Friday March 15, 2013
Compton and Trott lead English charge
WELLINGTON: England seized control of the second Test against New Zealand yesterday as centuries by Nick Compton and Jonathan Trott put the tourists on course for a mammoth first innings total.
The pair racked up a 210-run partnership as England reached 267 for two at stumps at Wellington’s Basin Reserve, with Trott unbeaten on 121 and Kevin Pietersen 18 not out after Compton notched back-to-back Test centuries.
England punished New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum for sending them in to bat after winning the toss on a wicket that defied expectations and proved flat and true as cloud cover gave way to blue sky.
It provided perfect conditions for the tourists, who contented themselves with steady progress, determined not to repeat the mistakes of the drawn first Test, when they were bowled out for 167 in the first innings. Alastair Cook’s dismissal in the first hour was the only blemish, with the England captain misjudging an inswinging delivery from Neil Wagner and scooping the ball to Peter Fulton at mid-on to depart for 17.
But his dismissal merely cleared the way for Compton and Trott to take charge, batting together for 63 overs to demoralise New Zealand’s bowlers, who toiled relentlessly for scant reward on the docile pitch.
There were flashes of aggression when Compton and Trott resumed after lunch with England at 75-1. They clubbed 40 in a six-over spell before spinner Martin was brought on to stem the flow of runs.
Pietersen curbed his big-hitting instincts when he replaced Compton, making his way to 18 off 48 balls after disappointing returns of 0 in the first Test. England, ranked second in Test cricket, are favourites in the three-Test series.
New Zealand, ranked eighth, have not won a series against England since 1999, with their sole series victory on home soil in 1984. — AFP