New Zealand won the second test at Headingly by 199 runs and drew the two match test series 1-1. England, set a target of 455, resumed Day 5 at 44 for no loss but were soon reduced to 66 for 4 early into the first session with Gary Ballance, Ian Bell and Joe Root failing to cross the 10 run mark.
The breakthrough for New Zealand were brought by fast bowler Trent Bout and off spinner Mark Craig. Just as Ben Stokes and Captain Alastair Cook were about to get a partnership going, part time off spinner Ken Williamson struck and removed Ben Stokes for 29, courtesy a sharp catch by Luke Ronchi behind the wicket. The scoreboard read 102-5.
Once Cook was sent packing by Williamson for 171 ball 56, it was all but curtains for England.
Jos Butler tried resisting the Kiwi bowlers and was not out when Tea was taken, and the scoreboard read 206-8. Butler scored survived a review for caught down the leg side of Tim Southee and somehow managed to not lose his wicket to Matt Henry, who kept troubling him before Tea.
Once the play resumed after Tea, it was just a matter of time before New Zealand would wrap the match. Tim Southee took his first wicket of the innings when he removed Wood for 17. Butler was the last wicket to fall when he shouldered arms to a Mark Craig arm ball to be given out LBW for 73.
During the final day, Alastair Cook become the youngest batsman to cross the 9000 runs mark in cricket breaking Sachin Tendulkar’s record. BJ Watling was named the Man of the Match and Trent Boult and Alastair Cook were made the man of the series.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum praised his team and said that the Williamson gamble paid off and the team really wanted to win.
“It’s been an excellent five days to bounce back from Lord’s. We played here to force the pace and we did that, we played aggressive to win and the boys managed to do that. Right throughout the series our slips catching was excellent. Even when we behind the games we fielded very well. It’s not easy to bounce back having lost having played pretty well. They dominated for periods but we had to hang in and the ability to bowl last on what I thought was a very good cricket wicket was a great asset. The series was played in tremendous spirit. 1-1 is a great result it’s just a shame we haven’t got another one or two Tests! Kane has played a crucial role for us today, he was a bit of a gamble and it worked. BJ Watling was just outstanding and even though he had the injury we wanted to play him, he’s a guy you can build your team around.”
On the other hand, Alastair Cook was disappointed man and he felt that his team failed to grab on the moments which turned the match.
It was disappointing today, At half-way we were right in the game and we created opportunities, every time we had a chance they took the game away from us with positive batting. Adam Lyth has looked solid at the top of the order and Ben Stokes has taken great strides, played nicely at Lord’s and here today too. Mark Wood has also added fire to our attack. When you’re not on your A-game you get found out. the batters who have struggled have had a tough couple of games, that’s how Test cricket works. We’ve got five weeks away now to work on our games and come back in Cardiff ready to build good totals. It’s been a challenge against their bowling attack but I’m pleased to score some runs. You need to judge well outside off and I’ve managed to do that which is nice. Our batting has looked good. We could have batted out the day today but those four early wickets hurt us.”
Man of the Match BJ Watling said that he was glad that he was played just as a batsman in this test and reckons Ronchi’s catch of Williamson’s bowling was an important moment today.
“It’s been a good test for the boys and a great win. Martin and Ross put the pressure back on England, got us back on top and we kicked on from there. To get a century was very pleasing. I thought I was in a bit of trouble not being able to keep but I was glad to have the chance to just bat and field. Plus Luke Ronchi had a fine debut, the catch today off Kane was an important moment in the match.”
Alastair Cook was nominated as the player of the series from Mike Hesson, New Zealand’s coach and fast bowler Trent Boult was nominated as player of the series from the opposite side, that is, by Paul Fabrace. Boult said that the conditions were helpful and according to him the work he done at the IPL helped him.
“Very special victory here to turn it around from Lord’s. We took a lot of positives from there. The batters played tremendously well here and we got it in the right areas with the ball. The conditions helped too. I was confident the work I’d done in the IPL would help me here and it’s proved correct. I prefer bowling to left-handers and Tim lines up the right handers so it worked well.”
The teams will now play a 5 match ODI series starting June 9.