Anderson's domestic bliss

England reap the benefit of decision to let seamer play for Auckland

Last Updated: 14/03/08 5:30pm

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Star men: Tim Ambrose celebrates with James Anderson

Star men: Tim Ambrose celebrates with James Anderson

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England's five-wicket hero James Anderson revealed that his cameo for Auckland helped prepare the seamer for the second Test against New Zealand.

"It was nice to get some overs under my belt (for Auckland). If I hadn't got those overs under my belt who knows how it would have gone in this game?"
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Anderson was released from the England squad during the first Test humiliation to get some overs under his belt playing in a domestic game for Auckland.

The Lancashire ace picked up a couple of wickets in that match - earning him a surprise selection for the second Test in Wellington ahead of Matthew Hoggard.

And Anderson admits that England have reaped the benefits from the decision to let him play domestically Down Under - with his 5-73 helping to skittle New Zealand for 198 on the second day.

"It was nice to get some overs under my belt. If I hadn't got those overs under my belt who knows how it would have gone in this game?" said Anderson.

"It did quite a bit pretty much all day yesterday and our batters dug in well and did really well to get us to an above-average score.

"We learned from our innings you are going to beat the bat quite a bit and you can't lose patience, you have to toil away and get a few nicks."

England had moved on to 342 after Tim Ambrose had completed his maiden Test century - with the Warwickshire wicketkeeper having been stuck on 97 overnight.

Relief

And Ambrose admitted it was a relief to have moved on to three figures.

"I didn't sleep too badly. I thought about it more than I thought I would," admitted Ambrose.

"There was quite a bit of a relief in the end but it would have been nice to get a few more and bat to lunch.

"When we batted it was beating the edge quite a bit and it was important not to get frustrated with that happening."

New Zealand top-scorer Ross Taylor was left frustrated as his team-mates capitulated to let England off the hook.

Having mopped up the England tail in the morning, the hosts must have fancied their chances of posting a decent target.

However they slumped in the face of Anderson's onslaught and Taylor, who scored 53, said: "We started the day well, we got the early wickets we wanted to put the pressure back on England but we lost early wickets to put us on the back foot.

"We are still in the game and I'm sure early wickets will put pressure on England.

"I'm sure it (the wicket) will settle down. We are staying positive and if we can get four or five wickets early on I'm sure [chasing a target of] 350 is on.

"The attack still has not the experience of Steve Harmison or Matthew Hoggard but Broad and Anderson came in and bowled very well.

"Obviously the depth in English cricket is big."

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