Friday March 8, 2013
Kiwis on top after England batsmen flop
DUNEDIN (New Zealand): England’s powerful batting line-up was skittled for just 167 by New Zealand yesterday as the unfancied Black Caps took a firm grip on the opening Test in Dunedin.
New Zealand were 131 without loss in reply to England’s first innings total at stumps on the second day of the opening Test at University Oval. Debutant Hamish Rutherford was at unbeaten 77, with Peter Fulton on 46 not out.
England’s batsmen self-destructed in two nightmare sessions on a tame pitch, offering a succession of rash shots in the face of disciplined bowling from debutant Bruce Martin and Neil Wagner, who each bagged four wickets.
After the first day’s play was abandoned due to bad weather, England lasted just 55 overs against the eighth-ranked team in Test cricket, Jonathan Trott top-scoring with 45 on a day when the tourists’ big names failed to fire.
Trott said England had only themselves to blame for the dismal performance.
“There’s no place for feeling sorry for ourselves or thinking we didn’t get the rub of the green because you earn that in cricket, you earn the right to put the opposition under pressure and we didn’t do that today,” he said. “The shots were on, we just didn’t execute them right.”
Tim Southee grabbed an early breakthrough for New Zealand to dismiss Nick Compton for a duck in the third over, putting pressure on the opener, who faces calls for Joe Root to take his spot at the top of the order.
Left-arm paceman Wagner, a late inclusion in the New Zealand side after an injury to Doug Bracewell, then claimed the wickets of Alastair Cook (10) and Pietersen (0) in successive balls to leave England reeling at 18 for three. — AFP