New Zealand vs England
Two little words. Two utterly inadequate little words to describe an astonishing Test match. There was drama throughout but never more than on a final day where every session followed a pattern of England blunting the New Zealand attack only for the Kiwis to hammer through a seemingly locked door and get in position to win once again. Bell, Prior and Broad will go down in England lore for their efforts today. Astonishing rescue act, while Boult, Southee, Fulton, Williamson, McCullum and Wagner all deserve huge, huge praise for their own epic contributions to this stunner of a Test match. Prior and Southee embraced at the end, in scenes reminiscent of Andrew Flintoff and Brett Lee at Edgbaston in 2005. What an end to the series, and suddenly the two-match return series in May doesn't look like the mere Ashes appetiser it once appeared.
Over 143 - England 315/9 (Prior 110, Panesar 2)
Prior blocks the final ball of the match and raises his hands in celebration. That it's come down to celebrating a 0-0 draw against New Zealand tells you just how well the hosts have played in this series, but England have somehow held on through a final day of quite astonishing tension and drama. Matthew Prior, take a bow.
Over 142.5 - Dot ball
Rock-solid back-foot defence from Prior. One ball to go. It's not been a great final over from Boult, for all his excellence today. Just hasn't got it right. He's got one last chance...
Over 142.4 - Dot ball
Prior clips the ball to deep square-leg. They're not running, and it won't go for four so short-leg has to go and fetch it.
Over 142.3 - One run
Huge! Full and straight this time, but Panesar blocks it to the vacant mid-off area and takes care not to time it as well as he usually would. Just a single. Over to Prior. No singles now.
Over 142.2 - Dot ball
Too wide from Boult. Panesar plays deliberately inside the line.
Over 142.1 - Dot ball
Panesar plays and misses. Hands on head from Boult. Prior walks down the pitch and gives Monty a glove punch.
Long discussions from bowler, captain and pretty much everyone else in a New Zealand shirt. The balance between getting the catchers in without allowing Panesar to scramble a single anywhere.
Over 142 - England 314/9 (Prior 110, Panesar 1)
Prior cuts but can't get it past point. One over to go, Panesar on strike.
Over 141.5 - Dot ball
Field spread now. Prior shovels the ball into the legside, but there's no single there.
Over 141.4 - Dot ball
Prior defends off the back foot.
Over 141.3 - Dot ball
Good ball from Williamson. Prior defends carefully from the crease.
Over 141.2 - Dot ball
Four balls left in the over after Prior defends.
Over 141.1 - One run
Chaos! Panesar dabs the ball to the offside. Prior calls him through for a single. It's tight, and Monty mistimes his dive but just gets home. Prior back on strike.
Over 141 - England 313/9 (Prior 110, Panesar 0)
Prior looks for a single from the fourth ball of the over, but gets an inside edge down to fine-leg for four. Prior lets ball five go through to the keeper. McCullum goes in to short-leg to try and prevent the single. Prior dabs the last ball of the over past point, but it runs away for four to roars of delight from the home fans. Funny game.
Over 140 - England 304/9 (Prior 102, Panesar 0)
Panesar somehow sees out the final ball of the over. Prior needs to face the remaining 18 balls of the match, I think.
WICKET! Anderson c Taylor b Williamson 0
He's done it again! Anderson goes second ball, carbon copy of Broad's dismissal and there's only Monty Panesar to save England now.
WICKET! Broad c Taylor b Williamson 6
Another twist right at the last! Williamson into the attack and after offering a pie that Broad smacks for four he then finds the outside edge of a defensive bat and Taylor does the rest at slip. Twenty-one balls to go.
Over 139 - England 300/7 (Prior 102, Broad 2)
No way through for Boult. Prior solid. Just four overs to go now. New Zealand need a wicket every eight balls.
Over 138 - England 300/7 (Prior 102, Broad 2)
Bravery here from Watling. The ball's reversing nicely for Southee, so Prior's been batting way outside his crease. Watling comes up to the stumps to force Prior back. Takes the ball cleanly as well as Prior leaves the ball alone. Close! Prior goes after the short ball again and cloths it JUST over the man at midwicket. Not sure how well the fielder picked that ball up, but crucially Prior is able to walk a single and keep the strike. Southee one of several Kiwis literally on their knees after that. Five overs remaining. The 300 up for England.
- 21st - 25th Mar 2013
- England won the toss and elected to bowl.
- Eden Park, Auckland
- P R Reiffel and R J Tucker
england BATTING CARD
|Cook||c Brownlie b Williamson||43|
|Compton||c Watling b Southee||2|
|Trott||c Watling b N Wagner||37|
|Bell||c Southee b N Wagner||75|
|Finn||c Southee b Williamson||0|
|Root||lbw b Boult||29|
|Total||143.0 Overs||315 - 9|