all part of the game, and I guess England did what they needed to do, so well played (esp Bell, Prior, Broad). But one what if that we did control was the declaration. I agree with JG2704, I thought we left it slightly too long. For an "aggressive" captain, I thought that was a bit defensive

But I don't want to sound too negative, it was a great effort. Very happy for Fulton. He is in the top 10 all-time highest ODI averages for NZ (20 innings min), which is above Flemming, McMillan, Styris etc, so I'm surprised that so many seem surprised that he can actually play! Great performance from Boult too

Lastly, the Barmy Army have been awesome. Makes listening on the radio more entertaining. Looking forward to the return series

Posted by slasaus on (March 26, 2013, 8:28 GMT)

Well done England! After day 1 I was a bit concerned whether England would be professional enough to dig in for a draw and yet again they showed great resilience. Matt Prior? Well what can u say, it seems like all of his runs are scored when England need it most. Ie that record breaking partnership for the 7th wicket partnership with Broad against Pak... even when England is in a good position he always makes sure he will score his runs quickly. Eng are currently having the best opener, the best spinner, the best wicketkeeper and the best middle order ive ever seen. As mentioned not totally convinced by the seamers.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 8:27 GMT)

NZ played really well. England were superb to draw it.

Nz have to blame themselves for this missed chance of winning a series. missed chances, declaring late, follow on, 1 must feel that it was their bad luck and themselves who missed this chance.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (March 26, 2013, 8:13 GMT)

An absolute vindication of Test cricket. No other game on earth can match it for nail-biting, gut-wrenching excitement. No other game on earth can expose the character of the players central to the final drama so clearly. No other form of cricket can approach the intensity that was apparent as the match reached its conclusion. It was also a match that illustrated why some of us are cautious about quoting stats to brow-beat others that X is/was greater than Y. How do you measure the true value of 6 runs takiing up 137 minutes statistically, when 100 in 100 minutes would have been of less worth? In truth, this was a match that NZ deserved to win, but confounding all logic & justice, it just didn't happen. Then finally, I'd hope that I'm not alone in being grateful that there was no M-o-M award. Cricket, esp TC, is a highly complex game & to pick one player out of the 3 or 4 who deserved it would have been entirely unjust.TC is bigger than the cult of personality that besets our age, TG!

Posted by weasel_zapper on (March 26, 2013, 8:13 GMT)

wow, amazing finish. I was way more nervous watching that than the game vs Australia in Hobart that we won, probably because we had a chance to take the series here. Our bowlers went without much luck but just kept on coming till the bitter end, fantastic effort. Although Martin will be disappointed with how he bowled as he could've been a big factor, perhaps the pressure got to him a bit.

Prior definately rode his luck but that's the way it goes sometimes, fantastic innings by him, along with Bell and Broad.

For me it's encouraging to see everyone in our team contributing at one time or another throughout the series. Too often we've relied on a couple of players to try and win us games in recent years. Hopefully we can carry this form forward into the return series.

Posted by hhillbumper on (March 26, 2013, 8:12 GMT)

it was a good effort to draw.But we should never have been in that position. The batting order did not fire once and the bowling was too sporadic.

Lucky to get away with it but they need to get into form before the Kiwis come here.

Well don e to New Zealand and wish them well after the next time they play us

Posted by big_al_81 on (March 26, 2013, 8:10 GMT)

Forgive me for not bothering to read the comments below, but I pretty much know what they'll say! England were outplayed in this series by NZ who were excellent, they didn't play anything like their ranking and neither did England. It looks as though England can get up for the 'big' series, but have really been complacent here and failed to give NZ anything like the respect they have so thoroughly shown they deserve. England deserve some credit, especially Bell, Prior, Broad for their last day heroics, but the only justice done is to keep England in 2nd spot in the rankings, ahead of India having beaten them home and away. There is no justice for NZ who deserved a match win, even if not a series win, and certainly do not deserve to be ranked 8th in the world. The difference between the 3rd to 8th ranked teams and the top two is their strength at home but persistent weakness away. England have not been consistent at this unfortunately, and SA look a clear no. 1 now.They need spin tho...

Posted by byebyebaseball on (March 26, 2013, 7:50 GMT)

I am a NZ fan, but must say that if England were to draw I'm pleased it was due to the stand of the charming Matt Prior and everybody's favourite Monty! MONTY Monty He's our man -- if he can't do it (well) then no one can! Sorry my fellow NZ fans, but who doesn't love Mony! NZ did very well --Not sure how they could have done better. Catches yes, but we all make errors, and there were a few; Earlier declaration? Maybe?; Cloning Kane Williamson --not yet viable as a biological strategy! NZ will do well in the next meeting! Shane Bond deserves credit -- keep those bowlers hard at work!

Posted by yorkshirematt on (March 26, 2013, 7:49 GMT)

At last a bit of drama in the series. However, why England are celebrating a drawn match and series in NZ as though they've won the Ashes is beyond me. They should have been scampering off that pitch with embarrassment that it all came down to that. Still a very poor performance in this series and well below my expectations. And as ever it looks like Sir Geoff is the only one agreeing with me.

Posted by dalboy12 on (March 26, 2013, 7:48 GMT)

What a game --- Black Caps really played well, and in this series they out-played a tired looking England team that was meant to beat us easy 3-0. One heavy bail probably cost them a series win. With Bracewell, McCleagan, Vettori, Ryder and Guptil all out for this series we may finally be getting a bit of depth as well. @Front-Foot-Lunge - were you even watching the games NZ was all over them in Dunedin, if anything we could've gone in to the final test 1-0, not 2-0 down if the weather hadn't been bad. And actually we beat Aussie the last time we played them in a test match. As far as the Ashes goes this Kiwi doesn't think that this series or Aussie in India series really means a lot. Conditions will be very different for the Ashes. England have better batting, but I was surprised how ineffective their bowling attack. Aussie have a great fast bowling line-up, but they need to pick the steady accurate bowlers like Jackson Bird and Ryan Harris, not the aggro loud mouths.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (March 26, 2013, 7:46 GMT)

It's getting boring knowing how good Prior is and how he's the best wicket keeper in the world. And best keeper/batsman in the world too. Compare his athletic, phenomenal catching in this match to the walking disaster that is Australia's Matthew Wade, who famously can't catch to save his life. Prior is the best English keeper since Knott, and second only to Gilchrist.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (March 26, 2013, 7:38 GMT)

This series should have been 2-1 in favor of NZ. They have improved a lot particularly in batting department and proved many fans wrong(me included) when they were written off.

For England this is a wake up call. Their bowlers were inconsistent and could not use home like conditions when it mattered. They should have tried a new bowler in place of Broad to increase their reserves for Ashes.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (March 26, 2013, 7:34 GMT)

England should've been 2-0 up already before this match if almost the entire series hadn't been rained off, but New Zealand certainly caught them off guard with some disciplined cricket in this one. Superb innings from Fulton showed how dead this dead pitch is, but how England's top 3 have threw their wickets away this series was frustrating for all to watch. Well played NZ, but this is England you were playing here, not Australia.

Posted by crafty-Rabbi on (March 26, 2013, 7:30 GMT)

Prior really is the heart of the team. Another performance for the team. What a selfless man he is. His century was barely celebrated, in fact he was angry with himself for offering a chance with the shot which took him to his century. But when the team got over the line with him facing the final ball, his joy was immense. He coaxed and nurtured Broad into a gritty limpet of an innings. Left with Monty he first woke him up and then teased a smile and relaxed him.

Test cricket can be a cruel game. NZ should have won but England again showed the resilience which makes them the second best test side in the world.

Posted by Crinklyoldbugger on (March 26, 2013, 7:23 GMT)

There is no way Bracewell should come into that team ahead of anyone...and that's just not a reaction to the last 5 days or the series for that matter.

Posted by GurSinghgur on (March 26, 2013, 7:21 GMT)

A thought for the England selectors. Look at the series averages, and, after all the huff and puff about rising young talent, are Root and Bairstow really the best available examples of it? I hope they'll both prove me wrong, but I sure wouldn't count on it.

Posted by rajattburman on (March 26, 2013, 7:16 GMT)

Ahhh.... No. 2 Ranked Test Team celebrating to draw a match with no. 8 ranked team... Gud job guys..keep it up..... And surprisingly they r still at no. 2....

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 7:13 GMT)

What a great advertisement for test cricket this series was. There were no players being sent home for not doing their homework, and both sides showed great sportsmanship and plenty of heart, even when the chips were down.. Despite a huge difference in the rankings, NZ showed they could serve it up to the big boys and even dominate at times. They might not have got the victory they deserved, but they look well set to trouble a lot of sides in the near future and have some really classy youngsters in Rutherford, Williamson, Watling and Boult. Hats off to both sides for a terrific series of test cricket!

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (March 26, 2013, 7:12 GMT)

Yeah.. go on and celebrate a LAME draw England. You did well to hang on to your lives by almost jinxing it against the no.8 ranked team. I am sure special awards are waiting for you guys back home for such a terrific (0-0) performance where you were expected to thrash NZ 3-0. I also see some people here praising England's efforts when some of these very same people were belittling and undermining India's AWESOME and GREATEST ever 4-0 triumph over Australia. Why such double standards in world cricket ? A win is always a win, a draw will always be a lame draw.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 7:10 GMT)

gutted really.. but at the end of the day the cricket gods saved the poms. Bell, mad props great innings. But why is everyone talking up matt prior? The ball hit his stumps and didn't dislodge bails.. thats luck.. VERY lucky. He almost got caught through a mistimed pull top edge (why was he even playing that shot). He mistimed and almost was out LBW two times in three balls and only saved by inside edges.. (but misplayed the deliveries). He easily could have been out for a low score, he was just plain lucky on the day.

incredibly proud of where the team has come from, and as a new zealander I could not have asked for more in this test, I just feel they were unlucky. Some days NZ gets really lucky and we beat people we shouldnt in one days and 20/20s so we just have to take it on the chin.

English wise, stop talking talking about Prior.. Bell was the hero, Prior was just lucky. Bell was great, barely gave any chances, and without him they wouldnt have got close.

Posted by Mitty2 on (March 26, 2013, 7:10 GMT)

@Lyndon mcpaul, your last point is exactly why England need to get some of the likes of Harris, Roland-jones, Topley or meaker into their attack next NZ series. All though this is a contradiction to me bagging the English press for asking the eng team to experiment, it would surely be preferable for any of these pacers to debut against NZ than in the ashes. And I repeat, with broad's overall poor test average and his even poorer average against Australia, AND his loss of pace, he will be dropped mid-series. Despite finn's shortcomings, persist with him, as he is obviously very talented, but he reminds me a bit of morne morkel: can be brilliant, but is generally expensive and does not compliment his best bowler. SA's rise is due to philander. He and steyn at both ends is perfect. Anderson and one of Finn/broad.. Not so much. England, whoever is the most accurate quick, get him in. Then Anderson can attack, and not be dragged down by the inevitable innacuracy of either broad or Finn.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (March 26, 2013, 7:08 GMT)

England should've been 2-0 already before this match if almost the entire series hadn't been rained off, but New Zealand certainly caught them off guard with some disciplined cricket in this one. Superb innings from Fulton showed how dead this dead pitch is, but how England's top 3 have threw their wickets away this series was frustrating for all to watch. Well played NZ, but this is England you were playing here, not Australia.

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (March 26, 2013, 7:01 GMT)

That was the best test match i have ever seen, it had everything, so unlucky for us who put the heavy bails on with no wind? England you were brilliant today and deserve the draw, more so than the one you got in dunedin, the fight you showed has to be admired, i think just about every other team in the world would have buckled under that pressure but you held on. Great series, emotional rolarcoaster, its always great having england here, the barmy army are fantastic, the banter on these posts has been good fun and im sure you will make great hosts in a few weeks and who wont be looking foward to that series now. Look foward to it england, see you again soon. Chin up blackcaps be proud of that, you have the respect of the cricketing world again.

Posted by pommyadders on (March 26, 2013, 7:00 GMT)

Incredible day of test cricket. Feel compelled to just agree with both the featured comments from GrumpiusMaximus and Lmaotsetung........they have expressed my feelings perfectly on all counts. Eng and NZ may have drawn a series but Test cricket was a massive winner today.

Posted by SamRoy on (March 26, 2013, 6:55 GMT)

Matt Prior is on the way to being a great. I have always said that Cook will never be great despite the pile of runs he scores as he struggles against World Class Bowling be it Warne/McGrath/Lee, Amir/Asif or Ajmal/Rehman or Steyn/Philander/Morkel. So does Trott and Bell. Pietersen and Prior are the only players who have risen over these challenges and Prior has been remarkably consistent for 3 years running. If he can maintain this for another couple of years there will be no doubt whether he will be considered great or merely very good.

Posted by Mitty2 on (March 26, 2013, 6:55 GMT)

@158notout, my oh my, never in any tangent universe would even jonesy2 or Randyoz say that wade is better than prior. Wade has scored two centuries yes, but is a poor starter. And his relative talent for batting is proved redundant by his horrendous keeping. Where I commented that he only dropped one on day 5 against SA in adelaide, he dropped two before and missed two stumpings. HE was the reason we lost that series. And prior is a flawless keeper, I say flawless because I can't for the life of me remember where he dropped one! Not to mention his great temperament and 45+ average in his batting. His batting looks all the more better when he is batting to save England from dire positions

And on the Wagner being replaced by bracewell, it's a toughie, (bracewell HAS to come in), but I see Wagner as that bowler that everyone needs. An accurate workhorse who can bowl for very long spells, can get reverse, and is accurate. If anything, despite southee's efforts, doug should come in for him

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 6:52 GMT)

Great drama. I'm glad I didn't go to bed when Bell was out Well played England.

Credit also to NZ for playing well in this series

England will be pleased with their work this winter, especially the 2-1 in India, an incredible achievement. I bet the boys will be glad to back to England for the summer. Decent crowds, proper test match pitches and a ball that doesn't go soft after 5 overs. Can't wait.

Posted by Tiberius on (March 26, 2013, 6:51 GMT)

As a long serving fan of the New Zealand cricket team, I am crestfallen right now but I am proud as hell of my team. Well done, very well done you guys, you put fear into the English and that is no mean feat. Bring on May.

Posted by handyandy on (March 26, 2013, 6:50 GMT)

New Zealand must be ruing their decision not to send England in when they had the chance.

England does look a little vulnerable at the moment and that little extra pressure might have been their undoing. Their batting is OK but their bowling looked a bit ordinary this series.

The Ashes double header could be quite a challenge for them.

They should do well enough in England but looking at this series I wonder just how well they will handle the Australian leg.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 6:46 GMT)

Well played England in the end, showing true grit. The ashes will be a fantastic battle against 2 teams with a lot to prove. Athough some may not think so; Australia and England are pretty evenly matched. England have better batsman and Australia have better bowlers. England might start out better in their own conditions but Australia's depth of bowling talent will count more and more as the series wears on because they will have the luxury of rotating the bowling between 7 world class bowlers and not dependant on just three. I would also expect that even our batsmen will also steadily improve throughout the series as they become accustomed to the offerings of the same 3 bowlers over 10 tests!

Posted by Glenn10 on (March 26, 2013, 6:45 GMT)

Wow. That was tense and oh so close. Prior deserves allot of praise along with Bell for digging England out of a hole. I thought on this pitch England could save it if they dug in and they did....just. NZ tried their hardest but came up just short, however they had the better of the match by far and can hold their heads up proudly. This is the best batting line up NZ have available and I hope they stick with it. All in all the future looks brighter for New Zealand than it has for a long long time. Test cricket is the game. It is the only form of cricket that can create the drama and tension we've all just witnessed and it has the best individual cricketers involved. Test cricket was the winner today.

Posted by thebrotherswaugh on (March 26, 2013, 6:41 GMT)

The Kiwis were very unlucky not to win as they were head & shoulders the better side. That being said, ENG batted with real grit & determination to save yet another test. How good is Prior - so consistent with bat and gloves, a superb cricketer. Compton has also impressed in this series.

Posted by NostroGustro on (March 26, 2013, 6:35 GMT)

Ah the drama! What a wonderful tense last day. Well done to England for surviving, in particular Bell and the absolute world class Prior! I'll eat my words too (kind of) because Broad hung in grimly against my predictions of a tail collapse.

Big congrats to NZ!! You have shaken up and nearly beaten the #2 ranked side. Don't be too disheartened for long boys, because you'll get the chance to finish the job off in May. Can't wait, hanging out already!

Posted by GurSinghgur on (March 26, 2013, 6:33 GMT)

Phew. Dunkirk is the best analogy. Escaped by the skin of their teeth, to national rejoicing. But for sure no victory. Difference being that unlike 1940 NZ are no natural superpower, England should have been waltzing home with at least two victories under their belt. Or so they thought. And remember it took two years to Alamein. Great series for NZ, well played. And very well captained.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (March 26, 2013, 6:32 GMT)

I'll comment more later, when I'm home from work but, for now, let me say that I have no doubt that, if he wasn't wicketkeeper, Matt Prior would be the nailed-on #6 batsman in the England team. He has an average over 45 and has been a pillar of the England batting more times than I care to count. It's funny that the #6 spot has been unsettled for so long and yet they have someone who could probably play #6 for any current Test team in the world but they're determined to play him at #7.

Posted by Mitty2 on (March 26, 2013, 6:27 GMT)

All credit to mccullum. Where smith and cook seemingly have the better teams on paper, as captains, they in my view, do not utilize their talents in the field and are way too defensive. Whereas Clarke and mccullum, with much more inexperienced teams are both the better tacticians and are wonderfully proactive: mccullum's inclusion of Williamson on both occasions proved a masterstroke and the constant men around the bat despite the lack of turn was great.

Like SA in the Adelaide test on day 5, England performed admirably and gritted it out on a non detiriotaing surface, but unlike the Adelaide test on day 5 (barring wade's one dropped catch), England presented many takeable chances which NZ will regret wholesomely. Three dropped catches and a non review plus unluckiness will be gutting for a deserving NZ side. Second tier? Hah.

NZ deserve all the credit in the world for this performance, and NZ fans shouldn't be disheartened. Rutherford, Fulton, mccullum, Williamson, boult: brilliant.

Posted by moaman on (March 26, 2013, 6:25 GMT)

Excellent summary; watched all day and experienced alll the emotions available to a human (and some not) ! Quite what my neighbours would have made of the yells and screams I'm not sure.... When Prior blocked that final delivery and turned away-did anyone else apart from me consider Monty may have been a tad premature leaving his ground? Amazing game and a worthy finish that was a credit to both teams.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 6:20 GMT)

A real romantic match. Yet another escape act from England due to great grit and determination from the lower middle order and the tail enders. They did it against South Africa and against Australia in the recent years. Now, against the Kiwis as well to save a series.

Salute to the New Zealanders too. Yes, they were badly beaten in India and South Africa. But they drew the series in Australia, Sri Lanka and now against England. Really a team on the rise and punching above their weight which a typical quality of Kiwi's cricket. If they can find a real quality batsman and once Vettori and Ryder returns, they will be a Solid Team.

Posted by arvindaslia44 on (March 26, 2013, 6:18 GMT)

i never seen such an exiting test match like thats, all credit goes to prior what a priceless batsman england have there in team. and broad totaly changed first time in his carrier shows such a great anticipation for his team. yes he can be a teamman now. thesame match as between Ind -aus kolkata test in 2001 and england Aus in 2004 at hedingle/. yes test cricket is alive......and ofcourse only test cicket can be so exiting and a real game was on between england and kiwis.

Posted by rixgm on (March 26, 2013, 6:15 GMT)

As a kiwi who has been at most of this test this is devastating, and Im sure the players feel the same way. I think our curators need to go back to the drawing board (like they did post the crater test) as in NZ it is just to easy to block on day 5. Bell, Prior, Broad, Bairstow, Panesar all got lives, (it felt like prior got about twenty), some our fault some just the cricket gods doing there thing. Though on a side note very impressed that the kiwi bowlers got it reversing when the poms couldn't.

Posted by Sinhaya on (March 26, 2013, 6:14 GMT)

Brilliant effort by NZ but England you simply showed why you are the 2nd best test team by managing to hold on for a draw. The last five overs were simply the best and could not ask for anything more. This was a great advertisement for test cricket.

As a Sri Lankan fan, I want to say that England are my 2nd favorite team but I wanted NZ to win today cos they are simply short of test wins and their fans needed a moment to cheer and they nearly got there. Hope this will be a dawn of a new era for NZ cricket and target success in England in May.

Well England your batting simply proved once again that even though you all fail in the 1st innings of a test, which was the case in the first and third test of this series, you all will learn from the mistakes and avoid embarrassment by impressing in the 2nd innings of the test match. No wonder your batting lineup just by the look of it makes me always reiterate that England batting is good enough not to fail twice.

Posted by canterbury1990 on (March 26, 2013, 6:09 GMT)

This are the moments for which i love test cricket. England never seem to do it easy, but they are a great team to watch. Excellent stuff from all England players, but especially Ian Bell and Matt Prior, not to mention Stuart Broad, who would have thought watching dot balls could be so exciting? The part of me thats not celebreating the England "great escape" (which feels like a win under these circumstances) really feel for the Kiwis, as they deserved to win. But from England's performance today, England didnt deserve to lose either. I hope this series has given New Zealand cricketers and fans a lot of heart and confidence in test cricket, that they can hopefully carry forward and become a more dominant side. They have a lot of good young players and a lot of potential. Meanwhile, England, whilst they seem to fight exceedingly well when pushed into a corner, need work out how to be more dominant from the ourset and maintain that dominance.

Posted by mikey76 on (March 26, 2013, 6:09 GMT)

I think the kindest thing to say about England is that they are resilient. Matt Prior has proven himself to be one of the finest batsmen in world cricket at the moment. His consistency and skill on all surfaces has been second to none. Ian Bell for the second series in a row saved his best till last, he needs to offer more over a series if he's going to keep his place and hats off to Stuart Broad, maybe this will be the kick he needed to get his batting functioning again. Well played NZ, over the three tests they were the better side so the return series in a few weeks should be interesting. England have a lot of food for thought before the summer kicks off. This was a really poor performance. The bowling in particular didn't ask enough questions. Maybe some new blood is required.

Posted by Kalyanrj on (March 26, 2013, 6:08 GMT)

Matches like this will keep intrest in test cricket..prior and bell played their innings of their life times.root and broad played their part also.Nz must be proud of their perfomence.Mccullum captaincy is superb.. A new era in test cricket..???? All the best black caps in the future.....

Posted by sandy_bangalore on (March 26, 2013, 6:04 GMT)

Just one word-GUTTED!! An this from an Indian sitting a million miles away from the action with no connections in NZ whatsoever :(

Posted by GSTR on (March 26, 2013, 6:03 GMT)

Absolutely Brilliant from Prior. I think he is one of the best keeper in the world cricket who can play spin seam and fast bowling in test cricket. .His contribution was also there when they beat India in India.Great to see and carry on

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 5:59 GMT)

Stunning draw from England, and a great advert for Test cricket. This match reaffirms the class of Test cricket as compared to other forms of the game. In no other format do you get a chance to pull of such a great escape as England did after being thoroughly outplayed. Splendid effort from Prior, Bell and not to forget Broad's stonewalling innings. This is similar to the escape which England pulled off at Cardiff in the Ashes 2009 and SA's recent Adelaide miracle. NZ will be gutted and rightly so. They were written off like bad debts at the start of the series and outplayed England for all 5 days of this Test apart from dominating the truncated 1st Test. This is a moral victory, but I am sure that term will ring hollow in their ears, because they came within a hair's breadth of winning the series against the world no.2. I atleast hope that from this performance the Kiwis get the self-belief that they can beat any side.

Posted by canterbury1990 on (March 26, 2013, 5:59 GMT)

This are the moments for which i love test cricket. England never seem to do it easy, but they are a great team to watch. Excellent stuff from all England players, but especially Ian Bell and Matt Prior, not to mention Stuart Broad, who would have thought watching dot balls could be so exciting? The part of me thats not celebreating the England "great escape" (which feels like a win under these circumstances) really feel for the Kiwis, as they deserved to win. But from England's performance today, England didnt deserve to lose either. I hope this series has given New Zealand cricketers and fans a lot of heart and confidence in test cricket, that they can hopefully carry forward and become a more dominant side. They have a lot of good young players and a lot of potential. Meanwhile, England, whilst they seem to fight exceedingly well when pushed into a corner, need work out how to be more dominant from the ourset and maintain that dominance.

Posted by depp17 on (March 26, 2013, 5:59 GMT)

Fantastic last hour, it was real nail biting match.. Will be remembered for a very long time. hard luck New Zealand , well played England. Matt - the new wall for England.

Posted by ADB1 on (March 26, 2013, 5:59 GMT)

Wow! First off, well done NZ. I'm sure may NZ fans will be disappointed in the immediate aftermath, but tomorrow you'll look back on this series with pride.

As for England - Matt Prior, you're a superstar.

I look forward to comments regarding how much of this series was NZ roaring back up the charts, and how much was England below-par. Bit of both, or is that selling NZ short?

Posted by OhhhhhMattyMatty on (March 26, 2013, 5:58 GMT)

Stewart good, Knott better, Prior best! The greatest English keeper of all time and the 3rd best ever behind Gilchrist and Flower!

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 5:58 GMT)

Well done Matt Prior! He played his natural game whilst others just occupied the crease for survival. This NZ team is certainly improving after losing to India, WI and SL. Mind you NZ were the better team of the series.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 5:55 GMT)

Wonderful fight i love test cricket

Posted by HawK89 on (March 26, 2013, 5:53 GMT)

Lets hope that NZ can pull performances like these more often in the future to beat sides like W.I, SRI, ZIM, BAN and maybe even AU if they keep batting the way they are. A win would of been nice but they have proven that they are a competitive side like they once were, instead of a push over not too long ago. McCullum also showing great captaincy, except for when the coach forced him to declare by not sending another batsmen out.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 26, 2013, 5:53 GMT)

On this final day's play. As I will admit I feel a fraud celebrating - but will say despite our massive fortune I will give huge credit to our batsmen. Bell - who I have been a big critic of and may be again (not of him but of his selection), Prior (who more than rode his luck) , Root (who possibly looked the most solid at the crease) and Broad (who played against the grain and dug so deep I thought he'd come up with oil).

On a lighter note , I particularly enjoyed Monty's short Dive (a moment of comedy which only Monty could provide) and the Barmy Army's clown music response to dropped catches etc. Oh and well done to the BA for the money they raised for the earthquake fund

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 5:49 GMT)

What a test match, test cricket at its best. Wanted to kiss Matty Prior's forehead after that last block.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 5:48 GMT)

So another DULL DRAW between two DULL sides !!.... Yaaaaaaaawwwwwnnnnnn .... thankfully at least the Ind vs Aus series gave us results in ALL the matches. . . .These dull draws are whats killing Test cricket I tell you.

Posted by Tal_Botvinnik on (March 26, 2013, 5:48 GMT)

New Zealand looked a far better side, England and Australia are hopeless. Ashes #BattleOfMinnows Can't see any quality bowlers coming up for england. And Anything other than fast bowlers coming up for australia. Aussie's best bowlers are starc and cummins whereas cummins is injury prone and starc is short form bowler.

Expect English to win the #BattleOfMinnows because they are home track bullies.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (March 26, 2013, 5:47 GMT)

Fantastic to watch. Prior is the wall for England. It was funny and exciting when Monty was batting. I felt and was hoping NZ would get up but it was so close and yet so far.

Posted by 158notout on (March 26, 2013, 5:46 GMT)

Full credit to NZ, with better weather they would have won the series 2-1. Some great batting from NZ following the debacle in SA. I think if Bracewell comes in for Wagner then that has the making of a half decent side.

Englands bowling has not been up to scratch putting pressure on the batting. Just as Broad bowls himself into some form Jimmy loses his radar and his cool. Don't know what is up with YJB. He really needs to get some runs for Yorkshire in the early season.

From an English fans perspective I just now find it hilarious that a few weeks ago certain Australian posters were claiming Wade was the better player than Prior.Given the last series for each player that now looks laughable.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 5:43 GMT)

Great tests match! NZ were the better team. Kudos to England pride. Well done Prior, Bell, Broad and the whole England team. Three points that stands out (1) NZ not having England follow on (2) McCullum continued batting after Fulton century, if he had declared at 400-440. (3) The chances of a third new ball might done the trick. History say anything over 400 is no gimme. When NZ is not accustom too winning that what happened, great job otherwise New Zealand and better luck in England....

Posted by JG2704 on (March 26, 2013, 5:43 GMT)

@Bob Friend - I hope you will now respect my posts re NZ not making Eng follow on and in particular re BM declaring so late. I don't think my points/reasons could have been emphasised any more by the way the game panned out. NZ were extremely unlucky and deserve the series win. Look forward to the return series in England but not looking forwrd to seeing Boult running in at our batsmen

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 5:42 GMT)

one of the greatest test match i v'e ever seen and really heart- stopping !!! Its also a slap on the face of those fools who don't understand test cricket and think test cricket is boring. Note : T20 Fools will never understand above lines !!!

Posted by Surajdon9 on (March 26, 2013, 5:41 GMT)

Unbelievable Test Match.Well done bell, prior, broady n monty....

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 5:41 GMT)

well done sir! you saved the match and series for England and brought it down to the last over! the most unselfish cricket career i have ever witnessed thus far. deserves a mention.

Posted by Akhter786 on (March 26, 2013, 5:41 GMT)

oh wow what a brute of a game,, Faff memories relived!!

Mat prior is the survivor man for england as he has always been!!

hard luck kiwis but you are no mean team now!

Posted by JG2704 on (March 26, 2013, 5:36 GMT)

Have to say despite my jubilation that Eng managed to scrape the draw I have to say we have had a MASSIVELY LUCKY DAY. I almost feel bad for feeling good about this draw if that makes sense?

1stly I want to say well played NZ . You deserved the series win and I genuinely hope the team goes on from this series performance. I thought Mccullum made some great decisions in the field - some inspirational - and was always keeping the batsmen on their toes. But I said that I felt he should have made us follow on and even more strongly that he declared up to 100 runs too late and I think my views (despite one person questioning my knowledge/reading of the game) were vindicated purely by it going deep into the final session regardless of the result. Also I felt he should have kept Boult on for longer with the final new ball but my only big criticism was that once he decided to bat on for so long which he probably will rue.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 5:34 GMT)

The world is a richer place thanks to the five day game, that was incredible.

Posted by jezzastyles on (March 26, 2013, 5:30 GMT)

Great game of cricket - the Kiwi's were the better side and have really impressed this series. England struggled 'tooth and nail' to get a draw - showed a lot of pride and fight (something the Aussies have lost in recent times). The second time in the series England have had to bat long and ugly to save the test - an ideal preparation for their Ashes campaign. Well done to both teams from an Aussie supporter!

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 5:29 GMT)

One Of The Great Test I've Seen............ Well Done English......Prior The best WK Bat n probably Mostly Underated.....Watta Inngs.......!!

Posted by pommy80 on (March 26, 2013, 5:27 GMT)

What a match! What an innings by Matt Prior. Best wicketkeeper/batsmen in the world. Great teams always find a way to recover in a match, and England showed that today. Only South Africa would have done what England accomplished today. Always good to prove the doubters wrong. Test match cricket continues to enthrall us all.

Posted by sandy_bangalore on (March 26, 2013, 5:27 GMT)

Absolutely gutted! Almost have tears in my eyes.And I am an Indian guy, following the action from far away Bangalore. NZ are my favourite team and I so very desperately wanted them to shut up the arrogant English media who had dismissed the NZ team and even talked about relegating them to the second tier. Boult and Southee are far far better than the overhyped English bowlers, and without KP, their batting is nothing to boast of, Prior and Cook apart.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 5:27 GMT)

Heart breaking draw for New-Zealand. its being a thrilling test match,Well done both Two team.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 5:25 GMT)

What a game of test cricket! I just loved it.. Bell and Prior took a well deserved win away from Kiwis.. Great effort by Prior! I watched Kiwis bowling their heart out and i really feel sad for them :( It would have been the much needed breakthrough in the tests for NZ.. Anyways, they really played well and mostly dominated in the series over No. 2 ranked side in the world! I saw NZ giving a tough fight to the Indians as well when they toured India last year.. All the best NZ for future and You have made yourselves proud! Cheers!

Posted by Drifting on (March 26, 2013, 5:24 GMT)

Best match ever! New Zealand, what a gauntlet! Give me one of these over any limited over jape. You'll find all the money in the limited over versions, but it is in test cricket and only test cricket where greatness is forged. Just wow!

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 5:23 GMT)

Great errorts by kiwis.Dey desrve to win lost unfortunately

Posted by CrICkeeet on (March 26, 2013, 5:23 GMT)

Brilliant effort 4m NZ....... What is test match if u dont knw then jst watch this match...... :d

Posted by satishchandar on (March 26, 2013, 5:22 GMT)

Epic epic innings from Bell, Prior and Broad today.. Hats off for the determination.. NZ just gave it everything but the drops before lunch cost them a win they would have cherished for sometime.. Poor guys put in the bravest effort and still went with empty hands..

Kudos to both the teams for giving a tension filled thrill a minute test match.. The F5 key in my keyboard is almost not working now.. Southee, Wagner, Boult and Kane looked lot threatening and Martin returned as a disappointment with no wickets on the fifth day and had he been threatening like last game, they might have made it..

Nevertheless, a gripping test match that had everything from solid first day, wickets in second and third day, steady and smashing 4th day where NZ had the screen setup for history and final day where England scrapped their way out of it..

Thank you all the 22 men and umpires including DRS :-)

Posted by Shan156 on (March 26, 2013, 5:18 GMT)

What a test match? Say what people, test cricket is the best format of the game and it was proved again today. NZ did bowl their hearts out but what an innings by Matt Prior! Peter Fulton should deservedly get the MoM award but Prior would be England's hero. What are we going to do without Matt Prior? England's biggest strength is their keeper batsman, more than Cook or KP or Trott or Jimmy or Swann. But, that said, despite being an England fan, I do feel for the Kiwis. At the end, the difference between a NZ victory and the draw was the relative inexperience of the Kiwis and the relative experience of the English. But, considering England's terrific fight at the end, the result was fair enough. England should learn from this series and prepare to play like a #2 ought to play against a #8 team in the return tour back in Old Blighty. But, full credit to NZ for the way they played in this series and dominated this test. Once again, test cricket is the best format of the game.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 5:18 GMT)

What a match! My heart was beating and I'm not even a Kiwi. I challenge you to forget this match. Great batting effort by Prior and Broad sticking in there. Nz must be gutted. They played so well. But England had the fight.

Posted by shaantanu on (March 26, 2013, 5:15 GMT)

Aargh......that spoils my day.Newzealand deserved victory.Lucky England.However this series result puts England in their place....Hahahahaha

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 5:14 GMT)

very very exciting draw !!!

Posted by Vishnu27 on (March 26, 2013, 5:13 GMT)

So unlucky Black Caps! Matt Prior: super steel & resolve. Incredible match

Posted by Meety on (March 26, 2013, 5:13 GMT)

Classic! England did just about everything they could to lose that match! NZ need some catching lessons! Well done Prior, GREAT knock.

Posted by yakironi98 on (March 26, 2013, 4:54 GMT)

My God what a match!! This is Test match cricket at its best! Hoping for a last ball wicket for NZ

Posted by Kolpak1989 on (March 26, 2013, 3:31 GMT)

Should be a cracking Ashes series with Australia recently obliterated by India and England humbled by minnows. Plenty of pressure on both sides.

Posted by Tal_Botvinnik on (March 26, 2013, 3:22 GMT)

Boult is the best left armer coming out in this world along with junaid khan,mitchell starc.

Posted by satishchandar on (March 26, 2013, 2:40 GMT)

Excellently step up at tea.. If England draw or NZ win, they both deserve it.. One team is going to be devastated after the game is over.. NZ really put all of their effort and did everything that could force a result in their favor. Whereas, England have been very determined and faced everything NZ threw on them.. They deserve a draw to show off for their hard work.. Engaging game on.. My money on NZ to pull off history..

Posted by Meety on (March 26, 2013, 2:32 GMT)

Funny old game. One over before Lunch, you'd say England were favoured to draw the match - then Root falls. Bairstow falls cheaply Bell giving chances &you think NZ will wrap this match up BEFORE Tea. The way Prior was batting - you would think he was going for the win! Then with one over before TEA, you'd think England again were likely to draw, then Bell falls. 30 overs to go Broad, Anderson, & Panesar - you'd think NZ will win, but they CANNOT aford anymore dropped catches. From an Ashes perspective - go NZ! From a grandstand finish - go England.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 2:22 GMT)

yeah yeah get stuart broad out then ha ha ha then panesar and anderson ! may b 2 wickets in 2 balls GO kiwis GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Posted by boehj on (March 26, 2013, 0:22 GMT)

Full marks to NZ here. They're playing beautifully.

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