Test novice Tim Ambrose forged an unbroken 155-run partnership with Paul Collingwood to rescue England on the first day of the second cricket Test against New Zealand here Thursday.
At stumps England were 291 for five with Ambrose in only his second Test on 97 and the vastly more experienced Collingwood on 48.The 25-year-old Ambrose, known as ‘Freak’ because everything apparently comes easily to him, arrived at the crease shortly before the tea break when England had collapsed to 136 for five.
Faced with a dire situation, Ambrose was circumspect with the first four balls before launching into his counter-attack by extracting 16 off Mark Gillespie in the last over before tea. He belted fours and contributed to four leg byes when he was hit on the helmet and the ball deflected to the boundary.
As his score rose, and Collingwood was prepared to play the support role at the other end, Australian-born Ambrose oozed confidence as he aggressively moved into the 90s pulling Kyle Mills for six over the fine-leg boundary.
England could narrowly claim the honours on the first day with unbroken stands before lunch and after tea while New Zealand took five wickets in the middle session.New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori won the toss and had no hesitation in bowling first on a green wicket with overcast skies.
But his bowlers failed to take full advantage of the conditions allowing Michael Vaughan and Alastair Cook to go through to lunch at 79 without loss.On the second ball after lunch the momentum changed when allrounder Jacob Oram bowled Vaughan for 32 and in his next over had Cook caught behind by Brendon McCullum for 44.
Kyle Mills chimed in with the wicket of Andrew Strauss for eight when he directed the ball straight to Mathew Sinclair at point and in the first nine overs after lunch England had lost three wickets for only 15 runs. Mills was also unlucky not to get Ian Bell first ball when he sent a top edge to midwicket where Mark Gillespie completely misjudged the flight of the ball and spilled the catch.
Bell had a second life when he was dropped by McCullum and he crawled to 11 off 38 balls before McCullum made no mistake with the next edge and held a catch diving to his right off Chris Martin.
Gillespie also made amends for his dropped catch when he bowled Kevin Pietersen for 26 as the England dangerman played all around a full length delivery and England had lost five wickets for 57 runs.
It was the removal of Pietersen that saw the arrival of wicketkeeper Ambrose, who had displayed his tenacity and strokemaking ability when he posted 55 in England’s first innings of the first Test.
New Zealand won toss
England 1st inns
A N Cook c McCullum b Oram 44
*M P Vaughan b Oram 32
A J Strauss c Sinclair b Mills 8
K P Pietersen b Gillespie 31
I R Bell c McCullum b Martin 11
P D Collingwood not out 48
†T R Ambrose not out 97
Extras (b5, lb7, nb8) 20
Total (5 wkts, 90 overs) 291
To bat: S C J Broad, R J Sidebottom, M S Panesar, J M Anderson
Fall: 1-79, 2-82, 3-94, 4-126, 5-136
Bowling: Martin 19-1-76-1; Mills 24-2-77-1 (1nb); Gillespie 17-1-70-1 (1nb); Oram 22-10-25-2 (2nb); Vettori 8-0-31-0
M D Bell, J M How, S P Fleming, M S Sinclair, L R P L Taylor, J D P Oram, †B B McCullum, *D L Vettori, K D Mills, C S Martin, M R Gillespie
Series: New Zealand lead the 3-match series 1-0
Umpires: S J Davis (Australia) and R E Koertzen (South Africa). TV umpire: E A Watkin. Match referee: J Srinath (India)
First Test: March 5-9 Hamilton, New Zealand won by 189 runs
Third & final Test: March 22-26, Napier
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Friday, March 14th, 2008 and is filed under Cricket, General.
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