By Michael Stafford-Jones

  • England post 307 in first-innings after Jonny Bairstow’s brilliant century rescues them from 94-5
  • Tourists bowl New Zealand out for 278 and then score 352-9 to set hosts 382 to win
  • Tailenders Ish Sodhi and Neil Wagner bat for over 100 balls each to save the game
CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND – Ish Sodhi and Neil Wagner produce an outstanding rearguard to frustrate England as the tourists try everything to bowl New Zealand out and level the series.

 

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England

Alastair Cook – 2/10 – Needs time in the middle for Essex to play his way into form again after twice being dismissed cheaply by Trent Boult for the second match running. Showed he is still a safe pair of hands in the slips as he took his career tally to 159 matches.

Mark Stoneman – 7/10 – Produced an encouraging display without being totally convincing. He was dropped twice during his second-innings 60 and needed to turn his first-innings 35 into a significant contribution for his team. Poor catching at short leg on day five too.

James Vince – 8/10 – His 76 in the second innings was his best so far for England. He looked composed and in control at the crease, his shot selection was good and he paced his innings superbly.

Joe Root – 7/10 – Batted fluently in both innings without going onto a big score (again). Captained the side intelligently throughout and was unlucky not to get his first overseas win in charge of England.

Dawid Malan – 6/10 – Reacted horribly late to be dismissed lbw first ball in the first innings. Made up for his mistake second time around with an eye-catching fifty as England looked to increase their scoring rate.

Ben Stokes – 5/10 – Batted sensibly to help Jonny Bairstow begin the process of rebuilding England’s first innings then was out cheaply as he tried to add quick runs in the second innings.

Jonny Bairstow – 9/10 – His outstanding knock of 101 in the first innings rescued England from dire straits and gave them a platform to push for victory. Blazed a rapid 36 in the second innings.

Stuart Broad – 9/10 – Back to his best. Took 6-54 in the first innings during a brilliant display of fast bowling, then produced a magic delivery to remove Kane Williamson for a golden duck on day five.

Mark Wood – 6/10 – Made a superb maiden Test fifty during critical partnership with Bairstow. But did not trouble New Zealand as much as England were hoping with the ball and went wicketless in the first innings. Bowled better second time around when mixed his lengths up a bit more.

Jack Leach – 6/10 – A promising debut. Batted stoutly, gave England the control their spin bowling lacked in The Ashes and took two wickets as they tried to bowl out their hosts on day five.

James Anderson – 7/10 – Not quite at his best but still bowled well in both innings to take five wickets in total. Gave everything despite appearing tired at the end of a long winter away.

 

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New Zealand

Jeet Raval – 2/10 – Looked all at sea facing Anderson in the first innings as the seamer dismissed him for 5. Fought hard for 17 in the second innings before giving it away with a loose shot.

Tom Latham – 8/10 – Atoned for his first-innings duck by showing the rest of the top order how to bat with a patient, high-quality 83 from 202 balls as New Zealand sought to save the game.

Kane Williamson – 2/10 – A rare game to forget for one of the finest players on the planet. Only made 22 in the first innings then could do nothing as Broad produced a beauty to dismiss him first ball second time around. Needed to find a way to dismiss Wood in the first innings.

Ross Taylor – 1/10 – Two failures (2 and 13) from New Zealand’s most experienced player almost contributed to defeat. Brainless dismissal in the second innings.

Henry Nicholls – 1/10 – Did not kick on after his excellent hundred in the First Test as he got out for 0 and 13.

Colin de Grandhomme – 9/10 – Outstanding match for the all-rounder. Demonstrated superb application to score 72 and 45 when New Zealand were in trouble in both innings and took four wickets as England tried to accelerate in their second innings.

Tim Southee – 8/10 – Took 6-62 during a stunning first-innings bowling display but did not bowl as well in the second innings. Smashed 50 off 48 balls to get New Zealand closer to England’s total.

Ish Sodhi – 7/10 – Totally ineffective with the ball and only given 16 overs as a result. However, he became New Zealand’s hero with an extraordinary battling knock of 56 not out from 168 balls to save the game.

Neil Wagner – 6/10 – Failed to threaten England in the first innings but bowled better to take wickets second time around. Batted heroically for 103 balls to help his side earn a draw.

Trent Boult – 7/10 – His potent fast bowling was rewarded with four wickets in the first innings. However, England played him more effectively in the second innings and he finished with relatively poor figures (for him) of 2-89.

 

England’s First Test of the summer against Pakistan will begin at Lord’s at 11am on Thursday 24th May 2018.

 

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