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

Prior's heroics, and New Zealand's maiden overs

Stats highlights from an utterly compelling Test match in Auckland

S Rajesh

March 26, 2013

Comments: 14 | Text size: A | A

Matt Prior sends one through the off side, New Zealand v England, 3rd Test, Auckland, 3rd day, March 24, 2013
Matt Prior became only the second wicketkeeper, after Adam Gilchrist, to score a fourth-innings Test century in a win or a draw © Getty Images
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  • This is the 21st time a Test match has been drawn with a team being nine wickets down in the fourth innings, and the sixth such instance for England, who have been involved in three of the last four nine-wicket draws in the fourth innings. They had two such draws on the tour to South Africa in 2009-10.

  • New Zealand have been denied a victory by the last wicket in the fourth innings for the second time in their Test history. The only other instance was at the MCG in 1987, when Australia - set a target of 247 for victory - finished on 230 for 9, with Craig McDermott and Mike Whitney holding on for the draw.

  • Matt Prior became only the fifth wicketkeeper to score a century in the fourth innings of a Test. The others to achieve the feat are Mushfiqur Rahim (against India in Chittagong in 2010), Adam Gilchrist (against Pakistan in Hobart in 1999), Moin Khan (against Sri Lanka in Sialkot in 1995), and Alan Knott (against Australia in Adelaide in 1975). Only two of the five have been in wins or draws; Gilchrist's memorable 149 not out led to a four-wicket win for Australia against Pakistan in Hobart.

  • Prior's series aggregate of 311 is his second-highest, next to the 324 he scored in four Tests against West Indies in the home series in 2007. Among wicketkeeper-batsmen who've scored at least 3500 runs, Prior's average of 45.46 is the third-best, after Andy Flower and Gilchrist.

  • New Zealand bowled 53 maiden overs in England's fourth innings, which is the 17th time a team has bowled 50 or more maidens in an innings since 2000. New Zealand have accounted for eight of those 17 instances, including four of the last six. This is also the seventh time New Zealand have bowled more than 50 maidens against England; their highest against England is 96, in Auckland in 1984.

  • England survived 143 overs, which is their second-highest in the fourth innings of a Test against New Zealand. The highest is 146.4, in Christchurch in 1997, when England chased down a target of 305 with four wickets in hand.

  • This is the fourth time a series of more than two Tests between these two teams has ended 0-0. Three of those four instances have been in New Zealand - in 1966, 1988, and this series.

  • Kane Williamson's 4 for 44 is easily his best figures in Tests. Before this effort, he had never taken more than two wickets in an innings.

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Posted by JG2704 on (March 27, 2013, 17:37 GMT)

@Paul Carew on (March 26, 2013, 18:01 GMT) You're certainly right re the description of bottler describer but I suppose if you were being harsh , he didn't see the job through and leaving Prior with Broad and below with a session to survive would for the vast majority of the time be too big an ask. However it was a well earned wicket so bottling it was a bit strong. Bell (on this occasion) was more deserving to be there at the end than Prior who had a huge amount of luck. It was a shame Hick and Ramps didn't do better (esp for me Hick) but they were given chances. And Vaughan is spot on - we were outplayed in the series as a whole. NZ got the better of the 1st test , Eng the 2nd and NZ by far the better of the 3rd. Yes we drew the 3rd and grit helped us do it but so did BM batting on so long and dropped chances and luck

Posted by JG2704 on (March 27, 2013, 14:50 GMT)

@Bring_back_Wright on (March 27, 2013, 4:31 GMT) You're spot on there. Again it's about percentages. Eng were never likely to win with anything north of 350. 375-400 and based on what had gone on in the series and with the type of batsmen they had in the top 4 , I'd maybe give Eng a 5% chance of winning. I'd say , if you add an extra hour or 2 in time to bowl Eng out you'd increase NZs chances of forcing the win by a significantly bigger margin

Posted by Bring_back_Wright on (March 27, 2013, 4:31 GMT)

@Bishop - agree 100% with the first part of your post, but I do think the declaration was too late. That lead was way beyond safe. On a flat pitch I think we needed to give ourselves as much time as possible to win. While I agree, it is nice to not lose, I could handle a loss if it gave us a much better chance of winning - winning a series against England is a rare thing, drawing, while nice is not so memorable.

Posted by Bishop on (March 27, 2013, 2:52 GMT)

@ Paul Carew. England did have the luck with them on the final day, I think that is fairly self evident. However that is not the only reason it came to a draw. In order, the factors are: 1. England batted really well (esp Prior, Bell and Broad) 2. NZ missed a couple of chances 3. the pitch remained good to bat on throughout 4. Luck. I don't agree that the declaration came too late, as 4 1/2 sessions should be more than enough to bowl a team out, and BMac had to make sure the game was safe. Sometimes things just don't go your way. There is a saying - "you can't win them all", but I have to say as a NZ supporter, I'm pretty glad at the moment just not to be losing.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 23:07 GMT)

Someone should tell PACERONE that Test matches do not become entertaining because of scoring rates. I am tired of hearing the word 'escape' being used also. If you bat for 143 overs to earn a draw then you deserve it . I am not sure what the average is for balls per wicket in Tests now but in 2005 it was a wicket falling every 10 overs. 143 overs should be enough time to take 10 wickets and if you cannot do it in that time, then give some credit to a team who battle for a draw against the odds. To talk about 'just plain luck'. Really. Did England have any of this luck in the 2nd Test when it rained for almost 2 days. Some people have short memories and should stick to facts. Long live Test cricket, who cares about scoring rates dropping below 3 per over.

Posted by Bring_back_Wright on (March 26, 2013, 22:13 GMT)

@Tlotoxl - while I don't think Pacerone's comment is even worth a reply, I have to respectfully disagree with you. I think entertaining is precisely the right word, as a kiwi I found the whole match entertaining, and particularly the 5th day. But you're right, it certainly was enthralling as well. That's why I love test cricket. If all people want is fast run-rates, maybe they should stick to 20/20 or ODI formats?

Posted by aracer on (March 26, 2013, 21:57 GMT)

@guptahitesh4u - was 61 balls without scoring for Broad, but not only that, it was 103 minutes, just longer than the previous record of 101 minutes for the longest Test innings without scoring.

Posted by shravanvallaban on (March 26, 2013, 20:52 GMT)

after seeing this article one could not forget I st test match between india and australia in 2010 and the heroics of laxman in that match and the match between india and west indies --the final test where ashwin required one run to win from one ball and finally the match ended in a draw

Posted by Tlotoxl on (March 26, 2013, 18:32 GMT)

@Pacerone: I think entertaining is probably the wrong word, it was certainly an enthralling test, from a dominating 250/1 on the first day 443 was probably a disappointing, a great bowling performance to restrict England to 204 then another twist as NZ are battered to 3/8 but come back with a T20 like blitz and then at the end of Day 4 England looked out for the count with the 2 batsmen you would be confident in being able to save a test, Cook and Trott, already gone and then to finish on the cliffhanger of 9 down... oh and for the batting fans there was 150 4s and 17 6s to enjoy as well.

Posted by Pettel on (March 26, 2013, 15:40 GMT)

Don't forget SA v. England at Cape Town, Bell & Collingwood fending off a great Saffer attack and Onions defending at the end.

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
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