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England v New Zealand at Lord's
22-26 July 1999 (John Ward)

Day1 | Day2 | Day3 | Day4

Day 1: Cairns and Nash put England on the ropes

The weather was overcast, but with no sign of rain as England and New Zealand prepared to meet in the Second Test at Lord's. England won the toss and decided to bat, despite the cloud cover, on what appeared to be a sound batting pitch.

With Darren Gough still unfit with his calf injury, England selected the same team that won the First Test at Edgbaston just over two weeks ago. Unfortunately the batting hero on that occasion, pace bowler Alex Tudor, was forced to withdraw at the last minute with an injury to his left knee, to be replaced by Dean Headley. New Zealand made only one change, strengthening their batting by bringing in Matthew Bell to open, while seam bowler Simon Doull, with an injured knee, dropped out. Bell was expected to open the batting in place of Roger Twose, who dropped to number six after his double failure at Edgbaston.

For England, much of the interest concerned the batting form of Alec Stewart, whose recent run of low scores put him under intense pressure from the media. The team as a whole wanted to improve on England's poor record at headquarters in recent years, while New Zealand were hoping they could rise to the big occasion as so many touring teams do. Otherwise England appeared to have the stronger team on paper.

Perhaps due to New Zealand's low profile, there was not quite the usual buzz of excitement expected at the start of a Test match, and particularly one at Lord's. Ten minutes before play was due to start, the ground was still half-empty and lacking the usual degree of frenetic activity present on such occasions.

After scoring a single off the first ball of the match, Butcher became bogged down, with Stewart looking much the more confident of the two openers, despite his recent run of low scores. He had his share of luck, no doubt overdue, as he could have been run out early on had a throw from the covers hit the stumps directly, and once or twice came close to playing on. But he went for his strokes, and played some fine cuts and pulls against bowling that tended to drop short early on.

The New Zealand bowling was by no means dangerous, but at times even Stewart failed to take toll of the bad balls they did bowl, and they grew in confidence as the day progressed. The first genuine appeal of the day took over 40 minutes in coming, as Cairns bellowed forth in vain after hitting Butcher, playing well forward, on the front pad.

The opening partnership lasted precisely one hour. Butcher, never able to score freely, eventually flashed at Cairns with perhaps a touch of desperation, and certainly a touch of the inside edge, which was picked up easily by Adam Parore behind the stumps. His 8 runs took him 51 balls, but at least had shared in an opening stand of 35; not great, certainly, but perhaps something England would be prepared to settle for after their run of recent poor starts.

Stewart hit three boundaries in an over from Nash, which took him to 6000 Test runs, and became particularly adept in dabbing Nash to the third-man boundary. This eventually proved to be his undoing as, immediately after reaching his fifty off only 58 balls, he tried it again and snicked a low catch that was held by Fleming at first slip. Nevertheless it had been a fine innings of 50, and England were 79 for two.

New Zealand almost earned another wicket, and Nash was bitterly disappointed to have a good lbw appeal against Thorpe, before he had scored, rejected. Hussain began the afternoon session with aggression, cutting the hitherto economical Cairns high to the point boundary and then gliding him for another four to third man in the same over. Thorpe looked less certain and had to feel his way through the first few overs, but he finally brought up the team's hundred by hooking Cairns smartly for four. It was flattery only to deceive, though, as shortly afterwards he was straightened up by a good straight delivery from Cairns that took the edge of his bat and was well caught low down by Astle at second slip. England were now looking rather fragile at 102 for three, Thorpe having scored 7.

Ramprakash got off the mark with an edge that just failed to carry to the slips and squeezed between the fielders to reach the third-man boundary. His good fortune did not last long, however, as he played inside a low full toss from Nash and was adjudged lbw by umpire Koertzen. The only question was whether the ball, swinging in from the off, might have swung so far as to miss leg stump; the television replay suggested it was a sound decision, with the batsman across the crease rather than down the pitch.

Hussain drove Cairns through extra cover for four, but the next ball went right through him without dismissing him. Aftab Habib, after some natural early uncertainty, recorded his first boundary in Test cricket by placing Cairns neatly backward of point, and then tucked his next ball confidently on the leg side for a single. Appearances were deceptive, however, as he faced up to Nash, and was immediately bowled by a ball that moved in slightly and bowled him right through the gate, knocking back his off stump. He scored only 6, and England were now 123 for five.

Wicket-keeper Read did not last long, the victim of a very clever piece of bowling by Cairns. He delivered a slower ball with a higher trajectory, and Read completely misjudged it. Thinking it to be a head-high beamer, he ducked, and suffered the embarrassment of having the ball bounce virtually on his bootlaces and hit the stumps. Read failed to score, and England were in deep trouble at 125 for six.

After the loss of four crucial middle-order wickets for 23 runs in 45 balls, Hussain dug in with great determination. The first runs for some while, a two by Andy Caddick turned towards long leg, won considerable appreciation from the crowd, which was now filling perhaps 80% of the seats. The batsmen took no risks, or runs either most of the time, and at one stage Hussain showed his frustration with an annoyed swing of the bat after fishing at a ball from Nash..

New Zealand continued to bowl with enthusiasm, and tightly for most of the time, but their attack is limited and they were somewhat flattered by England's inability to hold their own, let alone dominate. Apart from Stewart, none of the batsmen made any determined effort to take control and knock them off their length, and this doubtless gave them confidence. Nash, after some erratic bowling before lunch, bowled a spell afterwards of 11-6-10-2; good bowling, surely enough, but also a reflection on the batting.

Caddick outscored Hussain in a dour partnership during which the England captain remained stuck on 29 for some time and seemed bent on no more than survival. The dogged stand was broken by a run-out, as Caddick played a ball out to deep midwicket, where Horne saved the boundary and then threw in to the bowler's end. Caddick, perhaps slightly too leisurely, was found by the camera to be short of the crease by the narrowest of margins. He made 16, and England were now 150 for seven.

After scoring only 26 runs during the afternoon session, Hussain finally decided the time had come to show more initiative. After turning Cairns for two to long leg, he cut him over point for four to take his personal score to 42. A single to third man, though, brought Dean Headley to face; moving across the stumps and half-forward, he was hit on the pad and adjudged lbw for 4. England were now 165 for eight, with two genuine rabbits to come in Mullally and Tufnell.

Mullally came close to offering Cairns a return catch, but nemesis was not long delayed, as next ball he edged a ball to Astle at second slip. This was Cairns' sixth five-wicket hall in Test cricket, and his second against England. Mullally once again failed to score; England were 170 for nine and questions were raised as to whether Mullally really was a better batsman even than Tufnell.

Tufnell entered to a great round of applause from the crowd, and Hussain immediately hooked Nash to the boundary to bring up his fifty, scored off 132 balls. He quickly repeated the stroke, and then hammered a third boundary through the covers; these were the first fours hit off Nash for 18 overs. He was unable to protect Tufnell from the next over, though.

A short ball from Cairns had Tufnell fending it away with due trepidation to square leg, but another short ball, which had the batsman dodging desperately, persuaded the umpires that the light was too bad to continue. Conditions were hardly dangerous for an accomplished batsman, although the umpires had discussed the matter before; when the relative skill of the striker is taken into account, it is dubious whether play would ever start even in brilliant sunshine with the likes of Tufnell or Mullally at the crease. The score as the players left the field was 183 for nine, with Hussain on 59 and Tufnell yet to score.

No further play was possible, and so ended a day in which Stewart and Tufnell were the only Englishmen to emerge with much credit. The New Zealanders are by no means a strong team, but they made far better use of their ability than the home side. The crunch for them will come when they bat. They are still a long way from winning this match, and their displays at Edgbaston do not inspire much confidence that they can compile a match-winning score against England's bowlers. Tomorrow, if dry, will be a critical day for them. [Back to top]

Day 2: New Zealand take control as the sun shines

The sun shone down warmly at the start of the second day's play at Lord's as England prepared to attempt a fight-back to get on level terms in this Test match. This is not an unaccustomed position for them in recent years, but they have not been used to it against New Zealand, at least since the retirement of Sir Richard Hadlee. They did so successfully at Edgbaston, thanks mainly to that superb and unexpected innings by Alex Tudor, who ironically had to miss the current match due to injury.

Both teams played much determined cricket during the day, giving little away. It appeared that the match was going New Zealand's way until they lost three wickets during the final hour of play. The England bowlers, if not inspired, worked very hard and generally bowled well, and it was unfortunate that the day should be marred by several difficult but dubious decisions by the umpires.

Rarely does an English cricket crowd have reason to celebrate after the first ball of the day. But on this day it was indeed an occasion for celebration, as Tufnell got off the mark by turning a ball from Cairns comfortably off his hip towards long leg, and the crowd delighted in the unaccustomed success of their Golden Boy with the bat.

Tufnell in fact was to remain unbeaten on his single, as off the first ball of Cairns' next over Hussain attempted to glance a ball speeding well down the leg side; Parore claimed a catch and umpire Mervyn Kitchen decided that he had hit it. Hussain appeared to be surprised, and the television replay did not appear to support the appeal, although it was not altogether conclusive. This enabled Cairns to finish with six wickets for 77 runs, his best Test figures barring his six for 52 against England in Auckland in 1991/92. This was England's lowest score against New Zealand at Lord's, following their lowest at Edgbaston, beating the 190 they scored under Ray Illingworth back in 1969.

Mullally opened the England attack to Horne, immediately swinging the ball away towards the slips but allowing the batsman to shoulder arms with regularity. One ball did straighten enough to flick the pad and warrant quite a good lbw appeal. Runs were hard to come by, though, as the batsmen chose to let the wayward deliveries pass by and play defensively to the increasing number of good ones; only three runs came off the first five overs before Horne turned Caddick for two past midwicket and then a four to long leg, as the bowler strayed towards leg stump. But this was only a temporary respite, and after eight overs the score was still only 10.

A straight drive by Bell brought up the first four of the innings off the bat in the eleventh over (four leg-byes were recorded in the ninth over), the ball ricocheting off the foot of bowler Mullally to the pavilion rails. Shortly afterwards, Horne leg-glanced Mullally to the fine-leg boundary, while Bell cut Headley, who replaced Caddick, for another four. A bad misfield by Tufnell at mid-off allowed Bell a further two, which the crowd met with sympathetic silence.

Headley was the man to achieve the critical break-through, as he moved a ball back in to Bell, beating him through the gate but flicking his pad on the way through to the keeper. Umpire Kitchen took a Bucknoresque length of time before deciding that this was lbw.

Fleming arrived at the crease and turned a ball to long leg to get off the mark. Then he tried to glance a ball from Mullally which moved sharply towards the left-hander's leg side, and was given out caught at the wicket by the diving Read. Umpire Koertzen this time raised the finger; the television replay appeared to suggest it may have hit the pad rather than the bat. In a matter of minutes New Zealand had slumped to 45 for two, with Horne still there on 21, but they now had to rebuild their innings.

Astle made a bright start to his innings, racing to double figures in quick time, although he was a little lucky that an edged boundary to third man just flew wide of third slip, who appeared to get a hand to it. He clipped another two fours through the vacant midwicket position as Mullally, now in his tenth over, again strayed towards leg; Hussain filled the gap but still maintained an attacking field with three slips and two gullies.

Facing Headley, Horne played perhaps the finest stroke of the morning, a cracking front-foot off-drive which raced to the ropes. Fired up now, Headley gave him a hard time for the rest of the over, forcing him to defend hurriedly and hitting him a painful blow on the knuckles. New Zealand went in to lunch on 75 for two, with Horne on an invaluable 32 and Astle 19.

Caddick continued to trouble Astle after the interval, making a ball leap on him unexpectedly and forcing a stroke which lobbed the ball out on the off side, clear of the field. But Astle finally got the better of him, hitting him for fours to long-on and long leg off successive deliveries, and bringing up the fifty partnership off only 64 balls.

Cheers greeted the arrival of Tufnell to bowl from the Nursery End., and Horne tickled him to fine leg to bring up the hundred for New Zealand. Then the scoring rate trailed off again until Astle leaned back and hammered Tufnell to the cover boundary. Caddick bowled a good spell to Horne before giving way to Mullally, who achieved the break-through with another undeserving ball down the leg side. Astle, trying to glance, simply gloved the ball uncontroversially to keeper Read and walked immediately. He hit nine fours in his 43 off 61 balls, and the New Zealand score was now 112 for three, with Horne still there on 38.

Twose soon looked far more comfortable in the middle order than he had opening at Edgbaston, hooking Mullally neatly to the boundary but wisely shouldering arms to balls delivered wide of his off stump. Horne, taking a blow on the forearm from Caddick, was content to continue playing his anchor role; his past record suggests that here is a man capable to playing a very long innings once settled in. He finally ran to his fifty with a rather uncharacteristic uppercut off Caddick over the slips for four, after 116 balls, and then immediately glanced the same bowler to the leg boundary. There followed a quiet period until tea, when the score had reached 163 for three, with Horne on 70 and Twose 14.

New Zealand continued to consolidate after the interval, with almost fifteen minutes passing before the first boundary, when Horne swept Tufnell in front of square. Headley surprised Twose with a bouncer that hit him on the ear-piece to his helmet and caused a hold-up while a replacement helmet was brought. Then Horne clipped Caddick for four to long leg, and a couple of singles enabled New Zealand to overtake England's meagre first-innings total.

There followed another quiet period when runs were hard to acquire. Eventually Twose, trying to break the chains, mistimed a hook against Mullally and skyed the ball over midwicket; the unlucky Stewart got his hands to but failed to hold what would have been a marvellous catch over his head. Tufnell was recalled as Horne edged closer to his century. He came close to dismissing him for 98, too, beating him with a good flighted delivery that straightened, but umpire Kitchen rejected the lbw appeal.

Horne finally glanced Headley for the single that made him the tenth New Zealand batsman to score a Test century at Lord's. It was his third Test century. The total at this stage was 228 for three, and Twose on 48 was approaching his own landmark. He duly reached it with an edged hook that beat the keeper and ran to the fine-leg boundary. Immediately afterwards, though, he threw it away with another mistimed hook that this time took the top edge and Caddick was able to take the skyer at midwicket. His 52 had come off 153 balls and New Zealand were 232 for four.

Horne, deeply determined to see out the day, stayed seemingly stuck on 100. With six overs to go, England took the second new ball, with Headley and Caddick given the privilege of using it this time. Sadly for Horne, he was unable to see out the day, and it was also unfortunate that his dismissal was another controversial incident. He jabbed down on a ball from Headley which flew off the edge to Hussain in the gully, who clearly believed it to be a genuine catch. Horne stood his ground until given out by umpire Koertzen, but television replays seemed to indicate he had played it straight into the ground, although it was not conclusive. In particular the way he angled the bat down while playing the stroke made it harder to believe it had been a genuine catch.

Night-watchman Vettori came in and got off the mark with two, but further disaster was to strike New Zealand in the final over of the day. McMillan, who had shown great restraint in scoring just three runs, fished at a ball moving away outside the off stump and sent a straight-forward catch to the keeper. New Zealand, now on 242 for six, had in the final two overs lost much of their advantage and visions of a huge lead tomorrow had faded greatly. [Back to top]

Day3: England facing defeat after more inept batting

The third day's play at Lord's dawned warm and clear as England and New Zealand prepared to battle for supremacy; there was nothing to block the sun apart from the occasional 'eclipse' caused by the NatWest hot-air television balloon floating about overhead. The weather was generally to remain fine, although more light clouds appeared as the day wore on.

Parore and Vettori took a while to settle down, although Parore gave rise to hopes of a significant and positive innings when he put Headley away for three twos in an over. But his innings never really developed, and when on 12 he played a poor back-foot stroke with an angled bat to drag the ball on to his stumps off the inside edge. The total was at this stage 275 for seven, with Vettori on 16.

Vettori was severe on Caddick's next over, with a couple of twos being followed by a cut for four. Like Tudor at Edgbaston, he took his job as night-watchman as an opportunity, and began to look more like the potential all-rounder he appeared on his maiden tour for his country, to Zimbabwe almost two years ago.

England at this time were without their captain, Hussain having been forced to go to hospital for an X-ray on the middle finger of his right hand, sustained while trying to field a fierce cut by Parore. The news was bad for England: he had fractured the top joint, putting him out of the match unless required to bat by necessity, and possibly out of all cricket for the next three weeks, including the Old Trafford Test. Thorpe took over the captaincy in his absence.

England felt certain they had dismissed Cairns without scoring, caught at the wicket off the inside edge as he swung at Mullally. Cairns and umpire Koertzen were unmoved, though, and the television replay gave no evidence of a deflection. Vettori continued to play some good strokes, especially off Caddick, driving him through the covers for another four, and then did the same to Headley when he replaced the former New Zealander, bringing up the 300 at the same time. Cairns struggled to get his innings under way, finally recording his first boundary with a rare leg-glance off Mullally.

Vettori played a mature innings with some classical strokes at times, while Cairns slowly gained in confidence, and with sensible batting they added 70 together for the eighth wicket. Caddick, after some inaccurate bowling which proved expensive at times, finally got his man, hitting Cairns on the pad with a ball that was going down the leg side, but rebounded via right boot on to the off stump. Cairns made 31 off 42 balls with five fours, and New Zealand were now 345 for eight, with Vettori on 49.

Vettori appeared rather nervous as he approached his third Test fifty, but eventually decided on the bold approach by stepping down the pitch and cracking him through extra cover to reach his fifty off 94 balls. New Zealand went to lunch on 350 for nine, a lead of 164 runs, with Vettori on 53 and Nash on 1.

Vettori added only a single to his valuable innings after lunch, departing when he slashed at Tufnell and the ball rebounded off the keeper's gloves for Thorpe at slip to run back and complete the catch. He had made 54, and the total at this stage was 351 for nine, with Nash on 1.

An inadvertent single off the edge to third man got Allott off the mark The England bowlers did not seem to be causing the last two New Zealand batsmen undue difficulties, but Nash and Allott were unable quite to double the England score. Nash, after batting with discretion, finally decided to slog Tufnell to the midwicket boundary, but the ball took the top edge of his bat and skyed to backward point, where Mullally took the catch. He had scored 6, while Allott was unbeaten with 1. 40 extras contributed to the New Zealand total of 358, a lead of 172 over England.

It was a major test of character for England to go in again facing such a deficit, especially with Hussain nursing a broken finger. If there are any heroes among the English batsmen, this was the ideal time for them to stand up and be counted. But it did not happen, just as long-suffering England supporters have come to expect.

Allott bowled the opening over of England's second innings mainly outside the off stump to Butcher. By the time the sixth ball came down, the left-handed opener was tired of watching the world go by, and reached across to drive him through the covers for a superb boundary. Stewart got off the mark to general applause with a push into the covers for a quick single off Cairns. Allott had a strong lbw appeal against Stewart rejected in his second over, with a ball that straightened but was probably too high.

Ones and twos came regularly and there was some fine New Zealand fielding, but the next boundary did not come until the sixth over, when Butcher cut Cairns to third man. Stewart played some strokes of real class, especially through the covers, and a cover drive off Allott brought him to 20, and 1000 runs in Tests against New Zealand, the fifth Englishman to reach that total after Gooch, Cowdrey, Gower and Hammond. Generally, though, progress was steady rather than spectacular, as could only be expected when facing such a large deficit.

Butcher was comparatively subdued, and Nash was anguished when he brought a ball back in his first over to have a close lbw appeal rejected by umpire Kitchen, and then saw his next ball snicked through the slips for four. He will receive little sympathy from many, though, who have been disgusted with his 'sledging' of the England players during the match. He twice came close to forcing Butcher to play on during his next over.

England's fifty came up with another cracking cover drive by Stewart off Vettori, taking the total to 53, Butcher on 20 and Stewart 32. But, after posting their fifty partnership the batsmen became subdued, no doubt with the tea interval in their minds, but such a change in policy proved fatal. In the last over before the break, Butcher's programming seemed to go awry, as he aimed a fierce sweep at the accurate Vettori, but only succeeded in getting a top edge. The ball skyed over the slips, from where Astle turned and ran to take a good catch over his shoulder.

The players went off to tea with England on 55 for one, with Ramprakash due to come in next in place of the injured Hussain. Stewart was still there on 32, and his was the key wicket for New Zealand to take, as England were still 117 runs behind.

Unfortunately for England, the final session was to prove little short of disastrous, largely through an apparent absence of any practical policy or direction in their batting. It took them more than ten minutes to score their first run after tea, while Ramprakash looked most uncomfortable before he finally dabbed Nash for two backward of point to open his score. Stewart suddenly looked as if he had amnesia and was unable to remember what a bat was used for. After 50 minutes, he had added just two runs to his score at tea. Finally, desperate for a third, he pushed a ball into the covers and called Ramprakash for a run that would have seen the latter run out by a yard had there been a direct hit. Finally something snapped, as it had with Butcher; he tried to sweep a straight ball from Vettori right across the line and missed completely, to have his off stump knocked back. He had made 35, the last three taking almost an hour, and England were now 71 for two, still 101 behind and in need of a near miracle to avoid defeat.

Thorpe sounded a note of defiance by pulling his second ball from Vettori to the midwicket boundary; less wisely, he tried to do the same with the third and missed. His fourth almost presented slip with a catch, and earned him two runs. It seemed as if he had decided to go down with all guns blazing - but without aiming them first. Sure enough, on reaching the other end, he played too early at a ball pitched right up by Cairns and was clean bowled. As an acting-captain's innings, it was a non-starter, to put it kindly, playing right into the hands of the many who claim England lack fighting spirit. England were 78 for three, with Thorpe out for 7 and Ramprakash hanging on unconvincingly for 12.

Habib once again had to come in to bat with England in trouble, and his first delivery virtually brought him to his knees, as he jabbed down on a yorker Cairns pitched on his toes. He quickly responded with a square-driven boundary. Ramprakash, turned around by a fine delivery from Cairns, benefited from an edged four through the slips. Habib was nearly bowled through the gate again as he fished at a ball from Nash without moving his feet, only for it to come back and miss his off stump by the narrowest of margins.

Ramprakash had not scored for some little while when Astle came on to bowl him a wide ball well outside off stump; slashing at it, he snicked a catch straight to the keeper. He made 24; England were 97 for four, still 75 behind, and this was another nail in their coffin. Headley came in as night-watchman, with Habib still there on 5.

Habib finally brought up the hundred for England with a well-struck drive to the extra-cover boundary off Nash. But runs were few and far between; it seemed England had no policy between self-defeating defence, such as practised by Stewart after tea and Ramprakash for most of his innings, and suicidal hitting as displayed by Thorpe.

Habib, on 11, had a fortunate escape as he played forward to Vettori and umpire Koertzen rejected an appeal for a catch at the wicket; the replay showed that he had in fact clearly hit the ball. This was the last real action of the day, as a helplessly defensive England finished the day on 107 for four off 54 overs, still 65 runs behind and with Hussain injured; Habib was on 11 and Headley 2. English batsmanship has given one of its most inept displays in this match. New Zealand bowled accurately at times, even challengingly, but the overwhelming memory is of England's hapless batting.

[Back to top]

Day4: New Zealand win at Lord's for the first time

It was another sunny morning at Lord's, but the likelihood was that England would capitulate to New Zealand probably before rather than after the halfway stage of the day, unless they could find some extra and unexpected spirit from somewhere. In fact they did survive for longer than expected, thanks to some fighting batting from their lower middle order batsmen Read and Caddick, but New Zealand were still able to progress to a well-deserved if rather colourless victory.

England began the day slowly, with the overnight batsmen Habib and Headley intent mainly on survival, and only seven runs came in the first half-hour. The first truly aggressive stroke of the day came when Habib suddenly seemed to come alive by stepping forward to drive Vettori for four through extra cover. Allott replaced Nash at the pavilion end and broke through with his final ball, as Headley snicked a low catch straight to Fleming at first slip. He had made 12, and England were 123 for five - effectively six, as it was announced that Hussain would not be able to bat. Habib at the other end was still there with 17, and England still needed 49 more to avoid an innings defeat.

Habib's third innings of the match, so to speak, came to an end when he dabbed a ball from Allott straight into the hands of Astle at second slip. He lasted 106 balls and scarcely looked convincing in his third and highest Test innings, even ignoring his undeserved escape from being given out caught at the wicket the previous evening. He had scored 19, and England were now 127 for six, and apparently sliding steadily towards an innings defeat.

Read and Caddick then dug in, and for quite a while the overall England scoring rate dipped below two runs an over. Once Caddick cut Allott for four, though, to take the partnership into double figures, they began to look more confident. In the next over he drove Vettori off the back foot to the cover boundary; a bottom edge along the ground between the keeper and first slip to the boundary was not of the same quality, but it all counted.

The crowd applauded enthusiastically as Caddick turned Vettori towards long leg for two to bring up England's 150. Then New Zealand took the second new ball as soon as it became available, with Nash and Cairns operating. Read greeted it with a fine back-foot drive to the extra-cover boundary, and then hooked the next ball for four to deep square leg, exciting a section of the crowd so much that they started singing. Further runs off the over, which cost 11 altogether, took the England scoring rate back almost to two runs an over and, at 161 for six, they needed only a further 11 to avoid the innings defeat.

Read drove Cairns straight for four, and every run was now cheered as it brought England closer to wiping out the deficit. Four more came as Caddick slashed Nash to the third-man boundary, narrowly beating two fielders, and the vital run came in the next over as Read drove Cairns wide of mid-on for a single. The pair had added 48 together by the time the teams trooped off for lunch; the total was now 175 for six off 85 overs, with both batsmen on 24.

After lunch the gallant pair extended their partnership to 78, with some more determined and aggressive batting, before New Zealand achieved a fortuitous breakthrough. Nash bowled a good ball that cut back in to Read, but it also kept inexcusably low, hitting him barely above boot level and leaving him with little chance; he was clearly but unluckily lbw for a very worthy 37. England were now 205 for seven, Caddick on 36, but with Hussain reported unfit to bat and only Mullally and Tufnell to come, further heroics were unlikely.

Mullally surprised everybody and excited his fan club in the crowd by getting off the mark with a poke through point for a single. He then showed that he can still score runs, if only on his day, by driving back down the pitch and almost decapitating the ducking Nash as the ball travelled to the pavilion rails. His next effort was a more typical fresh-air swipe outside off stump. At the other end he reached double figures by swinging Cairns to the long-leg boundary, but then immediately drove a catch to mid-off Twose. He was out for 10 off 13 balls; the total was 216 for eight, with Caddick on 37.

Tufnell enjoyed his usual enthusiastic reception from the crowd and even scored a few runs, although he had a couple of fortunate escapes. He edged a ball from Nash to second slip Astle which was caught very low down - so low, in fact, that the umpires were apparently unable to conclude whether it had carried, even with a television replay, and so ruled not out. Nash, fired up, gave Tufnell a hard time that over but failed to dismiss him - even with the last ball, which was again edged to Astle but dropped.

The end was not long in coming, though, as Caddick played a half-hearted stroke at Allott with a diagonal bat and was easily caught at first slip, a disappointingly 'soft' dismissal after a fine fighting innings of 45. England were all out for 229, with Hussain unable to bat, leaving New Zealand with just 58 runs for victory. Tufnell was left not out with 5.

New Zealand opened their second innings, with 58 needed for victory, with a rather uncharacteristic on-drive by Horne, played to a ball pitched outside off stump; a snick to third man for another three brought six off Mullally's opening over. Caddick bowled a fine opening over to put Bell under pressure, but Mullally was again a little erratic, conceding a four to Horne through midwicket. Otherwise New Zealand played safely through to the tea interval, when the score was 15 without loss after six overs, with Horne on 11 and Bell on 4.

Tufnell was brought on at the nursery end after the interval, extracting some spin, but it was clearly, like anything else England might try, a token gesture at this stage of the match. He forced the batsmen to play warily, while at the other end Horne turned Mullally neatly to the square-leg boundary. Caddick soon replaced Mullally at the pavilion end, and as runs came slowly he moved a ball back in to hit Horne on the pad and win an lbw decision from umpire Kitchen. Horne had made 26 out of 37 for one, with Bell still on 10.

Fleming took a long time to get off the mark, before driving Tufnell for two, and New Zealand seemed quite content to push their way to victory, with no extravagances from a far from extravagant team. Their fifty came up in the 22nd over as Bell paddled Tufnell to long leg for two, but then he showed more aggression by driving wide on mid-on for a slightly mistimed three.

Facing Caddick, Bell had a narrow escape from being run out as Headley reacted sharply at short leg, but by then only another four runs were required. Finally Bell tucked Caddick away to the midwicket boundary to give New Zealand a well-deserved victory by eight wickets. The final total was 60 for one, with Bell on 26 and Fleming 5.

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