Day 3: England in total control of 2nd Test
by Andy Jalil

Scorecard:England v New Zealand
Event:New Zealand in England 2013

DateLine: 27th May 2013


By Andy Jalil at Headingley
In association with INVESTEC

Andy Jalil - Cricket Writer and Commentator
Andy Jalil from Leeds
In Association with INVESTEC
© Pakistan Cricket Website


Leeds – A fine unbeaten innings of 88 by Alistair Cook has taken England to a commanding position in the second Investec Test. Having taken a very substantial first innings lead of 180, they are ahead overall by 296 and nine wickets remain. With the likelihood of being set a daunting target, the prospects for New Zealand to even save the Test are not encouraging.


Having lost the first Test in three and a half days there is a likelihood of the tourists suffering another defeat in three days play with the first day having been a wash out. By lunch today England may well extend their lead to over four hundred and with the weak batting that we have seen from New Zealand in this two-Test series it doesn’t seem possible that they would be able bat for the remaining period of this Test.


England decided not to enforce the follow-on and began their second innings at the start of the final session having dismissed the opposition for a modest 174 in just 43.4 overs. Cook and Nick Compton put on 72 for the first wicket with the captain’s contribution being 57 as he hit his 30th Test half century.


Compton struggled to 7 in just under an hour and a half during which he faced 45 balls before falling to a bat/pad catch at forward short leg. The ball had in fact gone off his gloves on to the pad and the decision was given after New Zealand asked for a review. After a spell of such low scores from Compton it seems most likely that his opening spot will go to Joe Root for the Ashes series with the likely return of Kevin Pietersen.


Earlier, the start of the New Zealand first innings was similar to England’s in term of losing the first three wickets. As a comparison – England were three down for 67 and Steve Finn’s brilliant spell had reduced the tourists to three for 72. The first wicket stand seemed to be going well between Peter Fulton and Hamish Rutherford as they put on 55. Neither James Anderson nor Stuart Broad, England bowling heroes of the first Test, made much of an impression on either batsman.


Steve Finn was brought on after nine overs and he struck in his third over taking a return catch as Fulton on 28, tried to play a short of length ball to the on-side and got a leading edge for a simple catch. That was the start of a collapse in the innings. Four overs later Rutherford was snapped up at gully from a mistimed drive and Finn had two wickets in sixteen balls having conceded just one run. Rutherford had 27 and the tourists were 62 for two. Ten runs later the third wicket went with Finn producing a ball that rose sharply as it came in to Ross Taylor who played-on as he went on the back foot. With that the lanky pace bowler had three wickets for 8 in 27 balls. There was no quick recovery to happen for the struggling tourists as the England captain brought on off spinner Graeme Swann for the 27th over and with that change in bowling the next three wickets too fell in quick succession.


In his first over Swann’s big turn crashed through the gate into Dean Brownlee’s stumps and in his next over the off spinner also bowled Martin Guptill for one. Two balls later Kane Williamson was trapped in front of his stumps and New Zealand were in a hapless position on six for 82 with all recognised batsmen gone. Swann had dismissed three for one in a seven ball-spell.


Broad was brought back to replace Finn with New Zealand on 100 for six and his second over brought the seventh wicket with Tim Southee given lbw after England asked for a review of the decision. The stand had put on 37 to boost the total a little. Swann then completed his haul of four wickets, accounting for Doug Bracewell and at that point he had conceded just 20 runs from 6.3 overs.


With the captain Brendon McCullum becoming Broad’s second victim for 20 the end was in sight. But some lusty hitting by the last pair added 52 from 28 balls which included 27 from Neil Wagner and 24 from Trent Boult who struck three sixes before Wagner was bowled as he attempted a wild hit off Anderson. Their onslaught on the bowling spoilt Swann’s figures with35 runs taken from two of his overs At the start of the third day’s play it took less than half-an-hour for New Zealand to claim the remaining three England wickets after they had resumed on the overnight score of 337 for seven. The fine partnership of 51on the previous evening between Matt Prior and Graeme Swann had added eight runs before Prior edged to first slip in the second over of the morning.


Trent Boult then mopped up the innings with the last two wickets to add to his three of the second day. His in-swinger bowled Steve Finn for six and James Anderson gave a return catch before scoring. Boult’s second five-wicket haul in Tests had conceded just 57 runs with England losing three for nine in a space of 21 balls.


(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2013 Andy Jalil)