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banner Friday, 15 March, 2002, 04:33 GMT
Thorpe and Flintoff bludgeon Kiwis
Graham Thorpe hits a four off Daniel Vettori
Thorpe's footwork and shot selection were excellent
First Test, Christchurch, day three: England 228 all out & 468-6 declared; New Zealand 147 all out & 28-0 (10 overs, at close)

Click here for scorecard

Graham Thorpe and Andrew Flintoff enjoyed a day to remember as England produced a devastating batting display.

But skipper Nasser Hussain's hopes of making inroads into New Zealand's top order were frustrated when the umpires called an early halt to play as the shadow of the main stand covered the square.

Thorpe made an unbeaten 200 containing four sixes and 28 fours, after being dropped in the slips from the second ball he faced.

And Flintoff scored his maiden Test century as England declared with a massive lead of 549.

They shared a stand of 281, a sixth wicket record for England against any side, bettering the 240 of Peter Parfitt and Barry Knight in Auckland in 1963.

England have two days left to bowl New Zealand out as they seek to win the opening Test of an overseas series for the first time in a decade - although the weekend weather forecast is unsettled.

Hussain exits

Andrew Flintoff
Flintoff was at his aggressive best

England began the day on 63 for two, a lead of 144, but lost three wickets during the morning session.

Hussain failed to reap the benefit of an early let-off, the first of two chances which Nathan Astle failed to hang onto, as he was caught behind off Chris Drum for 11.

Mark Butcher followed for 34 when he trod on his stumps as he went back to a short delivery from Ian Butler, and Mark Ramprakash (11) played on to Drum, leaving England on 106 for five.

Thorpe hit his first ball through the covers for four, but the second was edged to second slip, where Astle put down a far easier catch than the one offered by Hussain.

Butler conceded 17 in one over as the scoring rate increased and Flintoff cruised past his previous best Test score of 42, made against South Africa at Port Elizabeth in 1999.

Milestones

England were 212 for five at lunch and New Zealand's troubles continued after the re-start as the England pair tore into the attack.

  Thorpe's Test 100s
200no v New Zealand
Christchurch 2002
138 v Australia
Edgbaston 1997
138 v Pakistan
Old Trafford 2001
123 v Australia
Perth 1995
119 v New Zealand
Auckland 1997
118 v Pakistan
Lahore 2000
114no v Australia
Trent Bridge 1993
113no v Sri Lanka
Colombo 2001
108 v New Zealand
Wellington 1997
103 v West Indies
Bridgetown 1998

Eleven boundaries came in the first half-hour and Thorpe reached his century off 121 deliveries before bringing up the 200 partnership with a six off Vettori.

The spotlight then turned to Flintoff, whose 100 arrived courtesy of a top edged hook off McMillan which flew to the fence.

It was a magnificent innings full of strokes of immense power but he eventually went for one big shot too many and was caught at deep mid-wicket off Astle after making 137 off 163 balls, including three sixes and 23 boundaries.

There was no respite for the Kiwis, however, with James Foster joining in to see Thorpe to his double century off 231 balls, the third fastest in Test history, before Hussain made the declaration.

No side has scored more than 406 in the fourth innings to win a Test match but the Kiwis did well to survive the opening burst from Matthew Hoggard and Andrew Caddick with Mark Richardson making 20 not out.

The sun was shining brightly overhead, but the encroaching shadow meant the umpires offered the light to the batsman and play was abandoned 11 overs early.

It brought an end to a remarkable day's cricket.


New Zealand: S Fleming (Capt), M Richardson, M Horne, L Vincent, N Astle, C Cairns, C McMillan, A Parore, D Vettori, C Drum, I Butler.

England: N Hussain (capt), M Trescothick, M Vaughan, M Butcher, G Thorpe, M Ramprakash, A Flintoff, A Giles, J Foster, A Caddick, M Hoggard.

Umpires: A de Silva (SrL), B Bowden (NZ).

Test Match Special has live coverage of the first Test between New Zealand and England from 21.30 GMT Tuesday on BBC Radio 4, 198 LW and Five Live Sports Extra.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew
"England were faltering"
England's Graham Thorpe
"I got a lucky break"
England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff
"I'm not going to get carried away"
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