Borrowed bat fires Southee cameo

With the deciding third Test against England all but lost, New Zealand pace bowler Tim Southee provided the crowd with a little excitement before the visitors wrapped up a 121-run victory on Wednesday.

The 19-year-old debutant smashed 77 not out off just 40 balls, including nine sixes. Southee’s first Test half century came off just 29 balls, a record for a New Zealander, and it was all done with a bat borrowed from teammate Stephen Fleming.

“Flem looked at my bats and asked what sort of sticks did GM (Gunn and Moore) give you?,” Southee told reporters. “He looked at them and said ‘try this one out’ (and) gave me one of his.

Sidebottom’s transformation

sidebottomEngland have bounced back from defeat in the opening Test in Hamilton to take their series against New Zealand with two convincing victories in Wellington and Napier. Questions marks stills surround a number of the players, but some stars have been unearthed. Andrew Miller takes a look at the players who secured England their first overseas series win in three years.

Broad bowls England to brink of NZ series

Monty Panesar and Stuart Broad sparked a characteristic batting collapse from New Zealand to all but clinch the third Test, and series, after the fourth day’s play on Tuesday.

New Zealand, from a seemingly comfortable position at tea with Matthew Bell and Stephen Fleming well established, lost three wickets for 13 runs after the break and their side ended the day on 222 for five, needing another 331 to win the match.

Ross Taylor (34) and Brendon McCullum (24) were the not out batsmen, though McCullum was dropped by Kevin Pietersen and had another chance bloop just over Panesar’s head in the final over of the day from James Anderson.

Fleming only just satisfied

flemingHad Stephen Fleming’s final Test innings been scripted for a film about his life, it would have been deemed too boringly realistic to make the final cut. He entered with the stage set for heroism and sparkled briefly as New Zealand began their long and unlikely trek towards salvation. By tea he had achieved his first aim, the 54 runs required to nudge his career average past 40, but within minutes of the resumption, he was gone – not to a sublime piece of skill from the bowler, Monty Panesar, but to yet another wafty, half-conceived flash outside off stump.

Southee and Elliott set for debuts

New Zealand have named two uncapped players in their team for Saturday’s deciding Test against England in Napier. The teenage fast bowler, Tim Southee, and the South Africa-born allrounder, Grant Elliott, have both been called into the side at the expense of Kyle Mills and Jacob Oram, who failed fitness tests on the eve of the game. In addition, the offspinner, Jeetan Patel, has been recalled in place of Mark Gillespie, on a flat and hard pitch that is expected to favour the batsmen.

Southee in line for debut – Bracewell

bracewellJohn Bracewell, New Zealand’s coach, has hinted that the fast bowler Tim Southee, who starred in the recent Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia, could be in line for a Test debut against England in Napier this week, as New Zealand look to bounce back from Monday’s 126-run defeat in the second Test at Wellington.

Southee took 17 wickets at 6.64 to take his New Zealand team to the semi-finals in Malaysia, a performance that earned him the Man-of-the-Tournament award. Prior to that, he had impressed with his pace, control and temperament during his Twenty20 debut against England at Auckland, where he finished with 1 for 38 from four overs.

Light decision was umpires’ call: Taylor

The decision to allow England to bowl one over with the second new ball in failing light was the umpires’ and New Zealand would have to live with it, batsman Ross Taylor said on Sunday.

Jacob Oram survived four deliveries of Ryan Sidebottom’s over with the new ball but was then caught on the fifth to reduce New Zealand to 242 for six, chasing an unlikely victory target of 438, late on the fourth day of the second Test.

Sidebottom ends England’s drought

sidebottomRyan Sidebottom bowled England to their first Test victory for nine months, and their first overseas since the tour of India two years ago, as New Zealand were dismissed for 311 on the final day in Wellington to lose the second Test by 126 runs. After resuming on their overnight 242 for 6, their hopes had been invested in their last recognised pair of Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vettori, but Sidebottom dismissed Vettori for a duck with his sixth ball of the morning, and though McCullum blazed merrily for a boundary-laden 85, the match was wrapped up with half an hour to spare before lunch.

England take total control of second Test

England all but batted New Zealand out of the second Test with their top-six guiding their side to a 421-run lead at the close of play on the third day of the second test at the Basin Reserve on Saturday.

Already ahead by 144 runs, the England batsmen produced a series of partnerships to reach 277 for nine at the end of play, giving their bowlers a formidable target to defend and at least two days to try to level the three-match series.

Ambrose, Anderson give England firm grip

A century by Tim Ambrose and a five wicket bag for James Anderson gave England a firm grip on the second cricket Test against New Zealand by the end of the second day here on Friday.

England were four without loss in their second innings at stumps for a commanding 148-run lead after routing New Zealand inside three sessions for 198.Barring weather intervention, a result seems almost certain in the Test after 15 wickets fell in the day.

England, looking to make amends after losing the first Test, resumed the day at 291 for five in their first innings and Ambrose reached his maiden Test century as they added 51 runs before folding at 342.