Day five washout sets up Eden Park decider

The second ANZ Test match between the BLACKCAPS and England has ended as a draw, after rain washed out day five at the Hawkins Basin Reserve in Wellington.

Nearly two days of rain makes it hard for the result to be anything but a draw and the two sides will now head to the third and final Test at Eden Park in Auckland for what will be an exciting ANZ International Series decider. 

Heavy rain before the start of play made it certain that play would not start on time and any action before lunch was more than unlikely. Drizzle continued to come down and at around 2:00pm the umpires made the call to abandon play for the day.

The BLACKCAPS had been 162 for two and trailing England by 49 runs.

Day four: Rain limits progress in Wellington

The BLACKCAPS will head into the final day of the second ANZ Test match against England trailing by 49 runs, after they reached 162 for two before rain interrupted play. 

Only 35 overs were managed on day four, with afternoon showers frustrating fans and players alike. In that time the BLACKCAPS lost the lone wicket of Peter Fulton for 45, while Kane Williamson (55*) and Ross Taylor (41*) held out to make sure England would have plenty of work to do tomorrow.

The duo showed great resilience against a fired-up bowling attack in testing conditions. Williamson brought up his half century off 155 balls, while Taylor was slightly more aggressive with his 41 coming off 90 deliveries.

Sadly though their progress came to a halt when the heavens opened. It lasted most of the afternoon, with only six overs managed towards the end of the day before stumps was called.

It makes it difficult for the BLACKCAPS to achieve a positive result tomorrow and will be relying on their batsmen to withstand an assault from the English bowlers tomorrow.

Day three: Crucial day ahead

The BLACKCAPS require a special effort with the bat on day four of the second ANZ Test against England, after they were forced to follow on today after being dismissed for 254 in the first-innings.

The home side made a good start to their second effort though, reaching 77 for one to be 134 away from surpassing England’s total.

Peter Fulton returned to the middle with the clear intention of playing his strokes and was aggressive from the outset. It got the BLACKCAPS off to a good start, but unfortunately Hamish Rutherford couldn’t stick around and fell to Monty Panesar for 15.

Thankfully though he would be the only casualty of the day, with Fulton (41*) and Kane Williamson (16*) seeing out the rest of the day’s play. Both looked settled at the crease and will be hopeful of showing more of that composure when they return tomorrow.

Earlier, England had got on top with two quick wickets to see the back of Williamson (42) and Dean Brownlie (18) and take the game by the scruff of the neck. Their momentum was stemmed somewhat by a much needed partnership between Brendon McCullum (69) and BJ Watling (60), but England’s wickets came in bundles and they were soon in the ascendency again.

McCullum was his usual explosive self and for a period got right on top of the English bowling attack, while Watling noodled the ball around to great effect. The pair put on precisely 100 for the sixth wicket, before McCullum fell to Finn in the 70th over.

The final four wickets didn’t last too long after that, with Bruce Martin (21*) the only one to keep pushing the total along. Meanwhile, Stuart Broad was tearing through the rest of the tail at an alarming rate.

The 26 year-old took six for 51, including the final three scalps to finish off the innings. It left the Kiwis short of the follow-on mark, still 211 runs away behind their opponents.

It wasn’t how the BLACKCAPS had envisaged their day three going, but all is not lost and a good performance tomorrow will have them right back in the match.

Day two: Late strikes give England advantage

A gritty performance by the BLACKCAPS on day two to dismiss England for 465 was diminished by the loss of three cheap wickets in the final overs of the day, with the home side reduced to 66 for three.

Peter Fulton (1), Hamish Rutherford (23) and Ross Taylor (0) all fell in the final session, while Kane Williamson (32*) and Dean Brownlie (8*) dug in and will return to the middle tomorrow 399 behind England’s first-innings total.

Earlier, Bruce Martin had bowled intelligently to take add three wickets to his overall first-innings figures of four for 130 from 48 overs.  He was the catalyst behind the BLACKCAPS ability to dismiss England for a total of less than 500 – an admirable feat considering their position of 267 for two at day’s start.

It was Trent Boult who made the first break through of the day though, enticing Jonathan Trott into an edge without adding to his overnight score of 121.

From there Martin took over, getting the better of Ian Bell (11), Joe Root (10) and after a game of cat-and-mouse, Kevin Pietersen (73). Those strikes had England 366 for six and the BLACKCAPS had a sniff of taking advantage of a much needed collapse.

However, the visitors batted deep and Matt Prior proved to be a difficult man to get on top of, with the aggressive number seven playing some glorious shots. His eventual dismissal came from an unlikely source in Kane Williamson, who captured the final two wickets to bring England’s innings to a close.

Boult, Wagner and Williamson all finished with two wickets apiece, but it had been Martin who had been the key.

Chasing such a big total the BLACKCAPS were well aware that they needed a big partnership early on and it looked as if Rutherford and Williamson might be the ones to do it. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be the case, with the former edging one from Steven Broad in the 22nd over.

If that hadn’t put the hosts on the back foot, then the next ball certainly would, with Taylor receiving a pearler of a delivery to clip his off-stump and send him on his way for nought.

Brownlie survived the hattrick and alongside Williamson negotiated the rest of the day calmly. The pair will be hoping to spend plenty of time in the middle tomorrow, as they set about hauling in England’s sizable total.

Day one: England on way to hefty total

It was picturesque at Hawkins Basin Reserve on day one of the second ANZ Test between the BLACKCAPS and England in Wellington, with beautiful sunshine and a great atmosphere providing the perfect setting for the 6000 strong crowd.

Those fans were treated to an excellent exhibition of batting from Nick Compton (100) and Jonathan Trott (117*) who put on a whopping 210 run second wicket partnership to lead England to 267 for two at stumps.

Having been put into bat by Brendon McCullum, the visitors lost inspirational captain Alastair Cook (17) early to be 26 for one. It was a key wicket for the BLACKCAPS, but their excitement was temporary, as England took advantage of a great batting deck. 

Having recently come off his maiden Test century in Dunedin, Nick Compton was full of confidence and showed great control from ball one. With Trott at his side, the pair went on to put up a quite spectacular display of batting.

Both showed patience and poise in the opening stages to head into lunch at 75 for one, but any complaints about their slow run-rate was quickly quelled after the break with a splurge of boundaries. It was a big blow for the BLACKCAPS bowling attack, who had worked relentlessly to build some pressure on the pair.

The fielding by the home side couldn’t be faulted and some great athleticism from the likes of Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson saved plenty of boundaries. Sadly though, chances were few and far between and England slowly but surely began to gain the edge.

Having seen his side past the 200 mark, Trott then brought up his own milestone with his ninth Test century and first against New Zealand. The superb knock came off 174 balls and was rightfully acknowledged by both English and Kiwi fans.

Compton, not to be outdone, received his own rapturous round of applause soon after and made it back-to-back tons. The 29 year-old was patient throughout his time in the middle and after 298 minutes in the middle finally earned the right to raise his bat. It would be his last act of the innings though, dismissed without adding to that total when he edged one off Bruce Martin to finally give the BLACKCAPS some reward for their efforts.

Kevin Pietersen (18*) came in to face the final overs of the day and had some nervous moments, but alongside Trott successfully walked back to the shed with his wicket intact.

Neil Wagner (Cook) and Martin were the only New Zealand bowlers to take a wicket, not to say that Tim Southee and Trent Boult didn’t charged in admirably all day long as well though. They’ll have a lot of work to do tomorrow, as they try to restrict England from a mammoth first-inning’s total.


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