|Ground:||Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood|
|Scorecard:||England v New Zealand|
|Player:||JM Anderson, LRPL Taylor|
|Event:||New Zealand in England 2013|
Andy Jalil reports from Lord's
James Anderson became the fourth England player to reach the milestone of 300 Test wickets in a brilliant performance of pace bowling in the first Investec Test. It was his fine bowling, in his 81st Test, that kept a check on the New Zealand innings when it seemed to be progressing well with Ross Taylor batting in fine form after England had been dismissed for a modest 232.
When bad light brought an early end to play after 49.4 overs, New Zealand, on 153 for four were trailing by 79. Kane Williamson was unbeaten on 44 from 137balls and Brendon McCullum was on 1. New Zealand began their response to Englands first innings a little over an hour after lunch on the second day and lost Hamish Rutherford in the first over when the batsman edged just outside off stump for a diving catch to Alistair Cook at first slip. Following his century in the first-class match prior to this Test, Rutherford this time managed just four runs.
Anderson approached the memorable landmark with a ball just outside off stump in his fourth over and Peter Fulton, on 2, perhaps not going forward enough could only edge it to second slip. New Zealand had lost both opening batsmen within seven overs with just 7 runs on the board. Previously for England, Fred Trueman, Bob Willis and Ian Botham had also achieved the feat of claiming 300 Test wickets.
The experienced Taylor then took control and along with Williamson revived the innings. While Williamson gave steady support, Taylor played strokes freely. At tea the tourists were 54 for two with Taylor on 32. In the third over after the break he hit Stuart Broad for three boundaries. The first was a perfectly timed square cut then two lovely off drives which took him to 48.
Taylor ran two to third man in the next over, off Anderson to bring up his eighteenth Test fifty from just 49 balls and 40 of those runs had come from boundaries. When Graeme Swann was brought on Taylor swept him for four and looked in ominous form from Englands point of view. But on 66 from 72 balls, his entertaining innings came to an end with Anderson returning for a new spell and trapping him lbw with a ball of full length to which he should have gone forward and Anderson had three for 21 in 10.2overs. Taylor and Williamson had put on 93 when the tourists lost the key wicket of Taylor.
Steve Finn was the only other bowler to claim a wicket having Dean Brownlee lbw for 23 as the fourth wicket to fall with the total on 147. He was given not out by the umpire but England reviewed successfully. Resuming on the overnight score of 160 for four, Joe Root with 25 and Jonny Bairstow on 3, did well for an hour and a quarter against the new ball which was taken at the start of play with 80 overs having been completed just as rain had stopped proceedings on the previous evening.
But after 15 overs during which just 32 runs were added in helpful heavy atmosphere for the bowlers, the picture changed very rapidly. Root, having added 15 to his overnight score, attempted to flick a ball of full length from Tim Southee, which appeared to be going down the leg side, and got a faint touch for BJ Watling to take the catch behind the stumps. The fall of Roots wicket was the start of a collapse in the England innings. With his wicket England went on to lose four for nine runs in a space of 17 balls. Root and Matt Prior both went on 192 with Prior getting a ball that swung in late and would have clipped the top of leg stump. His referral of the lbw decision went against him and that was a double wicket maiden from the bowler.
Broad fell for naught in the following over playing across the line to Neil Wagner and that was three wickets down for three in six balls. The batsmen remained on the slippery road with Swann getting a thin edge to a ball from Wagner that swung away a little. He had got off the mark from the second ball he faced driving Wagner to the point boundary and a run later with his departure the home side were 201 for eight.
The last two wickets managed to add 31 runs thanks to Bairstow who put on 20 with Finn before the latter was trapped lbw for 4. He had hung on for a little under an hour which enabled his partner to add valuable runs in such a low scoring innings. The innings was wrapped up after Bairstow had played a cracking extra cover drive for four off Trent Boult. It was his last scoring shot, taking him to 41, the top score of the innings, from 107 balls.
It had been a grinding innings from Bairstow spanning two and three quarter hours on a slow pitch. His wicket was picked up by Southee with a return catch from a firm straight shot, to complete his haul of four for 58 from 28.2 overs. Remarkably all his wickets were claimed on the second day for just 26 runs. A commendable effort it was albeit in helpful bowling conditions.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2013 Andy Jalil)