This match was a triumph for Surrey in the persons of John Edrich and Barrington.
Both men made a glorious return to the England team. The left-handed Edrich, after hitting a century on his debut against Australia at Lord's the previous summer, was left out of the Oval Test and by M.C.C. for the tour to South Africa. Barrington reappeared after being dropped for his negative attitude during the first Test with New Zealand a month earlier.
Edrich, 310 not out, gained the distinction of being only the eighth batsman in the history of Test cricket to score a triple century. Sir Donald Bradman stands alone. He performed the feat twice on this very ground, 334 and 304. The other six are G.S. Sobers, 365 not out; Sir Leonard Hutton, 364; Hanif Mohammad 337; W.R. Hammond, 336 not out; A. Sandham, 325 and R.B. Simpson 311.
Edrich's 310 was also the highest by an Englishman in Test or County cricket at Headingley and the England total, 546 for four declared, the highest in England against New Zealand.
Batting for eight minutes short of nine hours, Edrich hit five 6's and fifty-two 4's. He scored more runs in boundaries than any other Test player. For instance, Sobers' 365 not out for West Indies against Pakistan at Kingston in March, 1958 contained thirty-eight 4's.
The partnership of 369 in five hours, thirty-minutes minutes was the best in Tests between England and New Zealand and fell only 13 runs behind England's highest second-wicket stand against all countries of 382 by Hutton and Leyland against Australia at The Oval in 1938. It was also only 42 short of England's highest for any wicket, 411 by P.B.H. May and M.C. Cowdrey against West Indies at Edgbaston in 1957.
With such a feast of runs the feat of F.J. Titmus on the fourth day when he took four wickets in six balls scarcely received the acclaim it deserved.
Apart from a bitterly cold north wind, the conditions were perfect for the batsmen. After Smith won the toss Barber soon revealed the fast pace on the outfield when he cut the fourth ball, from Motz, to the boundary. Barber, did not last long, being taken behind the stumps by Ward, making his first appearance against England.
So Barrington joined Edrich at five minutes to twelve and they remained together until noon the next day. Edrich, having spent half an hour before scoring, took his cue from Barrington who needed only fifteen scoring strokes, cuts, pulls, and drives, to complete 53 out of 89. Motz always bowled splendidly and quietened Barrington with two maiden overs.
The tempo increased after lunch when all trace of greenness disappeared from the pitch. Edrich became the dominant partner and he overtook Barrington when he straight drove Yuile for 6, which took him to 93. Still, Barrington was first to his century, in under three hours.
Edrich excelled with the cover drive which he placed with perfect precision and he celebrated his 150 by driving Pollard for his second 6 and soon came his third, also from Pollard -- a mighty on-drive into the corner of the cricket-football stand.
Two breaks for rain gave New Zealand no respite and the close of the first day found England 366 for one wicket; Edrich 194, Barrington 152. Strangely, it was a moot point whether either of this pair would have played in the match, but for mishaps to Boycott and Dexter.
Next day, Motz took the new ball in the one hundredth over with England still 366, following two maiden overs. Barrington added only 11, including two 4's from Motz, when he touched a rising ball to Ward. He hit twenty-six 4's and an overthrow credited him with a 7. Edrich was 199 when he lost Barrington, and he remained the centre of interest. Parfitt hit only two 4's but he helped to add 109 in ninety-seven minutes.
Whether concentrating on defence or making progress with the cover and straight drive besides the cut, Edrich rarely looked like getting out. He offered difficult slip chances when 40 and 287 and he had his quiet periods. Then he would let fly again.
Not for Edrich the stolen single to reach a coveted landmark. It was a superb off drive from Motz which whistled past the field that took Edrich to 300 and he added two more boundaries before Smith called halt to the onslaught.
New Zealand never wilted in the field. The three pace bowlers, Motz, Collinge and Taylor, shouldered the main burden and their final figures scarcely did justice to their hours of honest toil.
New Zealand's performance with the bat provided an anti-climax. Not for the first time, the innings disintegrated. Four wickets went for 61, but as at Edgbaston and Lord's, Pollard played the bowling confidently and this time Reid sealed the opposite end. The New Zealand captain drove cleanly and pulled Illingworth for 6, besides hitting nine 4's when almost on the stroke of time he played back to the Yorkshireman's medium pace and was leg before.
New Zealand resumed on Saturday with their total 100 for five, but when it seemed doubtful if they could survive the week-end rain held up cricket. The tail made a noble response in raising the total to 193, but they followed on 353 behind. Larter and Illingworth, both playing for the first time for England this season, shared the bowling honours with four wickets each.
New Zealand virtually began their second innings, in bright sunshine, on Monday -- seven balls were bowled without a run on Saturday -- and this time Dowling batted well for one hundred minutes before being yorked by Rumsey. At lunch the total reached 86 for three, but the weather turned dull and rain caused two delays.
Pollard again shaped soundly and Yuile lasted an hour in seeing the total to 158 for five before Titmus removed Yuile, Taylor, Motz and Collinge in the course of six deliveries and yet was denied a hat-trick: W. WW. W His full analysis read 24-17-16-5 and he did not recieve the slightest help from the pitch.
As rain prevented any play during the last seventy minutes, New Zealand still had one wicket left. Next morning Ward and Pollard lasted fifteen minutes before Cowdrey held Pollard at slip; it was only just in time. As the players left the field the rain returned and soon the ground was waterlogged. Edrich has the unusual experience of being on the filed throughout them match.