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Cricket: New Zealand thump England to draw series

2015-06-02 19:35:17

New Zealand cricket team

Second Test, day five, Headingley

New Zealand 350 & 454-8 dec

England 350 & 255: Buttler 73; Williamson 3-15, Craig 3-73

New Zealand won by 199 runs


England slipped to a 199-run defeat on the final day of the second Test against New Zealand at Headingley to draw the series 1-1.

Needing 455 to win or, more realistically, to bat through the day for a draw, the home side were bowled out for 255 an hour after tea.

Alastair Cook made 56 and Jos Buttler 73, but England failed to recover from losing 4-15 in the first hour.

Off-spinners Mark Craig and Kane Williamson each claimed three wickets, with Trent Boult taking 2-61.

A level series is deserved for the Black Caps, who fought back from 2-2 on day one to win their first Test in England since 1999.

They stay third in the International Cricket Council Test rankings, two places above England.

For Cook's side, defeat comes a week after a thrilling 124-run success in the first Test at Lord's and means they have won two, lost two and drawn one of their last five matches.

While inconsistency can be expected from an XI where six have played 13 Tests or fewer, there are causes for concern ahead of the Ashes, which begin on 8 July.

One is the form of Ian Bell, who has managed only 55 runs in eight innings since making 143 in the first Test against West Indies.

His dismissal for one was part of an 11-over spell in which the England top order folded in the Headingley wind.

The hosts had added three runs to their overnight 44-0 when the impressive Boult had a flat-footed Adam Lyth poking behind, with Gary Ballance then bowled off his pads to complete a series return of 36 runs in four innings.

Craig struggled for a consistent length in conditions that offered him plenty of assistance, but saw Bell turn a short ball to leg slip.

Two balls later, Joe Root, who claimed on day four that England were still aiming for victory, forced another shorter delivery to short leg, where he was brilliantly caught by Tom Latham.

Cook watched from the other end, batting with the calmness of a man who averages 64 in 2015, cutting and nudging his way to a 42nd Test half-century and 9,000 runs in Test cricket.

He found support from Ben Stokes, but both fell to part-time spinner Williamson, who posed more of a threat than Craig.

Stokes edged a cut shot behind, Cook missed a full ball to be lbw and when Moeen Ali shouldered arms to be bowled by Matt Henry, only Buttler and the tail remained.

Taking several blows on a pitch showing increasing uneven bounce, Buttler mixed patience with power through the leg side - he pulled Craig for six - in compiling a 111-ball half-century.

Stuart Broad and Mark Wood each provided spells of resistance, only for Broad to play on off Williamson and Wood to find second slip when Tim Southee took the second new ball.

And when Buttler left Craig to be lbw, England's second successive defeat at Headingley was sealed with 19.1 overs remaining.


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