Essex v New Zealanders

England v New Zealand 2008

At Chelmsford, May 2, 3, 4, 5. New Zealanders won by 92 runs. Toss: Essex.

Reinforced by their IPL players, New Zealand won at some cost: Vettori needed two stitches in his spinning finger after taking a throw from McCullum, and missed the next match. "It's left me a bit short of practice," he said later. "I'm going to have to rely on my experience to pull me through." Meanwhile, Redmond spiked his knee warming up, and after time off the field was not allowed to bat again until No. 7. He walked out at 63 for four, but was sent away by umpire Willey, though not for long, as New Zealand staggered: Bopara, who had just made his sixth consecutive fifty in all cricket, grabbed two wickets on his 23rd birthday, while Chambers, having waited three years for his second first-class game, took three. When Redmond did return, he added a vital 58 with Mills, and the eventual target was 293. On a green pitch, Mason and O'Brien saw off Essex despite a fifty from Cook, who had dislocated his right little finger early in the game. On the opening day, James Marshall scored an entertaining 128 while, 140 miles away in Bristol, his twin Hamish was striking 105 for Gloucestershire. Ten Doeschate, pitching the ball up, took a countybest six wickets, but Marshall had given the tourists the advantage.

Close of play: First day, New Zealanders 348-9 (Mason 23, O'Brien 31); Second day, Essex 251-9 (Palladino 26, Chambers 4); Third day, Essex 45-1 (Cook 21).

© John Wisden & Co.