Broad - Pitch still suits

Tourists in control despite poor day in the field

Last Updated: 16/03/08 7:38am

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Broad: Responded

Broad: Responded

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With England needing four wickets on the final day to take the second Test and level the series against New Zealand, Stuart Broad reckons the Basin Reserve pitch will continue to suit the tourists' attack.

Having suffered a dismal 189-run loss in the opening Test at Hamilton on a slow pitch, the bouncier surface in Wellington has put England in command after New Zealand finished day four on 242 for six - the Black Caps chasing an unlikely victory target of 438.

England are therefore within sight of their first win in eight Tests in spite of a poor day in the field, with five catches being dropped and a stumping also missed.

Nevertheless, Broad said: "I think we've responded well so far. We're delighted to be in the position we're in needing four wickets to win a Test match on the last day.

"The wicket has probably suited us more here than at Hamilton, where it was very slow and low, and it's played a bit more into our hands. We've come out

fighting, bowled and batted nicely and we'd fielded well up until today."

Sloppy

England's sloppy fielding could potentially have handed the initiative to New Zealand on Sunday.

However, England regained momentum when, armed with the second new ball, Ryan Sidebottom had Jacob Oram caught in the gully one ball before bad light stopped play.

"I don't think the fielding was down to nerves," said Broad. "The guys were very focused on the game in hand - I think it was just down to human error.

"Our fielding in Hamilton was fantastic and we took a few blinders there but we've put a few down here and that's just the way cricket goes sometimes."

Broad also said that Lancashire seamer James Anderson would be ready to bowl with the new ball on the final day.

Anderson had to pass a fitness test on his left ankle after injuring it playing football on Saturday.

"He was trying to be a bit fancy on the football pitch and trod on the ball and twisted his ankle," Broad explained.

"I don't think he was every really a massive doubt. The medical team did a really good job on him overnight and I'm sure he'll be looking to take the new

ball tomorrow flying up that hill into the wind."

Frustration

Meanwhile, New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor admitted they were frustrated by the late dismissal of Oram.

But Taylor, who top-scored with 55, said they had no issue with the umpire's decision to delay the offer of bad light until after then.

"It was very disappointing to lose that wicket," he admitted. "It would have been good to go out tomorrow with only five down, but that's the umpire's call

and we were inside so I couldn't really tell how dark it really was.

"Tomorrow will be crucial with the new ball and if we can see through that without losing a wicket then our chances of winning improve immensely."

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