New Zealand v England: 2nd Test, Day four

Probably the most notable event of the fourth day was losing the best part of a session to bad light, something distinctly likely to happen again on the final day.  It’s autumn, there is cloud cover, it’s just in the nature of things.  Aside from that, the day played out more or less as expected, with England declaring and New Zealand faced with attempting to bat out the remainder of the game.  They’ll fancy their chances of doing so, particularly if the weather comes to their rescue tomorrow.

England are anything but a confident team given a miserable winter, and indeed a pretty dire couple of years, especially away from home; so perhaps the criticism they’ve received for failing to press on early enough should be seen in that light.  Equally, the last time Root made a bold declaration, the West Indies chased down the target. Whatever Root’s protestations about not being affected by that (and that declaration was no mistake, West Indies and Shai Hope  especially just batted brilliantly.  Well done) he’d be less than human not to have it in the back of his mind.

Still, 1-0 or 2-0 as a series defeat doesn’t especially matter, though that New Zealand survived unscathed during the curtailed evening suggests a slight degree of conservatism wasn’t entirely unreasonable.  Inevitably, those watching call for an earlier declaration than those playing, and although in a totally different series position, at time of writing South Africa are well past 500 and still batting long past when they had enough runs.

One thing to note with England though, and that is that maximising the number of overs they can bowl does require they score enough runs to exceed how many New Zealand would have to face to win the game.  If a target of 300 is set, it doesn’t matter if there are 100 overs remaining or 200 overs remaining, the game isn’t going to go beyond 100 overs or so.

Thus, while England could have pushed on a little earlier and a little faster, it ultimately makes very little difference to how long New Zealand would have had to bat.  England declared midway through the afternoon session.  Even with trying to smash the ball to all parts, it’s unlikely England could have declared a great deal earlier, and nor is it realistically possible to factor in how much bad light there might be.

Root scored another fifty, without going on, though in these circumstances a century was a big ask anyway.  For all his issues with converting fifties into hundreds, it would be more of a concern if he wasn’t scoring runs at all.  Of him and Cook, he is less of a worry.  It’s in his head at the moment, but there’s no reason to assume it always will be.

Malan too scored a pleasant half century while Bairstow provided some late innings biffing to raise the prospective target further.

It can’t be said that Latham and Raval survived without alarms, for Broad and Anderson certainly looked dangerous, but survive they did, and with ten wickets in hand they will fancy their chances of batting out for a series win.

98 overs are scheduled to be bowled, and if light is a similar factor, that may be reduced to around 80.  That is ample time to give England a decent enough shot at winning, and importantly means that they should get a second new ball late on.

Sometimes it seems a little harsh to nitpick when they’ve done ok.


60 thoughts on “New Zealand v England: 2nd Test, Day four

  1. dlpthomas Apr 2, 2018 / 1:11 pm

    Leach looked good – no sign of nerves, good control, turned the ball and had definite ideas about what field he wanted. He might have been quite useful in India……..


    • jomesy Apr 2, 2018 / 7:37 pm

      And he clearly wanted the ball!


  2. thebogfather Apr 2, 2018 / 1:40 pm

    Most noticeable things…

    With the lost time due to ‘bad light’ or rain – it wont be made up tomorrow, as the series regs don’t allow extra 30 mins in the morning (allegedly due to ‘possible dew’), and there’s no evening extension due to clock change – mid Test – didn’t the organisers know this? (and no floodlights… ).

    So, no chance of 98 overs on the last day.

    Also, the inability of the umpires to ensure 15 overs per hour is increasingly an element in our despair for the game. If they and the ICC wont enforce this, then the game and the supporters will continue to be short-changed from both aspects.(oh, must be the TV rights extended ad break clause…) Even a ‘drinks break’ after the first hour, took 8 minutes to complete (15 overs has been bowled, the next half hour, including the thirst quench, resulted in less than 6 overs).

    Yet the umpires were complicit in this, and England (Capt Root was batting) didn’t even politely inquire as to the delay, despite needing to ‘get a move on’.

    They really don’t give a shit.

    Liked by 1 person

        • Sri.Grins Apr 2, 2018 / 4:50 pm

          You know we guys are too technology conscious :-). BCCI just trying out a new method to see if oit makes the process more transparent. In reality, no one knows what will happen.

          There are two view points a) it will reduce BCCI income b) it won’t .

          At this point in time, it is all on the lap of the gods. If it works well, the CoA will have a tighter grip else they will get hammered. So the claims and counter claims will be fun to browse.

          I don’t take much interest in BCCI doings. Usually, they don’t goof up financially too much. They spend money on development and they benefit from the population explosion and the increase in TV and internet reach widening in India.

          BCCI so far is like King Midas. :-). except that everything except the team when it travels away turns into gold 😀

          It is decently managed though in comparison to most other sports in India as usually the guys who come to power are genuine cricket lovers and rarely interested in earning fat salaries. But, as the CoA tries to professionalize.

          I don’t know if you read Dick Francis. I have read most of his books and in the book ‘Enquiry’ I think he talks of the jockey club (from the hero’s perspective) that the horse racing top management is in the hands of men who love the sport and were involved for free and not professionals who were paid.Not sure if it is actually true or not.

          To me the BCCI was in that position until the SC threw a spanner. Now they have a lot of high paid professionals as a part of the Board who get paid remarkably well. Not sure if they are going to add more value to the BCCI even if the earlier powers that be in BCCI were not professional because the highly paid employees now have no special connection to cricket whereas earlier, the people in power had huge egos and played politics but ultimately loved the sport and in fact some of themp or their forebears financed the sport by employing the cricketers when cricket was not at all financially attractive in India and there was not much advertising value (prior to the mid 80s)

          We live in interesting times now when the BCCI may end up like the CA an ECB with a lot of highly paid professionals who spout gibberish or they become more responsible.

          it is a toss up.


        • Sri.Grins Apr 3, 2018 / 12:02 pm

          Updates so far

          Previous cycle awarded in 2012 3851 crores for 96 matches ,.

          Current status in auction expected to close tomorrow is 4303 for 102 matches and will be higher by eod tomorrow.

          So, no major improvement it appears though they say the previous cycle included internet and mobile rights not sure how it differs from the current version

          I would assume if we compare like for like and account for inflation at 6% a year and expansion of digital and tv access in India to the ordinary people, the amount payable for equivalent rights (after adding whatever has been removed from the current deal if any) should be really around rs 6000 crores+ to be declared a great success. Since I do not know what has been excluded if any, on the face of it it does not look a success but noone knows. 🙂

          The interesting battle will be between ex bcci honchos claiming that the move was a disaster and media which supports the current setup and dislikes the ex-bcci honchos and likes the coa claiming that it has been a success.

          After a lot of the dust settles, we may know what is the truth if at all. 😀



  3. Silk Apr 2, 2018 / 7:46 pm

    Big day for Mark Wood.


    • dlpthomas Apr 3, 2018 / 2:23 am

      Gun-barrel straight half trackers at 135 k/h so far.


      • dlpthomas Apr 3, 2018 / 4:17 am

        2 men out for the hook, bangs it in half way down the track at 128 k/ and de Gradhomme hooks it down Leach’s throat. Christ that was poor.


  4. dlpthomas Apr 3, 2018 / 2:25 am

    Leach gets his second and has had 2 catches dropped of his bowling. Root getting a lot of turn as well. I’d be tempted to try Malan at some stage – his leggies looked quite tidy in Australia.


    • @pktroll Apr 3, 2018 / 5:24 am

      Although his final figures won’t likely suggest it, I think Leach has bowled decently in both innings with the imagination, control, change of flight and pace to suggest that he deserves a go for the home summer. Not impressed with the short pitched tactics from the seamers.


      • dlpthomas Apr 3, 2018 / 5:33 am

        I agree. Did OK with the bat and has fielded well, too.


  5. d'Arthez Apr 3, 2018 / 4:28 am

    Well if Vince cannot make his case for being dropped forever on the basis of his batting, he may be more successful to ask for the axe on the basis of his fielding.


  6. dlpthomas Apr 3, 2018 / 5:32 am

    Not sure about this plan of having the close to the wicket fielders on their knees – trying to be a bit too clever? Might be better just to learn how to catch.


  7. dlpthomas Apr 3, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Finally a wicket but it’s reviewed and that takes up time.


  8. dlpthomas Apr 3, 2018 / 6:05 am

    Game over. Well done New Zealand (and especially well done Sodhi) but England were disappointing after taking 2 quick wickets at the start of play. Bumble sums it up: “It’s been a lousy winter.”


  9. Sri.grins Apr 3, 2018 / 6:10 am

    Good test match. New Zealand deserved the draw as well as the series win. Good performance from England too to buck up their fans.


  10. Silk Apr 3, 2018 / 6:25 am

    Who would have thought that persisting with the same players, and same approach to both batting and bowling, series after series, would see similar performances?

    Liked by 2 people

  11. metatone Apr 3, 2018 / 6:40 am

    Great holding out by NZ. I guess I largely agree about the declaration. England needed a wicket before the end of the 4th day, but if you can’t get one in 23 overs, it’s not clear how many more you’d need.

    England batted better in this game, but that just allowed us to remember our bowling problems.

    Broad got his mojo back in the first innings, but Anderson (forgiveably!) looked worn out.
    As ever, the questions are the same as at the end of every season recently: Can Jimmy’s body recover enough, as another year ticks by? Can Broad ever hold on to bowling that fuller length? (And indeed, can he avoid the niggling injuries he is prone to?)

    Wood didn’t look like he is fit to bowl full tilt for enough overs, which is a worry.
    Leach, nice start, let’s hope they give him a good run in the team.

    As for the batting, not much to say that hasn’t been said.


  12. metatone Apr 3, 2018 / 6:48 am

    To borrow a point from Distinct, maybe Cook will play the 2 game series against Pakistan, pass Border’s record and retire? (We can hope…)


  13. d'Arthez Apr 3, 2018 / 8:54 am

    On the other side of the Indian Ocean, Vernon Philander tears Australia apart completely in the first hour; 5 wickets for 3 runs at the moment, and just Lyon, Sayers and Hazlewood left foor the tourists. Could well be looking at a defeat by 500 runs.


    • oreston Apr 3, 2018 / 11:47 am

      Morne Morkel’s final Test. With Philander and Rabada, plus Steyn to return and Lungi Ngidi breaking through, he’s leaving the South African bowling unit in a decent state of health. (If only England’s succession planning for when age and infirmity finally force Broad and Anderson to hang up their boots was as clear cut).


  14. Sri.Grins Apr 3, 2018 / 8:56 am

    There is the expected Oz collapse rivalling India and England. 88/3 to 100/9


    • Mark Apr 3, 2018 / 9:34 am

      Aus just lost by almost 500 hundred runs, and the Aus players union wants the punishments for the banned players reduced. Says the crying of the players shows they have remorse.

      Good luck on your new cricket culture Australia! Not going to happen. David Warner for Prime Minister?


      • Sri.Grins Apr 3, 2018 / 9:56 am

        Mark, like it happened warner or smith sometimes cricket has a funny habit of getting its own back on too much aggression whether from players or fans 🙂

        I have a friend who had posted on the WA group we belong to that India will thrash SL in the ICC champions trophy. India got thrashed. He wrote next that Eng will thrash Pak. Duly Eng lost. Then he said that India will thrash Pak. by now, I was at the ‘oh no’ stage when i read his posts. India duly got thrashed.

        Your posts on OZ players and culture reminds me of him. 🙂

        Let us not hold up these people to standards that our players don’t follow or we don’t.


        • Mark Apr 3, 2018 / 10:14 am


          I don’t represent the England cricket team or English cricket. I am a paying customer, and I will say it as I see it regards whether it’s England, Australia, India, Pakistan. If they have done wrong or are hypocrites then why shouldn’t they be called out? We get criticised for expressing free speech. It’s an opinion…… deal with it!

          As has been pointed out to you SRI most on this site would not be welcome in the England dressing room or the ECB. Your friend made predictions for matches and then got them wrong. Nothing wrong in that. (It’s how bookies live a nice lifestyle) Making match predictions is completely fine, and is completely different from criticising a players or teams behaviour.

          But please don’t tell me I can’t criticise Australia or India or anyone else because England have behaved badly. I know, and this site has been quick to say when England players have behaved badly. Which is why we are not liked by other England players, and fans.


  15. dlpthomas Apr 3, 2018 / 9:52 am

    Mark Waugh has been quoted as saying that there is nothing wrong with the culture of the Australian cricket team.

    There is a story breaking that Smith is going to try and play in the up coming county cricket season and that Cricket Australia will allow it.


    • Mark Apr 3, 2018 / 10:31 am

      This is the heart of the problem. I bet Waugh’s views are mostly agreed on by most Aussie players. Aussie plays hard. And I think most people have no problem with that. But verbal insults and then trying to police an imaginary line which only the Aussies get to decide is not going to wash.

      You can’t turn a blind eye, and support letting the pit bull off the leash, and then run around saying it’s gone too far when it kills a child. (Slight over exaggeration but you get my point.)

      Be interesting to see which English county will employ Smith. I can’t believe these players are financially that desperate. They are always complaining about playing too much cricket. Why not just take six months off, and then play a bit of club cricket?

      CA are going to have a big problem holding their line. But then we all know an Aussie line is very elastic. 😉


      • dlpthomas Apr 3, 2018 / 12:15 pm

        I don’t think it is about money but rather that cricket is (almost) their entire life and has been since they were teenagers. They have led pampered and sheltered lives and know nothing else. Smith on his first date with his fiancé took her to the nets and fed balls into a bowling machine (or so the story goes). When the story broke I asked a journalist (used to live next door to him) if he thought Leahmann would resign. He said he thought it was unlikely adding “most of these guys have nothing else to do”

        The idea of Smith playing county cricket was discussed on a sports panel show this evening. Robert Cradock said that he felt the “loving, nurturing and family” like atmosphere of county cricket may be just what he needs to ease him back into cricket.


        • Distinct Apr 3, 2018 / 7:03 pm

          Yorkshire. 😦


  16. dlpthomas Apr 3, 2018 / 12:18 pm

    Marc West posted this on twitter.
    “Current 4 selectors took money from bookies, ordered underarm incident, broke South African apartheid ban and got done for racial abuse. I think, whilst everyone makes mistakes and they’ve earned back respect, those incidents are all arguably worse than the current problem.”

    What culture problem?


  17. LordCanisLupus Apr 3, 2018 / 6:23 pm

    Been a mad last 48 hours, and really didn’t get a lot of chance to watch the cricket, so needing the highlights to catch up. Not seen them yet so no chance to comment either!

    For a cricket blog I don’t get a lot of chance to watch these days.

    Sounded like an excellent day’s cricket.


    • Mark Apr 3, 2018 / 7:22 pm

      Watching the verdict (re named The debate) they have Gus Fraser on. What’s the point…… he was one of the selectors? He’s not going to say they got it wrong.

      Love to know some of their theories for the team. I know we have got very little in the cupboard, but some of the selections ( Vince, Crane Ali) odd. And others like Cook have not performed.


      • Miami Dad's 6 Apr 4, 2018 / 6:41 am

        Thought having Fraser on was interesting, to be honest. I’m not sure it would have worked with anyone other than Bob alongside him though, as he didn’t pull his punches (relished the awkwardness, if anything). The Fraser/Middlesex bias thing is going to be tricky as they want someone involved in the County game but with links to no County – which is basically no one – there is no Duncsn Fletcher lying around. I know that it exists in some form, but I can’t say Fraser’s Msex links have been useful to anyone. Other than that, Mick Newell hasn’t really worked out for the Notts lot (Jake Ball maybe). If I had to suggest a bias, I would say Hampshire players have been picked disproportionately to their ability and results – but they have no one on the selection panel with obvious links. How much (any?) influence does Bransgrove’s wonga have?


  18. dlpthomas Apr 4, 2018 / 2:21 am

    So Australian get thrashed 3 -1 by South Africa. I guess the fact the England played so poorly during the Ashes allowed Australia to sand-paper over the cracks in their own side.


    • Sri.grins Apr 4, 2018 / 2:39 am

      Most importantly starc was not at his best which also hurt the aussies. Hazelwood was poor too. Aussies were kept in the hunt mostly by Cummins and marginally by lyon.

      The sa bowlers are superior to England’s. England have two very good bowlers but backup is poor , sa have at least three good pacers plus a decent spinner.

      Makes a huge difference.

      SA has to be best all round test team as of now


      • Pontiac Apr 4, 2018 / 3:17 am

        I agree with this analysis. It’s not just that South Africa’s bowlers are better than England’s – they offer more diversity than England’s.

        Furthermore there is home advantage.

        In the long term large scale 50K foot view, England’s Test cricket suffers from toxic incumbency.

        Who the heck in English cricket, at the age of 20 something, and with general talent, would wish to specialize in opening when they know their fate will likely be to do maybe better than Cook but to be dropped because Cook isn’t doing well and Cook is undroppable?


        • Sri.Grins Apr 4, 2018 / 5:59 am

          I don’t think England issues are with the fact that Cook is considered irreplaceable.

          The problems stem from lack of quality backup pacers and lack of a spinner. This is not so easy to address as talent is not dependent on the number of people playing cricket.

          If they had even one pacer and a decent spinner, the result could have been different even if cook scored only in single digits for the last 30 innings.

          So, I don;t see the slump in performance of England in test cricket as a definitel long term decline but more a short term one because of lack of talent un bowling.


    • dannycricket Apr 4, 2018 / 6:40 am

      England had two major issues during the Ashes: They didn’t bat for long enough to strain Australia’s 4-man bowling attack, and they couldn’t take 20 wickets. Even an average Test team ought to be able to manage at least one of these, but England are incredibly poor at anything but ODIs right now.


      • LordCanisLupus Apr 4, 2018 / 12:31 pm

        Newman with a juxtaposition for the ages:

        And the fact that all five admittedly difficult chances were shelled by either Mark Stoneman or James Vince raise question marks over their temperaments at a time when they still haven’t nailed down their places.

        Remember. We are unpaid bloggers. We don’t get paid, expenses, etc to spout our ill-informed, psycho-babble claptrap. This is just nonsense.

        Also interesting that Newman let’s Root do all the talking on Cook without interpretation, but looks under the bonnet for words on Stoneman and Vince. Twas ever thus.


        • jomesy Apr 4, 2018 / 6:40 pm

          I remember KP shelling catches like peas at the start of his international career….if only Newman had spotted that then we’d have been spared all sorts of great knocks.


    • dlpthomas Apr 4, 2018 / 6:48 am

      “sand-paper over the cracks in their own side”

      Seriously? No one?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sri.grins Apr 4, 2018 / 8:21 am

        If Smith had contested the ban, someone would have claimed that Smith’s tears are phony because he did not accept his punishment. 😊.
        Whatever he says will be picked on, analyzed and hit back at him.
        Given that he had only two choices, accept the ban or contest it not sure what people expect him to do?


        • LordCanisLupus Apr 4, 2018 / 8:24 am

          Don’t know about you but if I was deprived of my livelihood for saying “I don’t want to know what you are up to” I’d be raging at the injustice of it all. But I’m funny like that.


          • Sri.Grins Apr 4, 2018 / 9:07 am

            I doubt that saying ‘ i don’t want to know about it’ would entitle him as the captain to escape punishment

            If he did not know about it yes it would but if he knew someone was going to pull a stunt which would not flt within the ‘hard but fair’ maxim oft repeated ::-), i doubt he can rage about the injustice.

            He can claim that the punishment was too much compared with other guys from other teams who were punished but that is not going to cut much ice with most people in Oz.

            CA has to worry about the brand image as we are all politically correct as opposed to a few decades back.

            So, smith probably knew if he contested the ban there would be an outcry and preferred to throw the reduction of the ban in the hands of the ACA and CA which makes sense


          • LordCanisLupus Apr 4, 2018 / 12:40 pm

            A pithy reply from me as my train pulled into the final station this morning and I was on my phone.

            Of course Smith would have been criticised whatever he had said. Again, it’s not Smith’s actions that are winding me up. The pious, sanctimonious reaction of the Australian cricket hierarchy adequately supported by the biggest beasts in the media is what gets me. The rehabilitation project is being aided by an incurious media. Oh this is so funny. They are repeating what our beasts were doing in 2014. And those same beasts are popping at the Aussie media for doing what they were doing four years. It’s genuinely funny.

            Summed up by this Twitter exchange…

            Read all of it. Conn, Etheridge, Newman and Lalor. Daggers drawn. It’s hilarious.

            I am well aware of the commercial sensitivities and that Smith is in a bind. But his players union have shown who has the clout now. And it isn’t the players.


          • Sri.grins Apr 4, 2018 / 1:03 pm

            Obviously, the way the two medias play this out is a given based on how most English fans troll aussie fans and vice versa. Naturally, the English media will not sympathize or even pause to consider the skeletons in their own closet including how they were writing when they took kp down.

            It is normal human behavior. ‘I can defend my actions but you cannot justify your actions’ is the principle a lot of people swear by.

            Life is like that 😊


          • LordCanisLupus Apr 4, 2018 / 1:09 pm

            You (and the rest of the people who read this enterprise) would’t have had this blog without me getting annoyed at media reactions to the authority’s attempt to silence dissent.

            One of life’s small mercies, I suppose.

            But that Twitter fight is a classic.


  19. Sri.grins Apr 4, 2018 / 9:50 am


    Bcci rights around 5400 crores so slowly rising to the price when it can be considered a decent success. Only a minor matter of rs 600 crores to meet the figure I mentioned. I wish had 5/6 crores of that for my startup.



    • Sri.grins Apr 4, 2018 / 10:58 am

      5748 crores now


      • Sri.Grins Apr 4, 2018 / 12:02 pm

        6001 Crores now. Close to 1 Billion Dollars.


        • Sri.grins Apr 4, 2018 / 1:06 pm

          6032.5 crores now


  20. Sri.Grins Apr 4, 2018 / 11:43 am

    interesting read. Oz may become a half england with a pay wall?

    From article

    Channel Nine, which held the broadcast rights to Tests and ODI’s for 40 years, was losing approximately $30m a year on its outlay of $80m for rights fees and $20m for production costs of Tests and ODI’s. Only in years where the Ashes series was played at home did Nine make a modest profit.

    If the data is accurate, this is a huge loss . Maybe players are not being underpaid but overpaid as also the suits?

    An aussie may be able to throw some light


  21. Sri.Grins Apr 4, 2018 / 11:49 am

    Some more relevant points

    Cricket Australia, which effectively lost a pay war with the Australian Cricketers’ Association last year, will require at least $150m a year in broadcasting rights fees to meet the players’ negotiated demands.
    Like NRL clubs, which forced the Australian Rugby League Commission to guarantee them a lucrative annual grant, the ACA forced their headquarters body into agreeing to a CBA which may be unsustainable.
    However, the ARLC and NRL clubs made their agreement after a $1.9 billion TV rights deal had been negotiated, while the cricket rights are yet to be sold.
    One sign of a diminished demand by broadcasters for the sport is a recent deal Cricket Australia did with India, selling Tests and ODI’s to broadcasters for $16m, half the fees of the previous contract.
    Ratings for the once highly popular Big Bash have levelled out, while interest in Tests and ODIs in Australia (other than the Ashes) has declined. However, Fox needs a summer sport to counter an embarrassing decline in rating for FFA’s A-League matches.


  22. Mark Apr 4, 2018 / 12:11 pm

    I shall now refer to Steve Smith as the Australian male version of Joan of Arc.


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