New Zealand (209 & 483 f/o) narrowly defeat England (435/8 d & 256) by 1 run to win the 2nd Test

Toothless NZ lost 3rd wicket to Leach. This series has turned into a borefest now with lack of fight from NZ. I was excitingly watching the first test. I was hoping NZ to turn it around. Seems like this is minnow bashing. NZ slide started when they lost to Bangladesh in NZ.
 
This is quite possibly the worst phase Nz is enduring in their test history. Atleast since the dismal days of mid to late 90's(after Hadley & Crowe's retirement) when Pak,Aus,SA used to demolish them with ease.They were pretty poor under Vettory also,but that was a transitional period as so many seniors had retired & Bond would remain injured forever. They have always been a tough cookie in home, but now we are witnessing them performing as bad as BD used to perform in 00-04. This is quite sad & overall very alarming for test cricket. Pak,SA,Nz,Srl so many of them falling apart at the same time just makes test cricket even more mediocre & lifeless.
 
We are seeing a clear decline for NZ but this is coinciding with a rise for Eng. So although there is a gap in quality, it is being temporarily widened by the style of cricket that Eng are playing. Teams like NZ and Pak simply aren’t equipped to cope with such an aggressive brand of cricket in Test matches as their own internal structures are too dated.
 
England 435-8 dec: Brook 186, Root 153*; Henry 4-100

New Zealand 138-7: Latham 35; Anderson 3-37, Leach 3-45

New Zealand are 297 runs behind

==

England's dominance of New Zealand was only halted by rain on day two of the second Test in Wellington.

Three wickets each for James Anderson and Jack Leach reduced the home side to 138-7, 297 runs behind.

England's relentless bowling and sharp catching - bat-pad man Ollie Pope claimed two superb grabs off Leach - had raised the prospect of the tourists being able to enforce the follow-on.

That decision will have to wait for Sunday after rain arrived to wipe out almost two hours of play in the evening session.

England had earlier moved from their overnight 315-3 to 435-8 declared, crashing 120 runs in less than two hours.

Harry Brook was out to the seventh ball he faced for 186, but Joe Root continued on to make 153 not out.

Play on day three will once again begin at the earlier time of 21:30 GMT in order to make up some of the overs lost on the opening two days.

This is turning into England's most commanding performance of the winter, a ruthless dismantling of a New Zealand team that is a shadow of the one crowned world Test champions two years ago.

Both teams have found themselves 21-3 in this match, but whereas England launched a stunning counter-attack in the shape of Root and Brook's 302-run stand, the Black Caps meekly folded.

The notion of the follow-on is a question yet to be posed to England under captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum.

Is the more aggressive option to bat in the second innings and build an unassailable lead, or send New Zealand in once more and hunt victory by an innings?

Either way, England are on course for their seventh consecutive win and 11th in 12 Tests, while New Zealand are set to slip to their first home series defeat in six years.

Anderson was far from a regular in the England team when he was called into the side to play at this venue 15 years ago, alongside Stuart Broad for the first time.

Anderson took 5-73 in the first innings and Test cricket's most prolific bowling partnership was born.

On Saturday, Anderson returned aged 40 and ranked as the world's number one bowler, once again running through the New Zealand top order with what appeared to be effortless skill.

Devon Conway feathered an edge that was detected by an intelligent England review, an out-of-sorts Kane Williamson offered a needless poke and Will Young was undone by extra bounce - all three men caught by wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.

Anderson will resume on Sunday with the chance to become the first 40-year-old pace bowler to take a five-wicket haul in a Test since Sydney Barnes in 1914.

Left-armer spinner Leach was into the 13th over of an unbroken spell when the rain arrived.

He first had Tom Latham, who battled to 35, caught by Root at slip off a reverse-sweep. Given out on the field, Latham reviewed. Replays showed the ball hit the armguard, but TV umpire Aleem Dar also detected a flick off the glove.

Then Pope, under the helmet, pulled off his two one-handed stunners.

Henry Nicholls, on 30, attempted another reverse-sweep only for the ball to deflect off his body to the diving Pope.

On the stroke of tea, Leach got extra bounce to Daryl Mitchell and Pope brilliantly anticipated, stuck out a hand and held on incredibly close to the bat.

Michael Bracewell patted a catch back to Broad just after the break, leaving captain Tim Southee to club 23 in support of Tom Blundell, who was 25 not out when the rain came.

England's intent to move the game on quickly was evident immediately. Root, 101 not out overnight, reverse-scooped the fourth ball he faced for six off the pace of Southee.

Brook had added only two to his 184 when pushed back a return catch for Matt Henry to juggle - his stated target of the 210 his father David once made in a club game made to wait for another day.

Stokes slogged 27 before miscuing Neil Wagner to mid-off, Foakes was stumped down the leg side for a duck and a sweeping Broad was lbw for 14, both to Bracewell's off-spin, and Ollie Robinson was caught at cover for 18 to give Henry his fourth wicket.

Root continued the charge from the other end with more reverse-scoops and scoops. Bracewell and Southee were each larruped over mid-wicket for six.

When Henry was aerially clipped to square leg for four, Root had his 14th Test score in excess of 150 and England declared. The former captain had added 52 runs from the 42 balls he faced on Saturday morning.

'Batting with Brook makes life so much easier'

England's Joe Root after scoring an unbeaten 153, speaking to BT Sport: "I certainly felt like I found a way to manage the situation in this game. Going out there at the time I did, it was important I found a way to calm things down and wrestle a bit of momentum back in our favour.

"When you're batting at the other end to Brooky at the moment, he's making your life a lot easier so it was quite nice to bounce off him and I think we managed to restore that calmness to the dressing room.

"It was the kind of wicket where you never really feel like you're playing at your absolute best and really free-flowing but I felt like I had that bit between my teeth."

BBC
 
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I'm glad you've done a 180. When Stokes and McCullum were appointed last April - these were your words:



For once will you hold your hands up and admit you were talking nonsense ?

Owned.
 
Toothless NZ lost 3rd wicket to Leach. This series has turned into a borefest now with lack of fight from NZ. I was excitingly watching the first test. I was hoping NZ to turn it around. Seems like this is minnow bashing. NZ slide started when they lost to Bangladesh in NZ.

I’m really excited! I want to see England go for the innings victory.
 
I said "rolled over". Not beat. You did get roll over. There was a time where ENgland was called "Root or bust". Everything changed after that.

How was it a rollover when England won the test easily?

🇮🇪 played well for a day and a half, then 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 upped a gear and flattened them with Leach opening the batting and scoring 99.
 
We are seeing a clear decline for NZ but this is coinciding with a rise for Eng. So although there is a gap in quality, it is being temporarily widened by the style of cricket that Eng are playing. Teams like NZ and Pak simply aren’t equipped to cope with such an aggressive brand of cricket in Test matches as their own internal structures are too dated.
Do you expect other teams to follow the template set by Eng? Obviously by others I mean Ind & Aus,probably SA too. Rest of them are hopeless, either their structures & cultures are way too outdated or their resources are too limited. Since Ind & Aus have no such issue will they follow Eng or will they continue to stick with their traditional approach? I have a feeling they will feel pressure, specially from fans to copy Eng as that approach has worked wonders for Eng in white ball formats in last 8 years. Something that definitely bothers Indians & Aussies.
 
Do you expect other teams to follow the template set by Eng? Obviously by others I mean Ind & Aus,probably SA too. Rest of them are hopeless, either their structures & cultures are way too outdated or their resources are too limited. Since Ind & Aus have no such issue will they follow Eng or will they continue to stick with their traditional approach? I have a feeling they will feel pressure, specially from fans to copy Eng as that approach has worked wonders for Eng in white ball formats in last 8 years. Something that definitely bothers Indians & Aussies.

I don’t think other teams will try and duplicate England’s brand of cricket. They will play their own way and this will drive the narrative around the game ie “which is the better way to play”. Dean Elgar made a point of publicly criticising the McCullum/Stokes brand of cricket before SA played England and talked up the SA brand, but he lost the series and six months later after another loss he was sacked as captain. So it didn’t go particularly well for him at least.
 
Australia will not be emulating England anytime soon, they have no reason to. Australia's biggest issue is playing spin in India, Bazball won't fix that. Australia is already top 2 test team and they don't need to change the formula

Same goes for India.
 
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">&#55357;&#56803;️ "I think it was a brilliant call from Ben!"<br><br>Joe Root praises Captain Ben Stokes for making a brilliant call to declare as England put themselves in a commanding position against New Zealand. <a href="https://t.co/N5ol6pvI6c">pic.twitter.com/N5ol6pvI6c</a></p>— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) <a href="https://twitter.com/SkyCricket/status/1629394420318576641?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 25, 2023</a></blockquote>
<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
 
This is a difficult wicket to bat on. Only Root (through being careful) and Brook (through genius) have prospered on it so far. It might flatten out later on though.
 
NZ top order should be ashamed of themselves. Southee 53 in 39 balls

Last 12 months NZ vs England

Screenshot-2023-02-25-155516.jpg
 
Southee tried Dhoni style helicopter shot it looks like. Couldn't pull it off. Sliced to short mid wicket. He has provided a template for spineless NZ top order.
 
England tried to play traditional cricket. Didn't work. So they switched to bang bang cricket. NZ should try to do the same. As it is they fail with defensive cricket.
 
well done southee. kiwi batters should've done at least some of that. you can't just receive such thrashing and then surrender with the ball. got to give back ENG some of their medicine. entertaining watch.
 
Nathan Astle once audaciously had a go at target of 500 once against England along with injured Cairns.
 
NZ shambles.

209 all out.

England have enforced the follow on.
 
Day 3: 2nd Session - New Zealand trail by 115 runs

ENG 435/8 d
NZ 209 & 111/0 (f/o) (41.4) CRR: 2.66
 
NZ have strung together their first 100-run partnership of the series.
 
Great stuff from not only England but also the NZ top order here, fantastic stuff from these two.
 
NZ tracks are generally good to bat on as the game progresses into day 4/5. I remember Gambhir batted 10 hours to save a Test. Then Astle scored a double century and almost pulled off a 500 chase. THen Baz made a second innings 300. Even Bangladesh batsmen have made some huge runs here.
 
Why are they not attacking Leach? WHy do they even defend. Some INdians also did the same mistake.
 
Also, quite surprised that England enforced the follow-on. Kiwis can easily put up 400-450 and put England under pressure.

Risky move.
 
NZ not even able to capitalise on a poor follow on decision . Will Young is 30 years old with a mediocre FC record. Not sure what's the point of not giving someone like Tom Bruce a go instead.

All in all, they just don't have the talent to compete with the big boys anymore .
 
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68 overs batted 177 runs. If England had batted 68 overs they must be somewhere clsoe to 300. When you are so far behind, blockathan never works.
 
NZ - 180/3.

Trailing by 46 runs.

Kiwis need a few decent partnerships. A target of 250-300 can be tricky.
 
This is snail's pace. 82 overs 202 runs *sigh*. They are still trailing. One break through with new ball they will fold again.
 
Now enforcing the follow on looks a bad option. The best option is to bat once again and have the opposition bat in the final innings.
 
Second Test, Wellington, (day three of five)

England 435-8 dec (Brook 186, Root 153*; Henry 4-100)
New Zealand 209 (Southee 73, Broad 4-61) & 202-3 (Latham 83, Conway 61)
New Zealand trail by 24 runs


England have work to do in order to win the second Test after New Zealand's defiance following-on in Wellington.

The home side ended day three on 202-3, 24 behind after beginning their second innings 226 adrift.

Tom Latham made 83 and Devon Conway 61 in an opening stand of 149, before New Zealand lost three wickets for 18 runs to the spin of Jack Leach and Joe Root.

But Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls dug in, at times painstakingly so. Williamson crawled to 25 not out from 81 balls, Nicholls 18 from 70 in an unbroken partnership of 35.

Captain Tim Southee earlier clubbed 73 from 49 balls to drag the Black Caps to 209 all out in their first innings.

Southee added 98 for the eighth wicket with Tom Blundell, only for both to fall to Stuart Broad as part of his 4-61.

Then came the New Zealand rearguard, leaving a match that could have been one-sided delicately poised.

BBC
 
Good resilience by New Zealand. It sets up day 4 quite nicely. One if those rare occasions when we see follow on being enforced in modern day cricket, which in my opinion is fine.
 
Now enforcing the follow on looks a bad option. The best option is to bat once again and have the opposition bat in the final innings.


In NZ batting last is the easiest thing to do. Pitch will be at its best in 4th innings. Besides NZ is yet to take the lead.
 
Interesting follow on decision.

Going the old school way. There will be some criticism of enforcing it, but with a 220+ lead this course of events used to just be the norm in Test cricket. The follow on has fallen out of favour as an idea more recently, but that doesn’t mean it was the wrong decision.

Can’t blame England for trying it, but not entirely unexpected that New Zealand would put up a fight and try to change the momentum of the game.

England 25 ahead of New Zealand who have 7 wickets left, which is a bit of an edgy position, but you’d think it only takes 2 or 3 quick dismissals to create a match situation that is very much in favour of England.

The pitch looks to have flattened as well, grass no longer a factor, and drying out to (at most) take a little bit of spin; step forward, Michael Bracewell…. so, minimal alarms likely if England are chasing a <150 target to win the game.

New Zealand look to be batting very slowly. Again they’re thinking about survival first, waiting for the possible rain, and escaping this game with a draw. Seems to be their mentality as a team of late.
 
You do have. Anderson, Broad?

They don’t average 20.

Anyway I think with these two old boys in the side it was a mistake to enforce the follow-on. They will have to bowl for three days in a row.
 
They don’t average 20.

Anyway I think with these two old boys in the side it was a mistake to enforce the follow-on. They will have to bowl for three days in a row.

We will see. Leach and Root have bowled a good percentage of the overs. And there isn’t another Test for over three months after this.

It may take a few pouches of Fisherman’s Friend and a couple of Zimmer frames, but the two old boys should be able to push through on this occasion in the end.
 
Don't like the way NZ have batted so far in this innings.Yes they are in survival mode & they made a good comeback, but still going on just about 2.5 rpo is pretty poor. They can bat normally & still manage atleast 3, it's not that difficult.This just goes to show,that they are not thinking for a win,they are aiming for a draw. Which is poor because two days are still in hand. For Williamson I think this is the perfect occasion to prove his critics wrong, that he is more than just an accumulator & minnow basher. Personally I have always felt he doesn't belong on the same level with the other 3, just too many soft runs & very little impact.
 
Don't like the way NZ have batted so far in this innings.Yes they are in survival mode & they made a good comeback, but still going on just about 2.5 rpo is pretty poor. They can bat normally & still manage atleast 3, it's not that difficult.This just goes to show,that they are not thinking for a win,they are aiming for a draw. Which is poor because two days are still in hand. For Williamson I think this is the perfect occasion to prove his critics wrong, that he is more than just an accumulator & minnow basher. Personally I have always felt he doesn't belong on the same level with the other 3, just too many soft runs & very little impact.

It’s not that easy. England have a good attack. NZ have to build a platform first, then try to set a target of 200. Williamson can do it.
 
It’s not that easy. England have a good attack. NZ have to build a platform first, then try to set a target of 200. Williamson can do it.

Conway is an all format player. He can score quickly. Just the mentality is not there.
 
NZ don't need to go bazball here, not that they are capable of. But they need to remain positive, old school bloackathon is not the solution at current stage. It would have worked if only single day was in hand.If they go for a draw they are certainly losing this game, if they go for the win then maybe somehow they can save this match. They need to realize their opposition is a unit which will not backdown from a result & will always go for the kill. I just don't want Williamson to adopt Pujara/Azhar method & dead bat everything.
 
I'm glad you've done a 180. When Stokes and McCullum were appointed last April - these were your words:



For once will you hold your hands up and admit you were talking nonsense ?

Those views were what I had as well. It was apparent to me that Test class batsmen were not being produced by County cricket and even English posters, Sky commentators all were going on about the lack of technique amongst modern batsmen etc . SKY had entire sessions devoted to showing how 90's English batsmen had better techniques.

Most of us were convinced that a change of tactics wouldn't significantly change England's fortunes at the time.

McCullum has made everyone sing a different tune
 
Kane digging in.

NZ 18 ahead and facing an uphill task.
 
Day 4: Lunch Break - New Zealand lead by 99 runs

ENG 435/8 d
NZ 209 & 325/5 (f/o) (113) CRR: 2.88
 
Kane proving his mettle here but a long way to go to give them any kind of chance in this. Time is not going to save them, England could score 450 in a day if they needed to
 
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