Game effort brings reward for tireless Hoggard

Hoggard - in the English traditionPhoto Photosport

If there's one thing that the England cricket system is capable of producing it is fast-medium swing bowlers who know how to make the most of conditions that suit them - and Yorkshireman Matthew Hoggard added himself to the list today.

New Zealand-England contests are full of bowlers who have left their marks in such fashion like: Brian Statham, Geoff Arnold, Mike Hendrick, Chris Old, John Lever and more recently Darren Gough to name a few.

Hoggard's haul of seven for 63 to help skittle New Zealand for 147 in the first National Bank Test at Jade Stadium in Christchurch was the fifth best effort by England against New Zealand.

Ahead of him were: Derek Underwood (7-32 in 1969), Tony Lock (7-35 in 1958), Phil Tufnell (7-47 in 1991/92) and Lock (7-51 in 1958).

His was an impressive demonstration of stamina as he bowled unchanged for 20 overs, broken by stumps last night and lunch after an abbreviated first session in the morning. In that time he had five for 59.

Having had Mark Richardson last evening, he added Matt Horne, Daniel Vettori, Lou Vincent and Nathan Astle before he was rested.

Then after Andy Caddick took three wickets in five balls, Nasser Hussain hurried Hoggard back into the attack and he responded by taking Craig McMillan and Ian Butler to wrap up the innings and complete 21.1 overs.

Hoggard said it was nice to bowl in helpful conditions, especially after toiling so hard in India.

"It swings a little more and seems to seam a little more here," he said.

His first hour today was largely fruitless until he picked up Vettori's wicket.

"Daniel Vettori played really well, but we knew when we got the breakthrough we always had a chance of getting the next batsman quickly," he said.

And despite the long spell he had, he said, "It is surprising how tired you don't get when you are taking wickets."

Like the New Zealand bowlers on the first day he did feel the slowness, and heaviness, of the outfield and he got some cramp towards the end of his spell.

Captain Hussain had to take the ball off him to get him to have a break because as Hoggard said, he wasn't going to give it up.

"I have bowled as well before but not taken as many wickets. It is just one performance, I have a few more to put together on this tour.

"I just want to step up and keep performing," he said.