England v New Zealand 2nd Test: Day Two

Those who braved the rain enjoyed a fairly remarkable day’s play on the first day of this second and sadly final Test of the “series”.

With poor weather both this morning, and likely over the next few days, it seems that New Zealand decided that to try and force the win they need to square the series, and in so doing, have scored at 4.6 runs an over across the day.  In so doing, and making just shy of 300 in the 65 overs possible, they have well and truly got themselves in the game.  It might not be an imposing score, but at first sight it doesn’t look a bad one.  There was certainly movement available, both off the pitch and in the air, particularly when there was cloud cover.

Which makes it rather hard to come to a firm conclusion about where the game sits.  It’s certainly moved along quickly, and if there is further time lost, as seems probable, the shot making approach could have bought them anything up to half a day.  Of course, if England in reply rack up a big total, then New Zealand will find themselves in trouble, but as a gamble in order to try and force a victory from the off, it’s hugely impressive and fairly brave.

Latham might have been the anchor around which the others played their shots, but he was hardly becalmed either.  Ronchi on debut played a scintillating knock and was on track for the fastest debut century in Test history.  Doubtless he will receive criticism for getting out the way he did – caught on the boundary off a bouncer when three men were out – but that was how he played his whole innings.  Just as so often, focusing on the dismissal not the runs is one of those things that is somewhat peculiar.  88 off 175 balls with a prod to first slip would certainly have only attracted praise.

At the start of the day Anderson wasted little time in getting the 400th Test wicket of his career, and swiftly added scalp number 401.  With New Zealand 2-2, then end result represents something of a recovery, because in the early stages he looked as lethal as he so often does when the ball is swinging.  He’s been a wonderful bowler for England over the years, and so many of the debates about his “greatness” or otherwise seem spurious.  Not many bowlers reach 400 wickets, because both consistency and longevity are required.  It’s quite an achievement, and he’s an exceptionally skilled bowler.  Assuming he remains injury free, he could well reach 500 and go beyond that.  Anderson is the best England seam bowler in a generation, and in itself that’s deserving of note; I sometimes think Anderson suffers from the Tim Henman Critic Syndrome, whereby Henman was slated because he only got to number 4 in the world and only got to the semi-finals a few times at Wimbledon.

And what of England’s approach in the morning?  The New Zealand tail is hardly the strongest, so it seems probable there will be a few wild slashes and the innings will be closed in short order. Will England adopt the same attacking approach as in the first Test, or will the fact that they are 1-0 up, poor weather is around and time will be lost from the game lead to a more cautious approach?  It might be instructive to see whether the first Test was a glorious fluke of circumstance or if England do intend to try and play this way.

The forecast tomorrow is quite good, and overhead conditions do make a huge difference.  It should be fascinating.



35 thoughts on “England v New Zealand 2nd Test: Day Two

  1. Rohan May 29, 2015 / 8:23 pm

    The Henman thing was always odd. The poor bloke lost the majority of his Wimbledon semi-finals to Sampras (the eventual winner), not exactly a shoddy player! Often overlooked is the fact he also reached the semi-finals of the French Open, not bad for a serve and volley expert……..

    Anyway, just watched the highlights and great to see New Zealand continuing to play with such joie de vivre, adventure and attacking intent! One thing I did note, however, was that the England bowling speeds seemed down (80 to 85mph at best) and Wood seemed much slower than at Lords. Wood was generally in the 82/83mph range today. Now it may be that I only saw the highlights and, therefore, did not see the faster deliveries, or worse the England bowling gurus have already worked their magic on Wood.

    An utterly enthralling and entertaining day’s play, just a shame the big cheese is on the verdict, but at least Bob and S P Jones are there.


    • Arron Wright May 29, 2015 / 8:48 pm

      He lost all four of his Wimbledon semis to the eventual winner, didn’t he? (Sampras 2, Ivanisevic, Hewitt)


      • thelegglance May 29, 2015 / 9:07 pm

        He was the best player this country had produced since Roger Taylor in the seventies. Yet he got stick for not doing more. Hell, Andy Murray gets stick for only having won 2 Slams and an Olympics. I find it amazing, I really do. Same with Anderson. He’s no Akram, but he’s rather good.


      • BoerInAustria May 30, 2015 / 6:58 am

        .. but Roger was a better drummer than Tim… 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    • dlpthomas May 30, 2015 / 3:20 am

      I wondered about the bowling speeds as well. Woods probably still knackered after Lords. On the other hand, bowling speeds often seem to vary between grounds. Does each ground have its own speed gun and, if so, how often are they calibrated? It’s possible that differing bowling speeds may just reflect the inaccuracies of the measurement system.


      • Boz May 30, 2015 / 9:24 am

        the whole of life ‘up north’ is a lot slower!! :0)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. jomesy May 29, 2015 / 9:04 pm

    I know I’m being an arse here but isn’t Selvey always saying how pushed he is to get his copy in? So where is it? I think he’s just a bit pissed up in Leeds. I’d forgive him that if he wasn’t such a git/ECB mouthpiece.


  3. Pontiac May 29, 2015 / 9:24 pm

    James Anderson.

    Shivnarine Chanderpaul.


      • escort May 29, 2015 / 9:48 pm

        Leslie Crowther.. come on down, Hello.


  4. metatone May 29, 2015 / 10:06 pm

    On the one hand, I stick by my earlier statement that this was a good toss to win. Tomorrow should be the best day for batting – and these days when the sun comes out and the air isn’t damp Headingley is a pretty batting friendly strip. (It’s no coincidence that Yorks struggle at home in good weather if Plunkett & Rashid aren’t on song.)

    On the other – credit to NZ is due. They had a torrid start and recovered (with verve!) to 300. If you look at the last 5 years, 300 is on the low side of the middle of the range for 1st innings scores – but some of the high scores came in much better weather.


  5. SimonH May 30, 2015 / 9:54 am

    Latest weather forecast improved – tomorrow’s rain is due to clear before the start of play (might be a delayed start from mopping up); Monday forecast good; Tuesday morning might be hit but that could change.


  6. d'Arthez May 30, 2015 / 10:27 am

    The New Zealand tail are having fun. They are now 346/9. That looks like a rather solid score. England are looking a bit clueless against this pair. We’ve seen that before. Plenty of times.

    Broad brought up his century from just 96 balls. He took 4 wickets, but also conceded a boundary every six balls.

    Some life in this Test, though you feel that batting will be a lot easier today, than tomorrow. So I won’t be surprised if England reach say 250/3 at stumps.


  7. BoerInAustria May 30, 2015 / 10:37 am


    “Broad has had enough, and with a good length delivery outside off, he catches Boult cold”

    Cunning plan that


  8. dvyk May 30, 2015 / 10:49 am

    Interesting contrast between the writing styles of Ali Martin and Selfey. Martin on Gooch’s sacking–

    “Last year Cook was forced to inform his trusted adviser that, after five years in the job, his services as England batting coach were no longer required.”

    That’s how I perceived it at the time too — he was forced to, and the ECB’s lackeys in the media spun it as being Cook “exerting his authority”.

    Martin links to Selfie’s report from one year ago–

    “Already Alastair Cook has started to exert the authority that those within the dressing room have always recognised but which was less apparent beyond the confines. Cook, coached and mentored by Gooch from a young age, let it not be forgotten, was the one to tell him that he was in favour of change and that it was time to move on. He wants his new team to approach batting in a less constrained manner and that requires a new perspective in the management.”

    The last sentence is also worth noting given what followed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance May 30, 2015 / 10:52 am

      It’s interesting that Cook is ok with him effectively having his own personal batting coach, yet that was apparent symbolic of a lack of trust in the coaching set up when someone else did it. Cook is exactly right to turn to someone he trusts to help him, it’s the right thing to do. But once again there’s a lack of consistency.


      • dvyk May 30, 2015 / 3:07 pm

        Yep. Would have appeared perfectly reasonable, had Cook’s credibility not been completely demolished by his cheer squad!

        He is, at least, justifying his place as a batter at the moment, and no doubt the runs will give him more credibility with the players when he claps his hands in the change room and says come on chaps.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. metatone May 30, 2015 / 12:35 pm

    It’s disloyal of me, but Headingley isn’t a good choice of ground at this time of year, from an even contest point of view. The weather and the toss can have an ugly effect on the game. (Amplified by the fact that England only need a draw.) NZ are going to struggle to take wickets here until the weather changes…


  10. thebogfather May 30, 2015 / 2:38 pm

    Guessing the anointment of our greatest ever run-scorer (in tests) has sent you all to sleep too…


    • escort May 30, 2015 / 2:52 pm

      It’s a bit like that isn’t it? Sky now going into Cookie love mode during the Tea interval with a major “high lights” package. Think i might go down the rub a dub if they gonna verbally toss him off for the remainder of the day.


    • pktroll (@pktroll) May 30, 2015 / 3:18 pm

      I actually did go to sleep earlier this afternoon for a bit but before that. I did find the period after lunch a little dull. In fairness Lyth has played pretty nicely and Cook has been Cook. This isn’t as good an innings as he played at Lord’s but still far less painful viewing than the runs that he somehow score v India and the Windies.


  11. d'Arthez May 30, 2015 / 4:01 pm

    Ravi had his FIFTH decision of the series overturned. In roughly 5.1 innings. All the decisions that had been overturned had been made by Ravi. All the decisions that were overturned were decisions against New Zealand. He is giving Reiffel a run for his money as the worst umpire on the elite panel.

    Twice Cook was given not out by Ravi (today and Day 5 at Lord’s), and out on review. Twice has Watling been given out, when he was not out (once each innings at Lord’s).
    Latham was given out, when he was not out this Test. He reviewed it.

    Sure, mistakes can be made. But how come the other umpires (Tucker and Erasmus) are still on zero? How does anyone get on the elite panel, if they make so many plainly wrong decisions?


    • SimonH May 30, 2015 / 5:51 pm

      Part of the problem is that too many of the elite panel are from England and Australia – hence the recall of Billy Bowden as well as the call-up for Ravi.

      We haven’t had the last of this with the Ashes coming up.


      • d'Arthez May 30, 2015 / 6:16 pm

        West Indies, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and India don’t have an umpire on the elite panel. Australia have 4, England have 4. All other countries 1 each.

        Since DRS is in place now, they could just get rid of the banning of “involved’ umpires (English and Australian) for the Ashes. Keep the third umpire neutral, and get an Aussie + Englishman standing.

        Else you’ll be picking Erasmus, Dar, Bowden, and Dharmasena. That is not sustainable. And I don’t think that you can just throw in someone in the deep to stand – series can get decided on bad calls. This is even more true of umpire’s call. Umpire’s call is designed to back the umpire up, rather than getting to the probable correct decision. Jordan in the 3rd Test in the West Indies being a prime example of that.

        Oh, and the current rules apparently did not stop VA Kulkarni (and yes, I have watched some domestic Indian cricket, and I was not too impressed with Kulkarni either) being the third umpire in the India – West Indies, second Test of 2013 (he was third umpire in both Tests of that series). Where everyone saw that Pujara was caught. Except for Kulkarni (53.2 overs into India’s innings).


  12. d'Arthez May 30, 2015 / 5:42 pm

    Looks I was two wickets off with my prediction. 253/5 at stumps. It is a cliche, but the first session tomorrow will be very important. Weather conditions may well decide the outcome of this Test.


  13. SimonH May 30, 2015 / 5:55 pm

    This match is rather following last year’s Test against SL –

    1) Day 1 – visitors make lowish first innings score (although NZ have made a hundred more and didn’t quite get bowled).
    2) Day 2 – England seem to be going along steadily with a maiden century from an opener but then have a late collapse (320/6 it was last year so England had a lead then but had lost one more wicket and had a longer tail).

    Now for tomorrow to end with McCullum in and only the lower order left…….


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