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Kiwis take heart from battling draw

Jonathan Agnew | 17:44 UK time, Monday, 19 May 2008

New Zealand stumbled but, as in the first innings, they regrouped and fought back and they will take a great deal of heart from their performance here.

England must add another disappointment to a growing list of matches at Lord's that they have failed to win on the final day despite being in a good position.

The most obvious plus for England was Michael Vaughan's century which has killed off any talk of pressure on his place in the team. The captain can now relax and, hopefully, we will see many more innings like this one.

Jacob Oram is congratulated by Daniel Flynn on reaching his hundred

Stuart Broad had a good game and was unlucky to get just one wicket in New Zealand's second innings, and Monty Panesar caused all the New Zealanders problems. Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook both looked in good touch at the top of the order.

But the list of credits in the New Zealand camp is somewhat longer. Jacob Oram produced a wonderful hundred this afternoon in which he combined discipline and patience with his ability to play lots of big shots.

He came in with New Zealand in a potentially dire situation and Brendon McCullum nursing a badly bruised arm. When Ryan Sidebottom finally bowled him for 101, the game was saved and he helped Daniel Flynn settle in to the pressure of Test cricket - another positive.

Jamie How made a battling 68, McCullum's 97 in the first innings was superb and the seam bowling, led by Chris Martin, was impressive. Daniel Vettori was brilliant.

But there are issues at the top of New Zealand's order where Aaron Redmond, James Marshall and Ross Taylor look extremely vulnerable to the moving ball, and if the Old Trafford pitch has some bounce, they could well struggle there too.

Ironically the Test ended with the arrival of bad light - it will largely be remembered for the time that was lost to the elements unfortunately. There are no easy answers, but I would like to see the onus placed more firmly on the batsmen who should be asked, in my view, if they believe that they in physical danger by batting on.

It is only a minor detail, but it is proving too easy for them to take the easy option at the moment and the paying public is missing out. ­


  • Comment number 1.

    "despite being in a good position" ??

    With so much time lost to the elements there was only ever going to be a result if England managed to bowl New Zealand out for 100!

    With players like Vettori and McCullum that just wasn't going to happen.

    Yes, England squandered a few chances, and maybe they could have pushed for more runs on Sunday, but I think this was a solid and encouraging England performance.

    All the bowlers bowled well, except for maybe some consistency issues with Jimmy Anderson. Our batting collapse may need a look at, but it would seem harsh to judge the batting performance given that England only had 1 batting innings to make an impression.

    This test has simply demonstrated that you cannot write off either side in this series, with promising starts from both teams.

  • Comment number 2.

    i really do not see how NZ are the underdogs. england and NZ are evenly matched. the problem with the england batting is that there is very rarely an occassion when all guns are firing. if the openers and vaughan had failed, we (england) would have lost.

    maybe instead of harking back to 2005 and looking towards 2009, england should actually concentrate on the job at hand. nice to see tremlett added to the squad, i hope he adds what is needed to the bowling attack.

    as for the batsmen, i am a big strauss fan and him and cook showed their class. and bell is a good player and his dismissal was a great ball. ambrose's batting is a concern, but at the end of the day he's a good keeper and that is what should matter first.

    bring on the next one!

  • Comment number 3.

    The Lords test which has just concluded contained 3 players who were sons of former test players. Redmond of NZ and Broad and Sidebottom of Eng.

    Has such a combination ever happened before? Did the Dayle and Richard Hadlee ever play against Majid Khan or another son of a former test player?

    keep up the good work


  • Comment number 4.

    This was a bit disappointing...the game was good but England had the same old mid order collapse backed up by not effective enough bowling.
    should be a good series but I thought England had gone past this level
    Bring back Simon Jones!!!

  • Comment number 5.

    It was disappointing to see an enjoyable afternoon of cricket once again brought to a premature end by Umpire Bucknor and his lightmeter. I was at the game on Saturday and they were playing in much darker conditions. Today Bucknor's decision to reach for the lightmeter was greeted by the confusion and anger of us fans in the ground who were enjoying the afternoon.

    Just because a draw is inevitable doesn't mean that play should be stopped when otherwise it would continue.

    Umpire Bucknor has been too hasty with the lightmeter all week and needs to be disciplined.

    Also, in cases such as this where days have been taken out of the game, how about an early start at about 8am?

  • Comment number 6.

    Not sure about 8am, but why not 10am? It seems a waste to start at 11 in a situation where bad light is (so often) predictable - and there is nothing wrong with morning light! Starting a bit earlier not only buys additional options in case of rain or light delays during the day, it ensures the spectators get a fair go.

  • Comment number 7.

    I have to disagree; England weren't in a good position, and never were going to be unless they bowled New Zealand out for less than 200. Even at 120-4 this was slightly optimistic when you consider that their lower-middle order is twice as good as their top order at the moment. However, had England had another day, it could well be argued that England were capable of knocking up the 280 or so that would be required.
    New Zealand will take heart from this performance though, as they definitely had the worst of the conditions and battled through, albeit slightly precariously at times. England didn't do a lot wrong, although both batting and bowling can improve - England too often lose vital periods of play to be a major force in the game. For example, losing most first innings wickets in a session and not quite knocking New Zealand over in their first innings.
    Looking forward to the next test at the end of this week - bring in the sun...

  • Comment number 8.

    Looks like we have tp go one down before we realise we need more sting in the attack.

    The obvious man (steve) who the England management should not of picked for the first test in NZ is now not being picked due to the politics.

    He was not ready then but is now.

    The England management obviously do not wish to win the Ashes.


  • Comment number 9.


  • Comment number 10.

    Well done NZ, they proved the doubters wrong and showed they should be competitive for the next two tests. I think they played their way into a winning position despite losing the toss and this is something England will be very mindful of. Despite having a first innings deficit I feel NZ dominated the last 2 days and with another day could have pushed for a win themselves. Obviously things could have gone either way today but NZ will gain in confidence from how this played out, much more so than England. I do however believe that England's experience will be crucial and I somehow doubt that NZ's top order will do the job, NZ simply do not have the experience and they cannot rely on the middle order to bail them out every time.... but if Vettori can win a toss, it'll go a long way to evening this out..
    Hopefully the weather holds out for the rest of series.

  • Comment number 11.

    NZ knew after Saturday that Bucknor was going to be their banker in terms of securing the draw. The game was played without pressure on either side. A non event of monumental magnitude.

  • Comment number 12.

    FAO Tony Bell

    In 1976, Mohinder and Surinder Amarnath (sons of Lala) played in a Test match in NZ against Dayle and Richard Hadlee (sons of Walter)

  • Comment number 13.

    Re 10am starts

    I beleive that was ruled out due to the expense incurred by people travelling by rail who'd have to pay peak fares!!!

    Personally, I think if you can afford to buy a test match ticket these days, you can pay a little bit extra for your train fare!!

    I cannot understand the backslapping that the umpires seem to have got from the media in this game....Bucknor was indeed too quick out with his light meter and both of them were not exactly consistent with LBW decisions.

  • Comment number 14.

    I agree with crayzeepete.

    A team goes into the final day with 10 wickets in hand and level on runs.

    I'd be interested to know how often bowling team has won a match from such a "good position".

    At a guess - never...

  • Comment number 15.

    Without Flintoff, England lack that cutting edge in the bowling attack. At the moment, I think England will struggle to take 20 wickets especially against better teams like South Africa. Anderson is inconsistent, Broad is promising but still learning, and Sidebottom relies on swing and control to be effective. Monty also take few wickets but he bowled well in this match. Ultimately, this attack has along way to go to be compared to the 2005 bowling line-up which was very impressive. We can only hope that by next year Flintoff and even Simon Jones may be back!

  • Comment number 16.

    England seemed to lack the self-belief necessary to put on the pressure and really go for a win. The contrast with Australia (cf Adelaide 2006) was palpable. Perhaps some of the team's thoughts were elsewhere?

  • Comment number 17.

    Is there anything more boring than NZ vs england?

    Two limited uninspired teams with few real match winners with bat or ball.

    England are the better side but watching them have to slowly grind down an opponent so weak(how is there main man in the top order for god's sake) is painful to watch.

  • Comment number 18.

    The weather was the winner in the end.Its always a shame and we can all pontificate but both sides can take positives and hopefully we will get a 5 day game at manchester.

    I hoped that the over rate issues could have been sorted by other means but i find myself agreeing that it has to be done by penalty runs.Even on a session by session basis

    One other thing that annoys me is this constant on and off of players for differing reasons.I suggest that players can go off when they want but if a substitute is used he must be on for 1 hour.And only 1 sub fielder allowed .This would stop bowlers going off for showers etc etc while allowing genuine injuries to be properly assessed .

  • Comment number 19.

    If the match hadn't been so badly affected by rain, we (England) might just have won, though I am not convinced.

    It may be a good time to consider the whole selection process, which doesn't seem to be all that effective. It seems to me that a lot of young bowlers, especially seamers, have been given a reasonable opportunity to prove their worth and the ones currently playing are probably the best around until Simon Jones and Freddie Flintoff are fit and able to show the contrary.

    This is not true of the batsmen. It is the batsmen who are failing, by not building the really big totals that put the opposition under serious psychological pressure. It seems to me there are too many batsmen who are doing just enough to keep their place in the squad. There are many promising youngsters who have not been given an opportunity or too few opportunities. Will people like James Hildreth have to grow old watching Strauss, Bell, Collingwood, Vaughan and even Pietersen satisfying the selectors by coming off just occasionally, when what we need are batsmen who consistently score heavily? Look at the really successful teams over recent years and ask yourself what they do that England don't. The answer is, make really big scores, over and over again. Now is the chance to practise, against a relatively weak bowling team like New Zealoand's.

  • Comment number 20.

    So finally a good knock from Vaughan...ensuring that his place is cemented for the next year no doubt! If he gets runs in the other tests then maybe, just maybe, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. I still maintain it's time for England to get new blood in, before the next Ashes.

  • Comment number 21.

    Good position....? The present England side do not have good enough attack nor do they have batting prowess to win the match on the fifth day. Given this reality, it is too optimistic to think of a win on the 5th day of the Lord's test just ended in a draw.


  • Comment number 22.

    You are quite right about the list of Kiwi plus points being longer, and about the light.

    About Vaughan... does a scratchy ton against a side missing it's strike bowler remove all concerns? A ton is a ton and he goes on the honours board again, but I would rather see some more consistancy, particularly as the sterner test against SA is only a few weeks away.

    I listened to some of the match and read the live text for the rest. More of a concern than his batting was a comment that Vaughan did not seem to know what to do when McCullum was in full flow.

    Don't write off the Kiwis. The current form of all our top order is far from satisfactory. If we can't make 450 in the first innings we won't win tests....

  • Comment number 23.

    To those pooh-poohing the notion the England were in a good enough position to have won this Test match, consider that Vaughan himself believed it was possible but that the chance was squandered. See the quotes from the match report:

    "England had a scent of victory when dynamic New Zealand batsman Brendon McCullum retired hurt with his team 120-4 - only 78 ahead - with around 60 overs left.

    "That was the moment where we created the chance to go on and win the game but it didn't go quite to hand," Vaughan said."

  • Comment number 24.

    On the issue of train costs: the difference between arriving in London for a 10am start rather than 11am is not small. Coming from Reading it double the price and from somewhere like Cheltenham you are talking about an extra £80 (more than the cost of an extra Test ticket) per person.

  • Comment number 25.

    What an ordinary test match. No one will remember this game in years to come. Five days disrupted by the rain and by some quite frankly ridiculous light decisions.

    I have always loved test match cricket and I really appreciate the foundations and tradition of it but really how long can it survive.

    The last 5 days of the test match has given us not only a pretty forgettable match but only:
    865 runs (100 fours and just 4 sixes)
    283.7 overs
    26 wickets
    and not exactly a full crowd at Lords

    Where as on Sunday in the IPL we had:
    535 runs (53 fours and 15 sixes)
    from just 68 overs
    19 wickets
    and if anyone saw the atmosphere at Kolkata, it was pretty incredible!

    In a nutshell, more runs, more boundaries, more wickets and more atmosphere then anything you see at a test match these days in just one day! People can go on about the Ashes in 2005 but let's be honest it's not always like that and the next generation are not going to give Test match cricket a chance.

    People who bemoan Twenty20 just being about batting should have watched Shoaib Akthar bowl the other day and then you realise it's not.

    It's a shame but Test Match cricket is dying a very slow death

  • Comment number 26.

    "England must add another disappointment to a growing list of matches at Lord's that they have failed to win on the final day despite being in a good position."

    Oh Aggers, behave!

    The only time England could have had realistic claim to be in a position good eneough to claim a win was when NZ were struggling on day one before McCullum's 97.

    In what was effectively a three day Test match, it's always going to be hard to take 20 wickets and score enough runs in one knock to force the win - this game has had draw written all over it since Saturday was washed out.

    On a slightly different note, with Strauss and Vaughan both looking good, who will the media and public turn on now? Is it finally KPs turn? Sounds like the Old Trafford pitch will be a belter though, so I expect a heavy flow of runs from KP, Bell and Collingwood to keep the critics quiet.

  • Comment number 27.

    Thanks for that, Aggers, spot on for the most part.

    However, when it gets dark in our house, we turn on the lights, don't you? Any reason why, having spent a great deal of fan's money on big lights, they don't use them?

  • Comment number 28.

    Test Match
    865 runs (100 fours and just 4 sixes)
    26 wickets


    IPL match
    535 runs (53 fours and 15 sixes)
    19 wickets

    "In a nutshell, more runs, more boundaries, more wickets and more atmosphere then anything you see at a test match these days in just one day!"

    Maybe my mathematics is off, but I spy a flaw in your argument, and also, what's with the "just 4 sixes", I think it's a sad reflection on you as a cricket fan if you judge the quality of a five day game on the number of times a batsman clears the rope.

    It was quite refreshing to see a game in which the bowlers had an edge of the batsman, something which isn't overly prevalent in Twenty20.

  • Comment number 29.

    Ok, fairplay, you're right, I'll take back the comment of 'just 4 sixes'.

    But it's not my point to put down test match cricket, I love the game. All I'm saying is that it can't not survive and this test match typifies exactly why it can't.

  • Comment number 30.

    A sad waste of a test match which did show some glimpses of what may have been.
    The Kiwis probably now feel that even with their very green early order this series can be saved and won.
    For England one can hear mega sighs of relief from Strauss and Vaughan(who is sheer class and I am always amazed when his place in the team is questioned). Mr Sidebottom Jnr was not as incisive when it mattered and Monty is probably a bit hoarse from all that appealing.
    Good old Bucknor had his first good test match in absolute ages - this is good as he is such a classic.
    Much ignored however in recent BBC articles and blogs is that mythical monster, THE IPL. Hype apart some of the cricket has been compelling and the bowlers are finding their feet now. Great learning opportunity for the younger players. I think it cannot eat into test cricket but should create a bank of competitive cricketers financially secure and ready for the longer game. The 50 over matches in contrast look tired and dated.

  • Comment number 31.

    New Zealand have always been a team better than the sum of its parts. Despite being written off by most pundits, they braved the first day when the elements were against them and managed to put up a decent score at four an over.

    England by contrast seemed to struggle to get its 42 run lead despite having the better conditions.

    One decent score every 10-15 inngs or so is not what we should be judging our captain on. I like the Auusie way in which they choose the best team and the captain is one of them.

    We accept that batting suffers due to captaincy burdens - has anyone told the Auusies that, or indeed the South Africans?

    Hoggard (when fit) deserves to be in the England team and if Flintoff is not fit, perhaps, Bopara needs to be given another chance. He has begun the County season well.

    Finally, this series could be very interesting indeed.

  • Comment number 32.

    Dear Blogmik
    I agree with your comments about IPL. A sceptic about the whole 20/20 phenomenon, I am now a convert.
    It requires more skills and stamina than people realise.

  • Comment number 33.

    Ah - for Underground cricket in those tunnels under the nursery ground!!
    Bright lights, cameras, action - gaudy graffitti and the strictest of rules.
    I learnt all my batting in a verandah in India - we used wet tennis balls, bowled at pace and dog balls spun viciously - sometimes those crazy balls which went any which way - doosras, teesras, chauthas you name it. We had a lot of glass panes to protect and a rose bed ruled over by my mum - (dragon lady) at midwicket.
    The rules - you would be out if bowled, lbw, caught direct or of one bounce and also if the ball hit the walls directly or landed on those ----- flower beds. Survival equated to runs. Within the year all 5 of us who played were batting in a very competitive school team - no runs, sheer fun on the edge of your pants and good cricket all the time.
    Almost anti Twenty20?!?
    Those tunnels anybody -game on.

  • Comment number 34.

    I really don't see the need to get on the England players' backs regarding the result in this test (nor for that matter NZ). They both played excellent cricket at times, several payers produced good individual performances that will encourage them going to Old Trafford and ultimately it was pretty obvious after day three that a result was going to be unlikely, given how much time had been lost to the light.

    I'm pleased for Strauss and Vaughn, they both needed a good score but they need to deliver this again to prove the naysayers that they can bat with improved consistency. As for Bell, he was done by a great ball so can't apportion blame to him as he looked in good shape prior to his dismissal and his general form over the past 12 months has been good. But it would be good to see KP put a big score on soon

    Sidebottom had a bad match by his recent standards but is still a threat, whether I'd consider him our no 1 though is questionnable - I still believe that Hoggard is, provided he's fit and in form. Admittedly he's lost a little sharpness but I also believe that can be regained through matchplay, and I challenge anyone to question his commitment, desire and experience. If he was fit then Jimmy would have to make way - he doesn't bowl a consistent line or length well enough, it's frustrating watching him at times as he'll send an absolute peach down then follow it with rubbish the next ball.

  • Comment number 35.

    Well I'm looking forward to the next test, even if it is to quieten down the so called pundits who know all. Last i heard, if England dont get a white wash then they will be disappointed. Well, I for one always knew that this was rubbish. Even with rebuilding going on, New Zealand still has a good team that will fight for all their worth.

  • Comment number 36.

    "failed to win on the final day despite being in a good position"

    bit 'arsh that aggers. Would've needed a blummin good performance for England to have nicked it...

  • Comment number 37.

    A few comments. Being level on runs with the opposition having all ten wickets in hand isn't exactly a "good position." It would've taken a pretty poor batting performance from NZ to lose that test.

    It seems that nothing can be written about test cricket on this site without some troll saying how the IPL is better. If you believe that, go watch it and leave us who enjoy real cricket alone. There's no reason the two have to be eternally in opposition. They can co-exist although there will be people (like myself) who will only watch one or the other.

    Most of the first three days were lost to rain or bad light. It's going to be pretty difficult for any test to be interesting when that happens.

  • Comment number 38.

    I think this is exactly like last year, when England could not enforce a win against India. I fancy NZ going on to win the series 1-0 just like India did last year.

  • Comment number 39.

    A lot of time was lost in this game to the weather: There has been some comment here about Steve Bucknor being a bit to keen with the light meter - not sure I agree with this point of view, but it got me to thinking.

    It seems that the light rule (i.e. the Umpire judges it) dates from days prior to light meter technology. (I remember getting nervous when Dickie Bird was umpiring - he would have the teams off in a flash given half a chance. He even stopped play once because it was too sunny ...).

    Surely it would now be possible for umpires to be given the definition ofacceptable light i.e. - what reading should I get on my light meter when standing at each end of the wicket at a given ground prior to a game: One could have 2 definitions - one for when the bowling is faster than 70 mph (say) on average (the umpire would have to use his judgement here, admittedly)

    This would then mean there would be less chance of inconsistency, at least.

    This is more relevant now, as we have umpires from abroad who perhaps don't understand the conditions one usually accepts in a given country.

  • Comment number 40.

    Looking at the state of play at the end of the match I would suggest that NZ were in the better position. If it was not for the lost time England might just have lost this game.

    It would be perilous to write off NZ after such a good performance at Lords. If they put in a similar performance at Old Trafford the pundits who thought that this was a series where we did not need our talismatic all rounder could be eating their words.

    On the subject of all rounders it was interesting to find out that Jacob Oram's batting average is around the 36 mark and his bowling average is around 30. Comparing this to Fredie's averages of something like 33 with both bat and bowl you would have to rethink who is the best all rounder in the world.

  • Comment number 41.

    England are as eratic and changeable as the English weather. Still not as confident in the batting as they should be (Pietersen seems to have taken lessons from the others in the top order). Not aggressive enough to win. You can't grind out results against the worlds best (Australia), you have to batter them until they're dizzy! No fire in the belly of the players, with the exception of the new boys (Broad, Siders, Panesar). It seems like the 'established' players are going through the motions.

    I think a 10:30 start wouldn't be unreasonable. People from far afield travelling to it will only miss half an hour or so to avoid peak travel costs. I think trying to achieve a result in matches is pretty important!

    The level of light at which players go off should be looked at (if you'll pardon the pun) more closely, as in many cases it's not as if the players can't see the ball, and going off and coming back on with the passing of every cloud is a total waste of time. I mean, how many cases have there been where someone has actually been badly injured as a direct result of playing under a slightly grey cloud?

    The jury is out on some of the England players. Is Panesar going to take enough wickets to warrant continual selection in any attack, given that he can't bat. Is he that much better with the ball than say, Swann or Rashid? because he ought to be given his batting and fielding.
    If Flintofff comes into contention soon, i'd consider dropping either Strauss (scores very slow) or Collingwood (if we want a proper 5 man attack) and having Ambrose at 6, Flintoff 7, Swann 8, Broad 9, Sidebottom 10, Hoggard OR Anderson 11.
    I think a 4 man attack is not enough in most cases, but equally with the current selection, we can't afford to further weaken the batting.
    What do you reckon Aggers?

  • Comment number 42.

    Oh, and on the whole ridiculous twenty20 vs Test Matches 'debate', it's like comparing a fine five course meal with a KFC bucket. My personal opinion is that twenty20 is chav cricket.

  • Comment number 43.

    Shane Warne boasted The Flipper: Muttiah Muralitharan bowls The Dhoozra: does Monty Panesar therefore bowl The Zoomer? If so, it must be the famous Monty-Zoomer.

  • Comment number 44.

    Obviously with so much time lost to the weather it was going to be difficult to force a win, BUT England were in a good position on Sunday and didn't take the opportunity to force the pace. To take ten wickets on the final day and chase a total was going to be difficult, not impossible as England did force a win in Pakistan from around 80 runs behind and Pakistan having seven wickets left.

    Had we upped the tempo and taken a couple of wickets before the close then it might have been possible to force an unlikely win. When time is against you it is daft to waste it and the kiwis maintained a better pace of innings throughout the match and far better than England who seemed happy to grind out a lead. This is no better demonstrated than by the fact England took 25 overs to score 42 more runs than New Zealand on 1st innings. And of course the kiwis were in trouble in their 1st innings which made their pace quite remarkable.

    I fear that we'll lose some of this Test to weather and Vaughan's gameplan, such that it is, won't adapt. The batting is often one paced and the game allowed to drift when fielding. That's fair enough if you're behind and looking down the barrel of a gun, it's up to the team in the box seat to make the running, but England simply don't. Do England pressure the opposition enough when they're struggling? I'd say not. England catch a fish and then let it wriggle off the hook all too often. When the opposition counter attack do England have an answer?

    Perhaps it is wisest to retain the same XI for the next Test, I would review the personnel at the end of the series. I would like the selectors to make one change though - the captain. We need a captain to act not react, a captain not afraid to be positive. We couldn't have lost the 1st Test bar a freak collapse, Vaughan seems often to want to waste time while batting in order to reduce the time the opposition have to chase down totals, even when the total is unlikely to be chased down if they had five days to do so. I just see too many negatives and not enough positives, make Strauss captain and retain Vaughan until his form returns or he is dropped altogether.


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