England wrap up Test series

After day four (day one rained out): First innings – England 354, New Zealand 174
Second innings – England 287- 5 declared, New Zealand 220
Result: England won by 247 runs

A forecast of a day of rain and a fight back by the tailenders couldn’t stop England wrapping up the two Test series in Headingley.

With four wickets in hand there was a glimmer of hope that the BLACKCAPS could hold on around the forecast showers on day five in Leeds. But two breaks in the weather allowed
the home side to claim the victory by 247 runs and the Test series 2-0.

After the delayed start at 11.45am, the Kiwis almost immediately lost the critical wicket of captain Brendon McCullum for a solitary run – caught and bowled by a fine catch by Stuart Broad.

Tim Southee played with his normally aggressive style as he notched up 38 off 41 balls including two sixes and four fours. Just when a few online pundits were joking he was chasing the 468 victory total by himself, he sadly edged a Graeme Swann delivery to Jonathan Trott at slip.

Rain called off play less than an hour after it started and didn’t commence again until 3pm.

After the restart, Doug Bracewell continued to look a solid number nine as he hit 19 before also falling to Swann caught by Ian Bell. That was Swann’s sixth wicket of the innings and gave him 10 for the match.

The last wicket was just a matter of time with Neil Wagner surviving the speed and bounce of Steve Finn, and Trent Boult battling with the spin of Swann until James Anderson had Boult caught behind.

The BLACKCAPS finished at 220, 268 short of the victory target but more importantly maybe only a few overs short of stumps being called due to rain or bad light.

A dejected BLACKCAPS captain Brendon McCullum said afterwards that the English had flexed their muscle in this Test and shown why they are no.2 in the world.

He felt this group of New Zealand players had the makings of a very good Test side if you fast forwarded 18 months from now.

 
After day four (day one rained out): First innings – England 354, New Zealand 174

Second innings – England 287-5 declared, New Zealand 158-6

The BLACKCAPS will be praying that tomorrow’s forecast of rain in Leeds come to fruition to save the second Test at Headingley.

England extended their lead to 467 on day four when they declared their second innings at 287-5 not long after lunch. This left the BLACKCAPS needing to bat for a day and half to save the Test if the forecast rain doesn’t eventuate.

Ross Taylor ensured they made it through today at least with his innings of 70 - just what the doctor ordered, as the Kiwis held on to be 158-6 at stumps – still 310 runs behind.

The day hadn’t started well for the BLACKCAPS with seamer Trent Boult ruled out with a side strain, reducing the bowling attack to just three pace bowlers and the part-time spin of Kane Williamson. Martin Guptill even chipped in with a few overs later in the morning session.

England captain Alastair Cook played with the same panache that he had shown the previous afternoon as he brought up his 25th Test century with ease. He finally departed for 130, skying a Williamson delivery to Southee. Not long afterwards, Williamson had his third wicket of the innings with Ian Bell caught by Guptill.

England went through to nearly 250 at lunch before Neil Wagner got the much-needed wicket of Jonathan Trott caught behind on 76. Wagner had his second soon after grabbing Joe Root for 28 caught by Guptill. After a late flurry from Jonny Bairstow, captain Cook declared with the England total at 287-5 – 467 runs ahead.

In reply, the New Zealand openers were going well until Peter Fulton got a bouncer from Stuart Broad that he could only deflect into the hands of Ian Bell. For the second time in the match Williamson went lbw to Graeme Swann. The BLACKCAPS opted for the review but it sadly referred back to the umpire’s decision.

Hamish Rutherford went just before the tea break with Swann getting the better of him as he started to look like he could provide the backbone of a decent New Zealand innings. He was caught by Root at short leg for 42.

So the responsibility fell to the BLACKCAPS top batsman Taylor and he looked every bit the saviour. As light worsened at Headingley, he survived an LBW shout and review from a Steve Finn delivery before bringing up his 50 off 78 balls.

Dean Brownlie provided the perfect partner for Taylor as the pair knocked up 79 runs, before Brownlie fell to a short delivery from Finn that was caught at gully by Bell.

Guptill went for three to give Swann his third wicket of the innings and the spin magician then also had Taylor’s wicket, bowling the top scorer for 70. Brendon McCullum and Tim Southee held out for the remaining overs which were limited to spin only bowling due to the poor light.

Taylor said afterwards that he was disappointed not to bat until the end of play but with everyone predicting rain tomorrow he may have saved the match anyway.


Meanwhile in Northampton, our One Day International players enjoyed victory in a warm-up match against a Northamptonshire selection XI. After racking up 308 with Daniel Vettori retiring on 150 and Nathan McCullum making 52, the Kiwis then bowled out the home side for 130 to take the win. Vettori wrapped up a good day with four wickets.



After day three (day one rained out): First innings – England 354, New Zealand 174
Second innings – England 116-1

England are in the box seat to wrap up the two-Test series against the BLACKCAPS after a convincing bowling display on day three at Headingley.

After wrapping up the English first innings with just 17 runs added to their overnight total, the BLACKCAPS failed with the bat to be all out for 174 - 31 runs short of avoiding the follow-on which the English chose not to enforce.

England were 116-1 at stumps giving them a comfortable 296 run lead going into day four tomorrow.

The Kiwis had started the day well. In the second over of the day, Tim Southee snatched the all-important wicket of Matt Prior for 39 before he could get underway again today. Southee got him to edge one to Ross Taylor at first slip.

Trent Boult then had the better of a little battle with fellow seamer Steve Finn. The Englishman had smashed two and four off the first two balls of the over, before Boult ripped out his off stump with the next delivery.

Three balls later Boult had James Anderson with a fine caught and bowled to finish with a five wicket bag (5-57) and to end the English innings at 354. Southee’s figures were 2-76, while Doug Bracewell, Kane Williamson and Neil Wagner all had a wicket each.

With the BLACKCAPS needing to bat for the bulk of the day, openers Hamish Rutherford and Peter Fulton looked comfortable as they ran through to 50 – by far the best start of the tour by the pair. Then in 15 minutes before lunch Fulton went for 28 skying a Finn delivery back to the bowler, and Rutherford edged one from Finn to Ian Bell in the slips for 27. 55 without loss was suddenly 62-2 at lunch.

Ross Taylor sadly didn’t last long after lunch chopping a Finn delivery on to his stumps to go for six. Then came the magic of spinner Graeme Swann. Within a few overs he bowled both Dean Brownlie (two) and Martin Guptill (one) before calling on the review system to get Williamson lbw for 13.

Southee and Brendon McCullum put on 37 runs for the seventh wicket, before Southee was given lbw to Stuart Broad after a highly debated review decision which looked like he may have got the bat on it first. Bracewell then fell to Swann caught close in by Bell, and McCullum fell soon after caught behind to Broad for 20.

The bright moment in a fairly glum session for the BLACKCAPS came from the final pair of Boult and Wagner. Wagner hit six fours and Boult three sixes and a four to put on 52 for the final wicket before Wagner slogged at one too many and was bowled by Anderson.

The tailenders’ efforts took the visitors to within 31 runs of the follow-on target of 205, with a final score of 174.

England were in control of the last session to finish at 116-1 with Alastair Cook not out on 88. Williamson claimed the only wicket of the session getting Nick Compton for seven caught by Rutherford in close.



After day two (day one rained out): England 337-7

The Yorkshire pair of Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow lead England to a strong position at the end of day two in the second Test at Headingley. To the delight of the vocal Leeds crowd, the pair put on a partnership of 124 runs for the fifth wicket to guide England to 337-7 after being in trouble early at 67-3.

Trent Boult's three late wickets with the new ball brought the BLACKCAPS back into the match.

Following yesterday’s rained out first day, England won the toss and chose to bat. BLACKCAPS captain Brendon McCullum wasn’t too unhappy about their decision as he was keen to have a bowl on a pitch that had been under covers for two days.

Within four overs, his thinking was proven right as the star from Lord’s, Tim Southee, got opener Nick Compton for one, edging a high catch to Dean Brownlie at third slip.

Just when it looked like England would go into lunch with only the one down, two wickets in two balls brought the BLACKCAPS right back into the match. Neil Wagner got the first, enticing Jonathan Trott to have a big wave at a delivery, only to be caught behind by McCullum for 28.

The very next ball, Doug Bracewell grabbed the big wicket of captain Alastair Cook for 34, edging to third slip where Brownlie, who has been in fine form behind the wicket in this series, made no mistake.

England went to lunch at 67-3, with the visitors making the most of anything that might have been in the wicket.

Ian Bell and Joe Root set about rebuilding after lunch, and made steady progress. Southee looked to have Ian Bell lbw early in the second spell but a review side showed the umpire’s initial decision was wrong and the ball was too high.

With less than half an hour until tea, Kane Williamson got the much-needed breakthrough. The part-time spinner got Bell to an outside edge for 30 caught by McCullum.

Local Yorkshire star Root brought up his 50 not long afterwards and very much looked like the danger man for the home side. England were 171-4 at tea.

The final session of the day belonged to Root and his fellow Yorkshireman Bairstow. Firstly Bairstow brought up his 50 to the delight of the local fans, but the biggest cheer of the day by far was for Root’s maiden Test century. The 22-year-old punched the air in delight but minutes later he was smashing his pads in disappointment as he edged a Boult delivery through to wicketkeeper McCullum, going  for 104 – the key wicket for the BLACKCAPS.

A few balls later Boult got Bairstow for 64, also caught behind by McCullum, and then he had Broad for a duck in the same fashion. After a wayward spell earlier in the day, Boult finished with the best figures of 3-48.

Southee, Wagner, Bracewell and Williamson all ended the day with a wicket apiece.



Day one

The opening day of the second Test against England was abandoned due to persistent rain in Leeds.



Despite a few bright spells around lunch at Headingley, there was never a long enough break in the rain to get the covers off and let the ground dry.

Sun and a high of 16 are forecast for tomorrow in Leeds.

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