NZ v Eng 3rd Test, day five commentary

Last updated: 26th March 2008  

ENGLAND WIN BY 121 RUNS AND WIN THE SERIES 2-1 Well that was fun. Astonishing innings from Southee - who ended up with nine sixes in a stunning onslaught - but England have deservedly taken out the series after being much the better team since Hamilton where they were, admittedly, rubbish. Thanks for joining us, and we'll be back in May when these two sides lock horns again on English soil.

Over 37 - Sidebottom 1-0-0-0-W 431 all out - WICKET! Sidebottom is back into the attack. Southee takes a single from the first ball of the over, and it proves fatal as Martin loses his off pole four balls later as Sidebottom finally gets one straight. Southee tried his best to play the Astle role. It's desperately harsh to criticise him after that innings, but hitting the ball as cleanly as he was he was foolish to take that single.

Over 36 - Broad 6-0-6-0wd-0-0-1b 430-9 - Southee heaves another maximum over the rope at midwicket. He swings and misses at the next one but then makes good contact again and clears the legside ropes again. Broad responds with a bouncer that Koertzen signals wide. Ambrose makes a mess of the final ball of the over, and that allows the batsmen to get through for a bye to keep the strike. Seventy runs since lunch, and another five overs like this will see England start to genuinely worry. Southee, meanwhile, now has more Test runs than Martin.

Over 35 - Panesar 0-6-4-2-4-1 416-9 - Southee goes to a debut 50 (29 balls 2x4s, 7x6s) of quite astonishing destructiveness. In the first innings, he looked barely a step up on Martin. In this innings he's smashing everything. It's the fastest ever half-century for New Zealand, and he adds to it by edging over third-man for four before skying a ball agonisingly out of Vaughan's reach for a couple. He smashes four more over cover, and surely it's time to get Broad back on bowling at his throat - he didn't like that in the first innings. Southee keeps the strike with a single from the final ball, and Panesar's figures are taking a fearful hammering.

Over 34 - Anderson 0-0-0-4-0-0 399-9 - There are seven slips for Martin, who manages to clip a ball off his funny pads to long-leg for four runs to bring up an unlikely 50 partnership. Martin plays and misses at the last two balls, but he's still there and now Southee has the chance for his 50. Vaughan can place his field with a single word: "Scatter."

Over 33 - Panesar 4-6-0-6-2-6 395-9 - Southee having a rare old time here, slapping Panesar over midwicket for a one-bounce four and then smashing him straight down the ground for six. Excellent crowd catch, by the way, from a chap in a pair of unfortunate shorts. Andrew Strauss is posted to deep midwicket, but he's a good 40 yards too close as Southee deposits another ball into the stands. A chip down the ground gets two and, as the field comes in to save one, Southee launches another maximum over square-leg. It's superb hitting, and he's closing in on a half-century now.

Over 32 - Anderson 0-6-4-0-1-0 371-9 - Southee's got an interesting wagon wheel: he's 18 not out from three scoring shots. Can't be many players who've done that, and he's hit all three of them pretty well. They've all gone between square-leg and midwicket so it's less a wagon wheel than a wagon wedge. Anderson decides to pitch the next one up, and Southee steps back and creams it through mid-off. Unfortunately, that's only a four which rather spoils the scoring pattern, not to mention the wedge. A full yorker from Anderson - which does rather look a better option - is dug out to square-leg for a single by Southee to leave Martin one ball to survive. He fences at it outside the off stump but misses.

Over 31 - Panesar 0-0-0-0-0-0 360-9 - Martin looks a touch happier against the spinner, and confidently plays out a maiden from Panesar.

LUNCH Despite the folly of taking lunch with the end of the series potentially one delivery away, let's take nothing away from England for winkling out four wickets on a surface offering nothing. Panesar was always likely to be the key man in this second innings, and he's done the job superbly well. Test-best figures, and a chance for a seven-fer after lunch when Martin will be on strike.

Over 30 - Anderson 0-0-0-1-0-0 360-9 - Anderson bowls a fine bouncer at Martin, which does seem rather mean. It crashes into the number 11's grille and really shakes him up. Bravely, he decides to continue despite looking a little dazed. He blocks the next two, and then pushes to cover for a single. That might be his first Test run in front of square, and Southee deposits the final ball of the session into the stands for six. Ludicrously, we now all have to sit around for 40 minutes while the players take lunch. Play should surely be extended in this situation. The final wicket is now bound to fall from the very first ball after lunch to make the whole thing even sillier. Tea can be delayed, the close can wait, but lunch remains an immovable feast. Bonkers

Over 29 - Panesar 0-0-6-0-0-0 353-9 - Southee, as so many have before him, decides that with only Chris Martin for company he'd better do something quick. His option is to aim a huge slog-sweep at Panesar that sails high into the stands. Shot. Anderson, though, now has the chance to end things with a full over to Martin. The wicket is probably odds-on.

Over 28 - Anderson 0-0-0-0-4-W 347-9 - WICKET! That's a tad controversial. Vettori hops around the crease a bit, and Rudi Koertzen calls dead ball for some reason. "That's his trigger," chirps Anderson, annoyed at the loss of a dot ball. He cheers up, though, as the extra delivery - a short bouncer - is feathered through to Ambrose.

Over 27 - Panesar 0-0-0-0-0-0 343-8 - Southee manages to survive the over from Panesar, looking to lunge forward as far as possible. He's got plenty of company around the bat, and they all seem to have plenty to say about Southee's demotion in the batting order.

Over 26 - Anderson 0-2-4-0-4-4 343-8 - This pitch really is a graveyard for seamers now. Vettori helps himself to an easy two through the legside before guiding the ball behind the man at point for four. Anderson decides to bowl short to Vettori, and is put away through midwicket for a well-timed boundary. Vettori top-edges a hook down to fine-leg to end the over, and Panesar is quite happy to let that go for four rather than allow the single. Poor old Jimmy, but in fairness it's pretty smart cricket from Monty. Three runs are meaningless (to everyone except Anderson), but the chance to bowl a full over at Southee could be rather more significant.

Over 25 - Panesar 1-0-0-W-0-0 329-8 WICKET! Six for Monty, and Broad shows again what a fine all-round cricketer he promises to be. Patel sweeps hard into the legside - right out of the middle - but Broad dives to his left at backward square-leg and holds on to a fine low catch. Runs, wickets and catches in this match for the 21-year-old. Notts might not get to pick their opening bowlers too often this summer. Credit to Collingwood as well - he'd just brought Broad in off the rope. Tim Southee is the new batsman.

Over 24 - Anderson 0-0-2-0-0-0 328-7 - Phil Mustard is on as sub fielder for Vaughan. Collingwood in temporary charge. Patel pushes a drive through the covers for two, but it's a decent over from Anderson. Patel forced to play every ball, which is about all you can ask from the seamers on this tired surface.

Over 23 - Panesar 0-0-1-1-0-2 326-7 - Vettori survives a concerted leg-before shout after padding up to a ball that spins back sharply from outside off stump. Very close, but Hawk-eye reckons it's just not quite doing enough. A couple of singles are followed by a firm sweep to deep square-leg for two.

Over 22 - Anderson 1-0-1-1-0-0 322-7 - Jimmy Anderson, a real fan of this McLean Park pitch, is back for a burst. A mistimed pull from Vettori gets a single, and a couple of pushes into the covers get runs as well. Three runs off the over which, in the context of this game, makes it something of a success for Jimmy.

Over 21 - Panesar 0-1-0-0-4b-0 319-7 - Panesar gets one to spin sharply from the surface, and it's past Ambrose before he moves. It beats Collingwood's left hand at slip and runs away for four byes.

Over 20 - Sidebottom 0-4-0-0-4-0 314-7 - Nothing wrong with this shot from Patel, driving Sidebottom classically down the ground for a boundary. To show it's no fluke, he repeats the shot as Sidebottom comes round the wicket. Meanwhile, replays of the final ball of Panesar's previous over suggest there was a split-second where Vettori had his foot up. On replays it looks bad, but expectinga keeper to remove the bails at the precise moment the foot comes up in real time is perhaps harsh.

Over 19 - Panesar 1-0-0-0-1-0 306-7 - Two singles from the over, but some excitement from the final ball as Vettori misses a cut shot and then almost overbalances. Just for a second, Ambrose thought he might have a stumping chance.

Over 18 - Sidebottom 0-1-0-0-1-0 304-7 - It's been another worthy effort from Broad this morning, but he's out of the attack now as Sidebottom returns. Patel works the ball neatly off his hip for a single. Vettori takes a quick single from the fifth ball of the over, leaving Patel one ball to survive which he does comfortably enough.

Over 17 - Panesar 0-4-0-0-0-0 302-7 - Vettori smashes a sweep shot through midwicket for four, and then almost gets in a tangle as Panesar gets one to spin and bounce sharply back at the left-hander.

Over 16 - Broad 0-0-4-0-0-3 298-7 - Vettori seems to have seen enough, and decides to have a bit of a dash. He crashes Broad through point for four and then misses completely as he tries to repeat the dose. The last ball of the over is worked through midwicket for three. Panesar might have been better off just escorting that to the fence, but he slides in and makes the save so Vettori will keep the strike.

Over 15 - Panesar 0-0-0-0-0-4 291-7 - Patel survives a huge lbw shout as the slider that did for Jamie How yesterday beats the inside edge and hits the batsman on the knee. Decent shout - Hawk-eye reckons it's hitting the top of leg. But Daryl Harper isn't interested this time. Certainly wasn't as plumb as How was. Patel ends an entertaining first hour this morning by guiding Panesar neatly wide of gully to the fence. Drinks all round.

Over 14 - Broad 0-0-0-0-4-0 287-7 - Broad goes round the wicket to the left-handed Vettori, who works neatly off his hip through square-leg for four. He's a heck of a number-eight batsman.

Over 13 - Panesar 0-0-0-0-1b-0 283-7 - Just a bye from the over as Panesar clicks up his 15th maiden in his 35th over. Slightly sloppy from Ambrose, failing to take the ball cleanly despite Vettori leaving the delivery alone.

Over 12 - Broad 0-1-0-0-0-0 282-7 - Vettori happy to take a single from the second ball of the over, and Patel justifies the faith by comfortably seeing out the over. Broad likes the bouncer to the tailenders, but Patel plays them well enough here.

Over 11 - Panesar 4-0-W-0-0-0 281-7 WICKET! England on the brink now, and Monty's doing the business quite wonderfully. As in his previous over, he starts with a gift to the batsman, a short ball which McCullum crashes through point. But again, Panesar's response is superb, sneaking a quicker slider through McCullum's attempt to force the ball through the legside and hitting the top of middle. McCullum deceived, and the door is open now for England. Unsurprisingly, Jeetan Patel leapfrogs Tim Southee in the batting order and plays out the over. Panesar now has five, and an excellent chance to add to his tally.

Over 10 - Broad 0-1-0-0-0-0 277-6 - McCullum helps a short ball carefully round the corner to long-leg. New batsman Daniel Vettori is keen to let the ball go early in his innings, and England have the chance to regain control here.

Over 9 - Panesar 0-4-0-0-0-W 276-6 - WICKET! Taylor cracks a rank long-hop through point for four, but Monty responds superbly. After a couple of quicker balls he tosses one up on that awkward length that just has the batsman lunging slightly too far, and Taylor can only edge the ball to Paul Collingwood at slip. England needed that breakthrough, and it's little surprise that it's Panesar who got it. Four wickets now for Monty, and only that cut on the end of his spinning finger looks likely to prevent him bowling his side to victory.

Over 8 - Broad 0-0-2-1-0-2 272-5 - Taylor gets in a tangle against another well-directed short ball from Broad. It loops to exactly the place where short-leg would be standing, but Taylor has already cleared away any close fielders with his assault this morning. With Broad bowling this length, England have definitely missed a trick there. As the horse gallops away into the distance, Vaughan closes the stable door by putting Ian Bell back under the helmet. McCullum swats an unconvincing pull shot to deep midwicket for a couple of runs, and neither batsman looks entirely comfortable against Broad's extra bounce.

Over 7 - Panesar 1-0-1-4-0-0 267-5 - With Sidebottom taking some fearful tap, Vaughan is forced to turn to Panesar with just the ninth over of the second new ball. A definite tick for New Zealand to get Sidebottom out of the attack so early. And the change doesn't work for England either, as McCullum follows a couple of singles with a high-class flick off his toes through mdiwicket.

Over 6 - Broad 0-0-0-0-0-0 261-5 - A very welcome maiden from Broad. Taylor still looks to get a couple of drives away down the ground but can't succeed.

Over 5 - Sidebottom 0-4-4-0-4-1 261-5 - Taylor flays another boundary through the offside, but again it's not perfectly controlled and was in the air for a long time. The 250 is up for New Zealand, and the latest 50 has come at better than a run a ball. A much better drive from Taylor whistles through cover. This one's all along the ground and exactly where Taylor intended, but it wasn't a bad ball at all. Good length, but Taylor happy to play through the line on the up. Sidebottom switches to round the wicket, and Taylor immediately uses the angle to flick the ball away to the fine-leg boundary. New Zealand are not going for the draw, that's for sure. Vaughan will have to turn to Monty soon here.

Over 4 - Broad 0-0-0-0-0-1 248-5 - Broad starting to get some useful away movement through the air here, but his line is just a fraction too wide of the off stump and Taylor is able to watch most deliveries pass harmlessly through to Tim Ambrose. The last ball of the over is on a better line, and Taylor's expansive drive squirts into the legside off a thick inside edge for a single.

Over 3 - Sidebottom 2-0-0-4-0-1lb 247-5 - New Zealand are rattling along this morning, and Taylor goes to a fine half-century (85 balls, 10x4s) with another neat clip off his legs. Taylor keeps the strike with a leg-bye from the final ball of the over. Sidebottom just a bit too legside in that over.

Over 2 - Broad 0-0-4-2-0-0 240-5 - Anderson not trusted with the newish ball against these two aggressive batsmen. Instead it's Stuart Broad, who - according to Paul Allott "literally bowled himself into the ground" yesterday. Happily, he seems to have recovered from that painful-sounding incident. Less happily for him, Brendon McCullum forces through point off the back foot for the fourth boundary of an entertaining morning session. An unconvincing prod into the offside gets two more, and it's certainly an attacking approach from the Kiwis this morning.

Over 1 - Sidebottom 0-4-0-4-0-4 234-5 - Ross Taylor was impressive last night, and gets under way this morning with a neat clip off his pads behind square-leg for four. Sidebottom comes back well, beating Taylor outside off stump and then finding a genuine outside edge that flies along the ground and wide of ths slip fielders. Taylor makes it three fours in the over with an uppish drive through square-cover. New Zealand don't look of a mind to block here, and England won't mind that; two of Taylor's boundaries in that over contained more than an element of risk.

PITCH REPORT Very little has changed. There won't be much there for the quicks, but Monty showed yesterday that the dry surface will offer some help for the spinner.

WELCOME It's the final day of the series, and England are overwhelming favourites to complete a come-from-behind series victory. The pitch is still flat and good for batting, but the tourists need just five wickets to seal the triumph. It won't be easy, but they do have a ball just two overs old at the start of the day. After a burst from the quicks, it should be over to Monty. Panesar bowled beautifully yesterday, taking out the top three New Zealand batsman in a long, controlled spell. He's the key today. England will reckon that two wickets will expose the tail and get the job done.

Sky Bet Odds:

Click Here for Your Free Bet