New Zealand v England, first Test, day four as it happened

Alastair Cook and Nick Compton hit centuries to lead England's recovery on day four of the first Test against New Zealand.

9 March 2013 Last updated at 07:16

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As it happened

  1. 0502: 

    So there we have it. Yet another ton from Cook and hopefully the first of many from Compton. England have finally turned up in New Zealand and are now in a great position from which to save the first Test. Nothing is in the bag yet, however, and I strongly urge you to join me tonight from 20:45 GMT for the final day. Until then, I bid you a warm farewell.


    Old John, via text on 81111: "Well, Compton certainly isn't the new Compton, but this bodes well for a crucial year. Well done Nick!"

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "Nick Compton came into this match with questions about his Test future hanging over him and he has had a great day. When you have lows you're entitled to highs and today is his day - he can go home and rejoice. It is one of the most memorable days of his life."

    Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "Top class from Nick Compton and the skipper. Takes a huge amount of self-belief and composed determination to score a 100 whilst on a pair."


    Nick Compton: "I'm delighted. I never thought I would be standing here with a hundred to my name. You have to pinch yourself. There was a part of me that wanted to get on with it before the new ball but the bigger picture was drawing the game. It was hard to stay calm to be honest."

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "It was a super day's play. Some excellent shot playing by New Zealand in the morning, especially from the attacking Brendon McCullum, and then it was all about England - could they bat better, could they bat differently, were they up for it? Well they were and they played without much trouble. The pitch has played well and it has pulled the fangs off all of the bowlers."

    Adam Mountford, BBC Test Match Special

    "Compton scores hundred for England. It's like the 1950s all over again."

  8. 0447: 
    CLOSE OF PLAY- Eng 234-1

    Last over the day. Boult has no joy from over the wicket so he switches to round for the last two balls. McCullum brings in a short leg but Compton pushes the ball past him to collect two runs from the last ball of the day. He finishes on 102 not out and is congratulated by McCullum and the rest of the NZ team.


    Matthew Cooper: "Brilliant from Compton and the emotion on his and his dad's face says it all!"

    Graham Miles: "Great stuff Compo!"

    Marc Sepetowski: "Absolutely delighted for Nick Compton. Deserves his hundred given all the criticism he's come in for. He will kick on now!"

  10. 0441: 
    Eng 232-1

    Well done Compton. His dad Rickard is there in crowd celebrates passionately his son's achievement. He gets a big hug from his former Middlesex team-mate Steve Finn, who safely negotiates the rest of the over.

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "Two days ago when he got none there were different feeling. Today is different. After the first innings he would have been worried about his Test place if had got another none. He will sleep a lot better tonight."

    Ed Smith, BBC Test Match Special

    "It has been a long hard journey for Nick Compton to the England team. That is a deserved 100."

  13. 0438: 
    COMPTON 100

    He only needs one ball! A little flick through midwicket for a single and Compton leaps up and punches the air to celebrate.

  14. 0436: 
    Eng 231-1

    Steven Finn is pressed into nightwatchman duties, and he keeps out a yorker from his first ball. Two overs left. Compton to take strike, on 99.

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "If anybody deserved a wicket it was either one of the two left-arm seamers - they have given everything for their captain, team and country. It was a good ball, just outside the corridor where it gets you nibbling. Alastair will be disappointed but he has played well and done his bit."

    WICKET- Cook c Watling b Boult 116 (Eng 231-1)

    Bad news. It's a wicket. Good news. It ain't Compton. Cook dangles his bat at Boult and nicks a low catch through to Watling.


    Tom Shaw: "So glad I made a deal with myself that I'd be up to watch Compton's ton. Will not be amused if he falls now! Come on boyo!!"

  18. 0430: 
    Eng 231-0 (Trail by 64)

    A single takes the partnership to 224, England's highest opening stand against New Zealand, beating Chris Tavare and Graeme Fowler's effort in 1988. From nowhere, Tim Southee produces an absolute jaffa, which Compton is relieved not to get a nick on. Then a couple of runs take him to 99.

  19. 0425: 
    Eng 223-0

    Cook seems keen to help Compton get over the line here as he takes a single off the first ball of Boult's over. Compton drives handsomely but can't pierce the infield and this time they refuse the risky single. Two balls later he does get a single to take him within four of a century.


    England captain Alastair Cook acknowledges the Dunedin crowd after clinching the 24th century of his Test career.

    England's Alastair Cook and Nick Compton
  21. 0421: 
    Eng 221-0

    Horrible close-ups of Compton's face betray a very nervous man indeed. He's twitching and has a permanently worried look about him. He faces four balls from Southee, defends two and leaves two to remain on 95. Steve Finn is padded up as a nightwatchman here - that seems a tad over-cautious on this pitch doesn't it?

  22. 0417: 
    Eng 220-0

    Nervous nineties time for Compton as he sets off for another risky single to midwicket. Martin has the ball in his left hand but misses with his shy. Compton would have been a goner - for 94. Cook has a word with him - hold it together old son, don't throw it all away now. A single each.


    Dean Burke, TMS inbox: "I work nights at Heathrow Airport. It's quiet here tonight so I can sit in front of my computer with my DAB digital radio. Maybe we'll be seeing the TMS guys and the England team when they fly back home."

  24. 0412: 
    NEW BALL- Eng 218-0

    Drama, of sorts. Compton flicks for a single to square leg and Cook is late to set off. A direct hit would have got him, but by the time Watling whips the bails off the England captain is home and dry. Seven overs left in the day's play and New Zealand are taking the new ball.


    James, via text on 81111: "I'm awake because my name is James and I think I have a cricket problem."

  26. 0408: 
    Eng 217-0 (Trail by 76)

    Compo nudges a single off his hips from the last ball of Wagner's over to move within seven of the magic 100 and keep the strike.

  27. 0405: 
    Eng 216-0

    Cook slaps Martin for another four through extra cover. He'll be looking to convert this into a daddy. What's the England tactic tomorrow, assuming they don't get bowled out? I reckon the declare with an hour to go and just give the New Zealanders a bit to think about with the ball.


    Richard, Bexleyheath, TMS inbox: "Woke up after a fiery curry! Stomach is suffering, but am enjoying listening to your coverage while catching up on university work!"

  29. 0402: 
    Eng 212-0

    Compton's drive towards his ton is being hampered by his captain, who is rather hogging the strike at the moment. Three overs until the new ball is due.

    Jeremy Coney, BBC Test Match Special

    "This pitch has really emasculated all of the bowlers, perhaps with the exception of Anderson who, with the second new ball, got it to swing. He put in loads of energy and got a few wickets. Other than him - the others haven't looked like taking many wickets."

  31. 0359: 
    Eng 211-0

    Martin's 23rd over is something of a non-event, yielding just the one run to Cook. The England captain has six centuries in seven Tests as skipper and four in five this winter. His conversion rate from fifties to hundreds as skip? 100%.


    Christina, TMS inbox: "Mustn't let the women down by suggesting that only men are listening. We women don't waste time listening to TMS in bed. I've been catching up with correspondence, some knitting and about to begin baking bacon scones for breakfast."

  33. 0354: 
    NZ 210-0

    Compton-watch starts now. He advances to 92 with a neat slot through midwicket.

    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "Cook's first century against New Zealand means he now has hundreds against all eight Test countries he has played against. The two other Englishmen to have achieved that feat? Ian Bell and M.P Vaughan."

  35. 0350: 
    COOK 100- Eng 208-0

    Cook pushes two through the off side to bring up the 200 partnership. Then he squirts one away square to the boundary to reach 99 big ones. Will he get there this over? Yes he will. A sweep goes all the way for four. What a man. What a player. That's his 24th Test hundred.

  36. 0347: 
    Eng 198-0 (Trail by 95)

    This #racetotonage is getting very interesting indeed with Compton coming up on Cook's blind side as he tucks into a horrible full toss from Williamson and slashes it to the rope. Cook 93, Compton 90.


    Scott Isted: "M.P. Vaughan describing exactly what I'm doing. Missus asleep. Headphones on. He knows his audience well."

  38. 0343: 
    Eng 194-0

    Compton hooks a Southee short ball round the corner and England reduce the NZ lead below 100. A single takes Compton to 86. How do you feel when you are 14 runs away from a maiden Test century? I can't claim to know the answer to that one I'm afraid.


    Graham Corker, Reading, TMS inbox: "I'm enjoying listening whilst finishing painting a portrait for an exhibition. The joys of deadlines."

  40. 0339: 
    Eng 189-0

    Compton's back from his comfort break to face up to Martin. And he finds a gap in the leg side behind square to scamper a single.


    Stuart Davis, TMS inbox: "I'm not writing an essay or driving a cab - I'm retired, so don't have to go to work either. Thanks for being such good company in the middle of the night; it distracts me from my wife's snoring."


    Farmer David Passmore, TMS inbox: "In a field watching a cow calving in a rainy field in Oxfordshire."


    Daniel Hewson, TMS inbox: "Sitting in my flat in East Sussex, listening to TMS while practicing Beethoven and Chopin on my digital piano for a piano recital I'm giving in Hastings on Sunday."

  44. 0332: 
    DRINKS BREAK- Eng 187-0 (Trail by 105)

    Cook is looking imperious out there, every inch England's leading century-maker. The two England batsmen have both faced 210 balls - Cook has 93, and Compton 79. Time for a drink and a few more missives from the TMS inbox from listeners revealing why they are listening at 3.30 in the morning.


    Andrew, Kent, TMS inbox: "Why am I awake? Trying to fix a leak in my central heating boiler which is soaking he carpet underneath it."

  46. 0326: 
    Eng 185-0

    Cook has gone up a gear here and he's into the nineties now after cutting a short ball from Martin to the rope.


    Steve, north Wales, via text on 81111: "Thought I'd pulled, nip off to check the cricket and she's gone. I have no regrets. Love TMS!"

  48. 0323: 
    Eng 181-0 (Trail by 112)

    Not much happening out there, except the #racetotonnage. Cook leads by 10 at the moment as a two off his toes takes him to 88. Compton has 78, playing catch-up.


    Nick and Baz, via text on 81111: "Morning gents, working hard in the police control room. We'll be with you until 0700."

  50. 0317: 
    Eng 176-0

    Boult drops too short to Cook, who drives him square for four. On TMS, Michael Vaughan and Ed Smith are speculating as to who on earth will be listening to them back in Blighty at 3am. Taxi drivers are the most likely candidates, they agree. "Farmers," suggests Vaughan. "Don't think so Michael," says Ed, clearly more familiar with the ways of farmers. "You need a bit of light to farm."

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "The England batsmen are up for it this time - they're mentally prepared. It's virtually impossible for New Zealand. The pitch is sucking the life out of everybody."

  52. 0311: 
    Eng 172-0

    Compo hits back with four of his own, driven through the off side to move to 77. He has a lovely check finish does Compo, like a golfer admiring his drive. It's a bit of a numbers game at the moment, with the #racetotonnage the main point of interest.

  53. 0307: 
    Eng 168-0

    Cook is stealing a march in the first to tonnage race, collecting four off a thick outside edge to take his score to 80.


    Alex, Guildford, via text on 81111: "Sam, I have been here from the start. I will see it through to the end with you."


    Phil Robins: "I'm enjoying this. Great resilience from Cook/Compton. It isn't all about smacking fours or sixes, you've got T20 for that."

  56. 0304: 
    Eng 164-0

    Cook pushes a single into the off side to reach 76 and edge ever closer to his sixth century in seven Tests as captain. Bowling change at t'other end as Trent Boult replaces Brucie Martin.


    Harry Van Buren: "Boring can be good. The first day of play was exciting, albeit not for England fans. Here's hoping Compton gets his century!"

  58. 0300: 
    Eng 163-0

    I feel like I'm competing in some kind of bizarre cricket-commentating endurance event. Might need matchsticks to keep my eyes open soon. Just asked my colleagues who they think will bring up their ton first and they both went for Cook. The consensus seems to be that Compton is more likely to suffer from nerves in the nineties. I'll go for Compton though, just to be different. Martin maiden.

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "You've got to take your hat to Wagner off for effort, but the pitch is unresponsive. It's tough for any bowler; it's not a fair contest on this pitch."

  60. 0257: 
    Eng 163-0

    Compton smacks a Wagner half-volley for four through the covers, as Bryan Waddle admits the cricket is almost sending him to sleep.

    TV pictures have just given us a glimpse inside the Dunedin pavilion, which looks a bit too much like a Wetherspoons to me. Too much cheap leather and oak. The camera lingers a bit too long on a man in an England shirt, who tries to ignore it before reluctantly raising his glass.


    England opener Nick Compton adds another run to further increase his highest Test score.

    New Zealand v England

    Tim Emerton: "In from a few drinks and pleasantly surprised to find England haven't completely capitulated. Compton for a ton."

  63. 0250: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 153-0

    Cook is grateful to be given a bit of width by Wagner and cuts him away for four. An appeal - but a very optimistic one seeing as he was outside off stump and got an inside edge.

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "New Zealand have to take seven wickets before they get into the England tail and I don't see anything in this pitch that will encourage them to get seven wickets. England need to give seven wickets away."


    Jenny Cornish: "The children are struggling to sleep tonight. Perhaps I should show them some of the cricket. That might make them nod off. Yawn."

  66. 0245: 
    Eng 147-0

    Two more to Comps, dabbed to third man. Both batters have 66, matching each other run for run.


    Robbo, an expat in NZ, TMS inbox: "Just popped in to enjoy some afternoon tea.... Lovely sunny day here in Mosgiel just south of Dunedin. My Kiwi-Pommie kids been playing a BYC Test Eng v NZ (Back Yard Cricket). Looks like they have been scoring at faster rate than the England openers."

  68. 0243: 
    Eng 144-0

    Andrew in Miami you are my new best friend. I hope to bring you news of a run one of these days. Here it is, tucked off his legs by Cook. And now a boundary, beautifully thrashed through the covers by Compton with a high, straight left elbow.


    Andrew in Miami, via text on 81111: "At a business dinner in Miami with a load of South Americans all speaking Spanish. Watching the cricket by text is the only thing keeping me sane! So I will be watching until the bitter end."

  70. 0239: 
    Eng 139-0

    Bruce Martin is up next with a slip and a forward short leg in catching positions. Plenty of encouragement for the left-arm spinner - "well bowled Bruce" etc - as he delivers a second successive maiden after tea.

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "The only thing I could say to New Zealand is, 'Try to make Cook score every run on the off side; don't bowl too straight at him'. The ball isn't doing anything. Bore them out; dry up the runs; prey on their concentration."

  72. 0236: 
    Eng 139-0

    Wagner - pronounced Wag-ner not Vagner rather disappointingly - is entrusted with the first over after tea. The complete lack of life in the pitch is encapsulated in the fact that three balls bounce twice before reaching the keeper.

  73. 0229: 

    Good morning/afternoon/evening one and all. You want more cricket? I give you more cricket. Now I know that wasn't the most riveting of sessions but from an England point of view Compo and Cook are doing exactly what was asked of them, righting the wrongs of the first innings and slowly guiding England to a position of safety. With two and a half hours still to play today, both of them may soon by eyeing centuries - Compo's first, Cook's 24th. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.


    Kate Lynham: "Curious as to how many times a team's second innings opening stand has been higher than the entire first innings?"

  75. 0213: 

    For those of you who haven't nodded off at the screen/with smartphone or tablet in hand (delete as appropriate), you have my admiration. And if you've got this far, you may as well keep Sam Sheringham company for a two-and-a-half-hour evening session...

    Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "I would say only six or seven more wickets will fall before the end of this Test match. If England bat nicely and get a lead of 200, I would be tempted to have 10 overs at the end just to finish the Test with a couple of scalps.

    "It has been the perfect start for England and a solid opening partnership between Cook and Compton. Both know the game and the areas they are looking to score."

    TEA INTERVAL- Eng 139-0 (Trail by 154)

    And that will be that. Job done by the England openers, who have batted through the afternoon session. The stats may not make particularly eye-catching reading - 81 runs in 32 overs - but the wickets column remains empty. For England, that's all that matters.


    Matthew Lumby: "I've taken an early tea break due to boredom. Having a lovely egg custard with my cuppa."

  79. 0208: 
    Eng 137-0

    Have I got a treat for you now... Compton works a single off his pads, taking him to 58 - his highest Test score. It's all happening here. (Well, you can't blame me for trying)


    Revilo Snikrep: "It has to be said this cricket is plodding along at rather a slow going rate. Patience is a virtue in this sport."

  81. 0205: 
    Eng 133-0 (Trail by 160)

    Southee, his hair damp with sweat and styled in a rather trendy side-parting, charges in gamely - but you sense Cook and Compton regard him as not much more than a medium-pacer. With no swing, seam or uneven bounce, he is causing precisely zero problems.

  82. 0159: 
    Eng 131-0

    A Compton bat-pad chance off Williamson that goes beyond the reach of the man stationed at short-leg is the closest we've come to a wicket - and excitement, some might say - for a good while.

    Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "As a captain you have different gameplans - A, B and C. I would say Brendon McCullum has gone through the whole alphabet now."

  84. 0157: 
    Eng 131-0

    A legitimate question? Is Compton's strike-rate relevant when he and Cook have put on 131 for the first wicket - from a perilous position, lest we forget? I would have thought that, after the dismissals in England's first innings, a bit of bloodymindedness was exactly what they needed...


    Jake Waring: "Compton looks so assured defensively now, but I wonder what would happen the strike rate needed to be upped?"

  86. 0152: 
    Eng 130-0 (Trail by 163)

    Cook and Compton are now the proud owners of England's highest opening stand in New Zealand, beating Chris Broad and Martyn Moxon's 129 at Wellington in 1988. There are no more century partnerships for the first wicket, in case you were wondering who was next on the list.

    Jeremy Coney, BBC Test Match Special

    "It is very important that the field is still very much poised, because it is easy to stand with your arms folded when you can't get a wicket. The captain will look around into the eyes of his fielders looking at who will produce a little piece of cricket that will change the rhythm of the game at the moment."

  88. 0150: 
    Eng 127-0

    Southee, like almost all the seamers in this game, is finding little in the way of assistance from the pitch or overhead conditions. Cook ends the over with a controlled hook for four. Yes, you read that right - a boundary, the first for more than 16 overs. Phew.

    Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "We have seen Cook do this many times, but for Compton to do it, and do it under pressure, shows he has got some great character."

  90. 0144: 
    Eng 123-0

    Part-time off-spinner Kane Williamson gets a chance to turn his arm over, and soon draws a mistake from Compton, who plays and misses as he cuts at one that keeps very low. He gives himself a slight ticking-off, then normal service is resumed.

  91. 0142: 
    Eng 121-0 (Trail by 172)

    Compton's timing is not quite there today, exemplified by a driven full toss off Southee that brings him just the one run. Cook is becalmed too: in seeing out the rest of the over, he has now scored off just two of the last 25 deliveries he has faced.

    Jeremy Coney, BBC Test Match Special

    "This is redemption time for the England batting order after they were complicit in a poor first-inning performance."

  93. 0137: 
    COMPTON FIFTY- Eng 118-0

    Compton is forced to hurry back into his crease after aborting a single following smart work by Boult at wide mid-on, but he collects the three runs off Martin he needs to take him to his half-century, off 143 balls. A chance for the spectators to warm their hands.

  94. 0132: 
    Eng 115-0

    It's Tim Southee's turn to try and crack this England pair. Compton takes a single off the hip, kindly allowing Cook the opportunity to practise his leave for the rest of the over. Yep, I think he's got that down to a tee now.

  95. 0128: 
    Eng 114-0 (Trail by 179)

    At this rate, England will wipe out the first-innings deficit on Wednesday next week. Not that I'm complaining.


    T, via text on 81111: "Messrs K.P. Pietersen, I.V.A. Richards and S.R. Tendulkar have all sported a goatee at one time or another. Which just goes to, get growing as early as you can."

  97. 0124: 
    Eng 111-0

    The grand total of nine runs have been scored in the last nine overs. England in no rush, that's for sure. KP is probably chewing through his bat in the dressing room.


    George Tidbury: "You have to respect England's ability to grind out results in adversity (fingers crossed). Definitely a world class credential."

  99. 0121: 
    Eng 111-0

    It has just dawned on me that I should probably describe some of the cricket. Martin wheels away from round the wicket, Compton defends, no runs. Don't shoot the messenger...


    James: "Re 0104. Ponting started out with a goatee didn't he? There'll be loads circa mid-1990s."

  101. 0118: 
    Eng 111-0

    A whiteboard. Now that's what you need at the cricket. There's a chap dressed in a all-blue outfit, complete with hood, wearing white cricket pads - and showing off his whiteboard. At the moment it reads: 'Has anyone seen the Barmy Army?' If you have any suggestions for what he can write on it this afternoon, send them in and I'll try and pass them on.


    Nick Compton and Alastair Cook bring up the century stand for the first wicket.

    Nick Compton and Alastair Cook
  103. 0111: 
    DRINKS BREAK- Eng 108-0 (Trail by 185)

    After a couple of bad balls shortly after lunch, Martin has found a rhythm now, although he has been allowed to by two England batsmen whose primary objective (quite rightly) is occupation of the crease. Compton keeps the strike with a scampered single to wide mid-on. He keeps on running - a toilet break, perhaps? - as the players take drinks.

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "If I was England captain I would say to these two, 'Don't you dare come back in before tea. Stay out there all afternoon.'"

  105. 0108: 
    Eng 107-0

    Don't worry, you're not missing any cricket. Compton uses that Boult over to demonstrate his exemplary forward defensive: compact, ball under the eyes, hands close to his body, bat perfectly straight. I do like that.


    Chris Everett: "I'd say that Cook and Compton will get England out of this single-handed, but I feel that it will be followed closely by a wicket."

  107. 0104: 
    Eng 105-0

    There have been plenty of cricketers with famous moustaches - take your pick from virtually any player from the 70s and 80s - but goatees, that's another matter. I'll start you off with Jason Gillespie...

    Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "England 105 for 0...lovely batting. It's the type of start the Aussies used to get when they had Haydos and Langer. Those were the days!!"

  109. 0102: 
    Eng 105-0 (Trail by 188)

    If I'm not mistaken, Cook has the makings of a goatee beard. Compton, too, has a little facial hair of his own, although I'm not sure whether that's stubble or he's working on a moustache. A question for the press conference at the end of the day...

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "Nick Compton has obviously got concentration and patience, so he has got to bring that to his international career. If he can do it in county cricket then he can do it here."

  111. 0058: 
    Eng 103-0

    Oooh, what's happening here? Compton advances down the track to block Martin, then plays back to a quicker one that demanded a stride forward. Normal service is resumed for the remainder of the over.

  112. 0055: 
    Eng 103-0 (Trail by 190)

    If at first you don't succeed with one left-arm seamer, then try another. Trent Boult replaces the wayward Wagner, McCullum hoping his extra pace and slightly more attacking line will earn them a breakthrough that is looking increasingly unlikely. One Compton run off the over.

    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "This is the 45th Test between England and New Zealand and it is only the second time they have scored a century in the opening partnership. The last pair were Martyn Moxon and Chris Broad in 1988 when they scored 129 in Wellington."

  114. 0050: 
    COOK FIFTY- Eng 102-0

    Milestones galore here. Cook drives to bring up the century opening stand - the third shared by this embryonic partnership in 10 innings - then goes to his own fifty with another comfortable single. The celebration - or lack of - suggests he knows there is a great deal more to do.

    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "Nick Compton averaged 213 balls per dismissal in county cricket last season. The next best was 109."

  116. 0047: 
    Eng 98-0

    Wagner's line is letting him down, and his switch back to over the wicket doesn't have any impact. Cook collects four off his hips to reduce the deficit to under 200, before he and Compton help themselves to leg-side singles.

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "This afternoon, and probably after tea, will test Brendon McCullum and his team. This pitch, and the pace of it, would test most bowlers even the truly great bowlers. They would have to have something special in pace or spin to create problems for any decent batsman."

  118. 0043: 
    Eng 91-0 (Trail by 202)

    A. Maiden. From. Martin.


    Johnny, Manchester, via text on 81111: "Impressed with the repertoire of the trumpeter in the crowd, great performance of 'flight of the Valkyries' in honour of Wagner!"

  120. 0041: 
    Eng 91-0

    The TV cameras have just shown the cameramen at the University Oval - one sporting a balaclava and another a snood, a la Carlos Tevez. Cook, braving the elements in his short-sleeved short, is impervious to the cold. Wagner is causing him equally few concerns at present. (Note: I am not to be held responsible if that jinxes England's batsmen)


    Adam Barker: "You would never see a young boy crawling under a stand in England to get a ball. Health and safety would have a field day!"

  122. 0036: 
    Eng 86-0 (Trail by 207)

    Martin, operating with a short-leg and a short midwicket, continues to plug away outside Cook's off stump. He's not afraid to toss it up, I'll give him that, but Cook - with his monk-like concentration - would be quite happy to pat these away all day.

    Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "I think McCullum is an aggressor as an captain - everything he touched turned to gold in the first innings. He manoeuvred positions, told bowlers to go around the wicket and it worked.

    "Now, McCullum is saying to the England batsmen that he knows it is a good pitch. He is dangling a carrot to get them to play shots. He needs errors and poor shot selection from the England players to get 10 wickets."

  124. 0034: 
    Eng 86-0

    Compton, following his skipper's lead, adopts a more positive himself, pulling another short one from Wagner behind square for four. It needs a youngster crawling under the temporary stand to retrieve the ball, which the New Zealand bowlers might not be best pleased about. Compton drives on the up through backward point for four to end the over.


    Ed, Totnes, via text on 81111: "Wagner is nothing too special, you just have to learn how to Handel him."

  126. 0028: 
    Eng 76-0

    Cook unfurls the sweep - a stroke seen very seldom in this Test - not once but twice in that Martin over. To good effect too, as it brings him two fours, the seventh and eighth of the innings.

  127. 0025: 
    Eng 66-0 (Trail by 227)

    Wagner edging closer to the stumps in his delivery stride, and finding his line much better in this over. He tests Nick Tilsley - sorry, Compton - with a couple of bumpers, the last of which the batsman can only fend to short-leg. Fortunately for England, there is no fielder there.

    Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "Cook is the key here. He has been there, done it and got the T-shirt in this situation. All England have to do is concentrate. If they bring that mindset they will be fine, but if they relax then they could be in trouble."

  129. 0021: 
    Eng 64-0

    Cook seems happy to play Martin off the back foot, a sensible tactic on a pitch offering the slowest of turn. With the left-armer finding minimal sideways movement, variable bounce seems the greatest threat to the batsmen. However, so far at least, there has been little untoward to report.


    Drew, Swansea, via text 81111: "Re lookalikes. Matt Prior is definitely more of a chubby Jason Statham."

    Jon L, East Haddon: "Matt Prior and Maurice Gibb?"

    Ian Bradbury, Stalybridge: "Just seen Mark Knopfler interviewed on BBC4 and he is a dead ringer for Aggers!"

  131. 0018: 
    Eng 64-0

    Wagner opts to go around the wicket from the other end, bowling from very wide of the crease. Compton pats a couple back, then misses a pull down the leg side.


    Stewie, Twyford, via text on 81111: "Re Rupert 2228. Jacques Rudolph 222 no vs Bangladesh 173 all out in 2003."

  133. 0015: 
    Eng 64-0 (Trail by 229)

    Bruce Martin gets us under way after lunch, and Alastair Cook works him off his pads for a couple, then rocks back to cut a wide, long-hop through cover-point. Why did England not do this in the first innings?

  134. 0012: 

    Thanks, Sam, and welcome back, one and all. That was certainly an absorbing hour and a half before lunch, but the fact the wickets column still reads '0' is the most important thing for an England side who must bat out the rest of today and deep into tomorrow if they are to avoid defeat.

  135. 2338: 

    Good session that. Fireworks from McCullum and Martin followed by some risk-free batting from Cook and Compton. With the match nicely balanced, we're going to take a short break. Justin Goulding will then take you through until tea.


    Stephen, Manchester, via text on 81111: "Re lookalikes. Stuart Broad is a dead ringer for Andy from Toy Story 3.

    Daz, Widnes, via text on 81111: "Compton looks just like Nick Tilsley from Coronation Street."

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "Except for the odd little mistake, England have done alright and I've seen nothing to change my view that the pitch is as good a pitch as you would want to bat all day on. They should feel comfortable batting on this.

    "New Zealand are going to need some proactive captaincy from Brendon McCullum after lunch. He's going to have to swap bowlers and move the field around."

  138. 2333: 
    LUNCH INTERVAL- Eng 58-0 (Trail by 235)

    Three more to Compton to the point boundary, then a single to Cook. Southee gets one in the corridor and Compton can't resist a little dangle but, to his good fortune, ball misses bat. And that, my friends, will be lunch.


    Gethin Stone: "Re lookalikes. Matt Prior a particularly rough-looking, dishevelled Phil Mitchell from Eastenders?"

    Webs: "Ian Bell is the double of Mickey Webb who was in The Bill, it's uncanny."

  140. 2329: 
    Eng 54-0 (Trail by 239)

    Finally it's time for a bit of Brucie. Martin that is. England seem happy to see a bit less pace on the ball and Compo tucks a couple through square leg and a single to cover.


    Nick Compton and skipper Alastair Cook help pass 50 without loss in Dunedin.

    New Zealand v England
    Bryan Waddle, BBC Test Match Special

    "The bowlers are just searching for it, looking for it to swing; they are two sides of the wicket at the moment. You need to be 'dotting up' in good, tight areas."

  143. 2325: 
    Eng 51-0

    A firm push from Compton earns him two runs. then a slot down the ground for one, which really should have been two. A short ball is pulled away by Cook for two to bring up the fifty partnership, the fifth between these two in their fledgling career as a duo.


    Stuart, Surrey, via text on 81111: "Re Rupert 2228. Mathew Sinclair for NZ on debut scored 214 against the West Indies, which bettered their first innings score of 179....back of the net!"

  145. 2320: 
    Eng 46-0

    Just over 10 minutes until lunch and still no spin yet from New Zealand. Instead it's Neil Wagner for his sixth over - and it's a maiden, safely negotiated by Cook, who has one eye on his apple pie and trifle.

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "At lunch I just used to eat apple pie and trifle - none of that beef. I went for pure energy. Then I switched on with 15 minutes to go and played on until tea. That's what I wanted to do. I didn't drink coffee either, I drank tea and then later in my career I started drinking ginseng tea."

  147. 2316: 
    Eng 46-0 (Trail by 247)

    Cook punches through the leg side for three runs as Boycott criticises Southee for not bowling in the (you guessed it) "corridor of uncertainty".


    Philip: "If we're talking cricket lookalikes, it's got to be Jimmy Anderson and actor Timothy Olyphant."

    Pete Davis: "Try this one: Jimmy Anderson and US actor David Walton."

  149. 2311: 
    Eng 43-0

    Cook unfurls one of his favourite shots as he dispatches an over-pitched ball from Wagner through the covers. There must be a lookalike for Neil Wagner - former England seamer Neil Mallender perhaps?


    David, Spain, TMS inbox: "If Nick Compton is 'one for the laydees' then it's genetic! I often used to see his grandfather coming out of the Grace Gates with... shall we say a pretty companion? He wasn't the Brylcream Boy for nothing!"

    Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "That's a horrible moment for a batsman, ultimately Nick Compton must have known if he hit it or not. The replays were inconclusive."

  152. 2305: 
    NOT OUT- Eng 38-0

    It's close but there's no mark on HotSpot and it looks like, if anything, it brushed his trouser legs. McCullum has a chat with Asad Rauf at the end of the over, but I think common sense prevailed. There simply wasn't enough evidence to overturn the decision. Could that be a huge moment in Compton's career?

  153. 2302: 

    New Zealand are screaming for a catch down the leg side against Compton here. Umpire Rauf says no. New Zealand are reviewing. What will HotSpot say?

  154. 2300: 
    Eng 37-0 (Trail by 255)

    Signs that Cook is starting to settle as he smuggles a two to long leg, swiftly followed by a three to the same area.


    Paul Wilson: "Cookie a ringer for West Ham defender, and fellow Essex Boy, James Tomkins."

    Ed Smith, BBC Test Match Special

    "Nick Compton is an incredibly determined man and cricketer. Failures hurt him very, very deeply and successes give him a great deal of satisfaction. He's always switched on; the possible downside is he can sometimes be a little bit tense and not let his natural talent come out. But today he has been certain and assertive in his footwork."


    Joe Baldwin: "Re lookalikes. Jonathan Trott and Vince Vaughn? Not quite as good as Nasser Hussain and James Bond villain Le Chiffre."

  158. 2256: 
    Eng 31-0

    Well done Matthew Wright for answering Rupert's poser from earlier. Are there any other players whose debut score has been higher than the entire opposition's total? A single apiece. England are creeping towards lunch.


    Matthew Wright, TMS inbox: "Re Rupert 2228. Tip Foster scored 287 on debut for England in 1903, bettering Australia's first-innings effort of 285!"

  160. 2252: 
    Eng 29-0 (Trail by 265)

    Compton has a little nibble at Wagner. Plenty of oohs and aahs from the NZ fielders. Oh my word, I've just seen a man in the crowd dressed a multi-coloured all-in-one stripey body suit with tassels on it. What makes a man wake up in the morning and decide to wear that? Now we've got a woman picking her nose. Which is nice.

  161. 2249: 
    Eng 29-0

    Three-quarters of an hour until lunch and Boult enters his seventh over. Cook's happy to see out a maiden - seven runs from 38 balls for the skip. Reckon we'll see the spinner Martin soon.

    Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "It has been two contrasting types of approach to batting so far this morning. McCullum and Martin came out and exploded with some big hits. Now we have got a bit of old-school Test match batting, which is exactly what England required to try and calm down the situation."


    Scott, Leeds, via text on 81111: "Anybody else think Joe Root looks like a young Willie Carson?"

  164. 2241: 

    Wagner strays down the leg side and Compton helps it on its way for four. Good judgement from Compton as well as he leaves the last two balls outside off stump. Old-fashioned Test match batting at the moment. Drinks.

    Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "What is important when you are chasing a game and up against it, is the openers have to send a message to the dressing room that they are in control. The New Zealand bowlers have done okay but Compton and Cook have looked positive and determined. England have done everything right the bat so far, they have nullified the attack and took the shine off the new ball."

  166. 2237: 
    Eng 25-0

    Boult to Cook, tucked away past midwicket for two runs. The last ball keeps a touch low and Cook gets an edge which bounces well in front of first slipper.


    DC, Devon: "Re lookalikes. Anyone else noticed that Boult is actually Jay from Inbetweeners??"

    Will, London: "Compton - Robert Downey Jr."

  168. 2233: 
    Eng 23-0

    Neil Wagner put a rocket up England by taking two wickets in his first over of the first innings, but his first over of the second innings is a much less eventful affair. Unlike last time, England are eschewing risk at the moment in the face of some probing bowling.


    Rupert, TMS inbox: "Apart from Rutherford, have any other Test debutants scored more runs individually than the opposition's total innings score?"

    Good question Rupes. I don't know the answer but I'm sure there's someone out there who does.

  170. 2228: 
    Eng 22-0 (Trail by 271 runs)

    The examination continues for the England batsmen as Boult bowls a very tidy maiden to Compton, each and every ball on or around off stump. At a decent pace too.


    England fast bowler Steven Finn takes the plaudits after dismissing Bruce Martin to prompt New Zealand's declaration.

    New Zealand v England
  172. 2225: 
    Eng 22-0

    Southee squares up Compton and catches the edge, the ball running off past the slips for four. Double figures for Compo, oh how he'd love to make it to triple figures. Any suggestions for a Compton lookalike. He's certainly one for the laydees.


    Stuart, Swindon, via text on 81111: "Reach parity or close to it by the end of the day and then see where we are from there for day five. Or do a rain dance. Both would work."

  174. 2219: 
    Eng 17-0

    Great shot sir! Compton drives with conviction off the back foot and picks up his first boundary of the match. By the way someone the other day said NZ bowler Trent Boult was a Stewart Downing lookalike and the more I see him the more I tend to agree. Any thoughts, or alternative dead ringers from today's cast?

  175. 2215: 
    Eng 12-0

    A well-directed Southee bouncer almost takes Alastair Cook's head off as New Zealand keep the pressure on. Two leg byes from the over. Survival until lunch is the order of the day for England's opening pair.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "England are really clinging on at the moment. This is quite an examination."

  177. 2211: 
    Eng 10-0

    Jeremy Coney thinks Boult is bowling a tad short to Compton, but he's certainly settled on a nice line across the England right-hander. Compton can't resist dangling the bat and is beaten twice in a row. The last ball is a genuine bouncer which flies over Watling's head and away for four byes.


    Lee S Popplewell: "Hope Captain Cook has one of those epic innings to save the Test like he did in the last Ashes first Test."

    Bruce Harmsworth: "This top three of Cook/Compton/Trott sets the pulse racing much as Boycott/Edrich/Luckhurst used to do when I were a lad."

  179. 2207: 
    Eng 6-0 (Trail by 287)

    Southee looks a pleasant lad, the sort you'd happily marry off your daughter to. Here he is serving up a half-volley to Cook, which flies away off an open face for the captain's first boundary. Then a huge appeal for lbw from over the wicket. Umpire Reiffel says 'no', there's no review and replays show that an inside edge saved the England skipper.

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    On Nick Compton's technique: "I've never been a big believer in worrying too much about how someone stands at the crease. I don't believe in rigidity. I believe in individuality.

    "In India I felt Nick was working really hard for his runs. It wasn't easy for him and he never got to the point where he was relaxed. Batting is like playing golf - you have to be relaxed and get your rhythm. When you are tense it is tiring and it damages you.

    "I felt he deserved another chance. I'm not his batting coach, but if I was I would say, 'don't be worried about your technique'. I would talk to him and let him adapt a little himself."

  181. 2202: 
    Eng 2-0

    Compton gets off a pair straight away with a nice drive down the ground. It's an easy two but Cook, rather harshly, sends him back. Cook is struggling to settle out there - "he looks as if he hasn't gone to bed," says Boycs. Twice he plays down the wrong line to Boult before stealing a single to get off strike. Much better over from NZ.

  182. 2159: 
    Eng 0-0

    Southee to Cook, three slips and a gully stationed in place. Not a great start from the NZ bowler, giving Cook a couple of easy leaves and a nice gentle welcome back to the crease. Can Trent Boult fare any better, bowling to Compton on a pair?

  183. 2155: 

    Nicholas Compton, it's time to stand up and be counted. Cook's opening partner has just one fifty in nine innings thus far.


    Pladbury: "Has there ever been a Test match with no no-balls? As the current match hasn't had any."

  185. 2149: 

    So, is the stage set for a match-saving Cookie daddy ton? Or are New Zealand going to hammer home one of the most famous victories in their history? England's first task is to survive until lunch, which is still one hour, 40 minutes away.


    Neil Peart, TMS inbox: "Shame Wagner didn't get to play for South Africa, with him and Elgar playing together the Proteus would have made some sweet music..."

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "I'm not surprised New Zealand have declared now - they are in a good position and have 300 runs to play with. They are sitting pretty and have all the aces in their hands. England have got a big job on. It's about England not making mistakes and not giving their wickets away."

  188. 2145: 

    The fall of the ninth wicket is the cue for Brendon McCullum to declare on 460-9. New Zealand lead by 293. Over to you Angleterre...

    WICKET- Martin c Prior b Finn 41 (NZ 460-9)

    Steven Finn is being given a chance to knock over these last two wickets. And he comes mighty close to claiming the first as Martin chops the ball down within an inch of his stumps. Then the wicket does arrive as Martin bottom-edges a pull shot and gifts Prior a simple catch.

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "Turning it on its head, the ease with which the New Zealand players have scored, particularly the tail enders, could be comforting for England. Looking positively, the pitch is good."

  191. 2139: 
    NZ 460-8

    Martin helps a bouncer on its way over the slips for a one-bounce four. He pinches a single off the last ball to keep the strike and is only nine runs short of a debut fifty now.

    Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "We're forgetting what a great debut Bruce Martin has had - he got four-fer with the ball and now he's 36 not out. If someone came into the England team and played like he has then he would be front page news. He would probably get an OBE!"

  193. 2135: 
    NZ 455-8 (Lead by 288)

    No sign of a New Zealand declaration. Looks like they want to pile on the misery and take their lead beyond 300. The new man is Neil Wagner, who has a first-class average of 20.22 - none too shabby for a number 10. He's off the mark with two through midwicket, then two more to fine leg after Bell pulls off an athletic save on the boundary.


    Stewart Pirie: "That has got to be one of the longest air time catches in the history of cricket!"

    egobrain101: "Jimmy Anderson is the best fielder in modern day cricket."

    George Edgar: "This is going to be one hard Test match and series for England."


    New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum smashes another boundary as England are left frustrated on the morning of day four.

    Brendon McCullum
  196. 2131: 
    NZ 451-8

    The batsmen crossed so Martin is on strike and he immediately guides Broad through third man for four. Then a lusty drive is awkwardly parried by Bell, who looks like he wishes he had got out the way of it.

    Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "What a catch that is. It has gone miles in the air. England are lucky it fell to Jimmy Anderson, it swirled around in the air and Jimmy steadied himself to take a great catch. I would have got under it and it would have bounced 10 yards in front of me."

    WICKET- McCullum c Anderson b Broad 74 (NZ 447-8)

    McCullum launches the ball into orbit and gives James Anderson an age to think about the catch at mid-on. The England man steadies himself, never takes his eyes of the ball and pouches cleanly.

    Justin Goulding, BBC Sport

    "Did you miss the special 'Ask Michal Vaughan' feature on TMS yesterday? You can listen again or cast your eye over the former England captain's answers."


    David Carr: "This partnership is embarrassing for England. How many first tests will we need to lose before the preparation penny drops?!"

    Ken Atkinson: "Whilst I admire his knock, is the small ground attempting to make test cricket a five-day form of T20."

    Ross Lawson: "Martin playing a blinder on debut - keeping McCullum playing freely without the risk of running out of partners."

  201. 2123: 
    NZ 447-7

    What a debut Martin is having! He's giving Rutherford a run for his money in the man of the match stakes as he smashes Anderson through the covers. New Zealand have added 45 runs in six overs to extend their lead to 280. My days.

    Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "Momentum is a huge part of a day's play and you have got to say New Zealand have grasped it. It has been a horrible start for England. They look like a bit of a rabble and McCullum has caused that by playing a couple of pulls early. Sometimes it is hard to pull momentum back when it swings so far in favour of one team."

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "This is the worst possible start to the day for England. England put to the sword this morning. Dear me."

  204. 2119: 
    NZ 438-7

    I think Stuart Broad might just need a bit of time to himself to cool off after this over. First McCullum edges through the vacant second slip area for four, then Martin collects four through the vacant third slip region. In between, McCullum slashes the ball away in the air and Compton misjudges a possible catch at deep point. To add insult to injury, Martin responds to being hit by a bouncer by pulling the next ball in front of square for four as if he were shelling peas.

    Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "There are times in the modern game when you just have to admire these guys and the way they bat. Small ground, good piece of willow in the hand. He is just having his moment - everything is going his way."

  206. 2113: 
    NZ 425-7 (Lead 258)

    More fireworks from the Kiwi skipper! Anderson clearly wasn't watching Broad's over because he drops a fraction short and McCullum launches him over midwicket for another six. Then a length ball is dispatched in stunning fashion over the bowler's head and into the sight screen.


    Laura, Bristol, via text on 81111: "I'm off to a cocktail party in 15 minutes - I'm hoping we'll have a wicket down before that and a decent number of runs when I get back at whatever ungodly hour it may be!"

    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "McCullum's 50 took him 100 minutes, 47 balls, eight fours and one six. That's the second quickest 50 he has made in Test cricket."

  209. 2109: 
    McCULLUM FIFTY- NZ 412-7

    Stuey Broad bowled well yesterday and his reward is to be handed the ball ahead of Steve Finn for the second over of the day. His first ball though is a rank long hop which McCullum fails to cash in on. The next is a beauty, nipping off the seam past the edge. Then a short one, which McCullum heaves over square leg and out off the ground for a huge six to bring up his fifty! Looks like the ball is lost. Oh no, some lad in the park over the road has found it! Huge hit that, 90 metres I'm told.

  210. 2104: 
    NZ 405-7

    The Barmies are in full voice as Jimmy Anderson bowls the first over of the day. McCullum gets things moving along with a single, then tries to rough up Martin with some short stuff. Martin, however, is no mug, having scored the second of his first-class hundreds this year.


    Ed Mehen: "England's 'woes' remind me of the downside of success: heightened expectations. Fifteen years ago this wouldn't be such a surprise."

    Marc Chinnick: "England need to pull a performance out of the bag through all three sessions."

    Adam Mountford, BBC Test Match Special

    "Morning from the University Oval. Weather OK at the moment - fingers crossed it stays that way!"

    New Zealand v England
  213. 2056: 

    A missive from Aggers in Dunedin confirms that New Zealand will bat on this morning.

  214. 2054: 

    Jimmy Anderson was the man to speak to the media last night after his impressive four-wicket performance. He doesn't think that there's anything in this wicket that should be of concern to the English batsmen. "There has not been too much in the way of seam or spin," he said. "There were some signs of the ball going through a bit lower but I don't think there are any demons in the pitch we have to worry about if and when we come to bat in our second innings."

  215. 2047: 

    The good news (or possible bad news depending or your persuasion) is that the sun is out in Dunedin and it looks like we will definitely start on time. Assuming he doesn't choose to declare, Kiwi skipper Brendon McCullum will be bringing out the big guns this morning as he looks to cement his side's supremacy. So far he has 44 not out off 42 balls, while partner-in-crime Bruce Martin is on 17.

  216. 2045: 

    And so to day four of the first Test in Dunedin where so far New Zealand have totally belied their lowly ICC ranking of eighth, while England have looked a pale and sickly imitation of the side that were top of the table just over a year ago and are currently second. The hosts will resume their first innings on 402-7, looking to quickly extend their 235-run lead before tucking into the England batting line-up once more. For England, three quick wickets are the order of the day, followed by a wholesale improvement in their batting. Take-off is at 21:00 GMT.

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Live Scores - N Zealand v England


  • New Zealand drew with England
  • N Zealand: 460-9 (116.4 overs)
  • England: 167 & 421-6 (170.0 overs)
  • Venue: Dunedin

England 2nd Innings

View full scorecard
Cook c Watling b Boult 116
Compton lbw b Wagner 117
Finn lbw b B Martin 56
Trott c and b Wagner 52
Pietersen c Watling b Wagner 12
Bell not out 26
Root run out (Southee) 0
Prior not out 23
Extras 1nb 1w 6b 11lb 19
Total for 6 421