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Last Updated: Friday, 14 March 2008, 05:17 GMT
NZ v England day two as it happened
SECOND TEST, Wellington, day two (close):
England 342 all out & 4-0 v New Zealand 198 all out

James Anderson claimed 5-73 with fine swing bowling as England took charge of the second Test against New Zealand.

Tim Ambrose made a maiden Test ton and Paul Collingwood 65 before the tourists were out for 342 on the second morning.

Anderson struck three times early on and returned to remove Ross Taylor (53) and Stephen Fleming (34), who added 71.

Daniel Vettori clubbed an unbeaten 50 but Collingwood (3-23) finished the Kiwis off for 198 and England were 148 ahead when they reached stumps on 4-0.


By Paul Fletcher

Get involved. E-mail (with 'For Paul Fletcher' in the subject), text 81111 (with "CRICKET" as the first word) or use 606 between 0900-2300 GMT. (Not all contributions can be used).

0515: Really enjoyed the cricket today and all your great, great chat. Lets do it all again tomorrow.

(See 0451) "I think its still pretty easy to get into Australia - I think you just still need some kind of conviction."
Jon, Melbourne, via email

0505: What a cracking day of Test cricket. It is not often you see 15 wickets on the second day of a Test. A superb return for James Anderson - and his team lead by 148 with 10 second innings wickets intact.

Vic Marks
"It has been an extremely satisfactory day for England. The man of the day is James Anderson. He made inroads into the New Zealand innings and they never really recovered."
TMS summariser Vic Marks

0500: Last over of the day and Cook is more than content to leave well alone. The gardening starts, just to ensure the clock ticks down. It does the job and after negotiating a potentially tricky 20 minutes the openers wander off.

0457: 4-0 Mills does Vaughan with a delivery of good length outside the off stump. Vaughan shoulders arms to several other boundaries as the clock ticks down.

"You're not the Paul Fletcher who lived on Green Oak Drive in Wales, near Sheffield are you? Probably not as it's a common name. Err not implying you're common but if it is you then you probably are 'cos that's where I'm from and I'm common as muck."
Shaun, from Adelaide (via Sheffield)

Nope, fraid not. I did not play for Burnley, oversee the building of football stadiums, excel in karting, takes photos for a living or, indeed, live in Sheffield.

0454: 4-0 Once against the Kiwis fail to pressurise England enough, with Cook leaving several deliveries wide of his off stump. That said, Martin changes angle and slants one across Cook that the opener misses with something of a waft.

0451: To all of you lot emailing from Australia. Is it easy to get in over there - residency and what not - or do you have to be some kind of analyst or something?

0449: 4-0 Vaughan plays and misses at the first ball he faces. Mills is then guilty of a no ball. Vaughan is able to shoulder arms several times. A waste from the Black Caps point of view.

(See 0431) "How about 'And God brought upon the New Zealanders a plague of wickets'."
Rob via email

"For our Church Minister friends, how about a sermon on the lines of the crucifixion of English cricket in Hamilton and a few days later the resurrection in Wellington."
John, Sydney Australia

"I was wondering the other day if Jesus and his 12 disciples would have been a handy cricket outfit, I only got as far as Peter the Rock and thinking Jesus would probably walk if he nicked it."
Alex via email

"For the cricket-mad vicar in Toronto, tell him that Lords moves in mysterious ways."
Richard, Vancouver Island, via email

0445: 3-0 Martin bowls the first over and a no ball sees England off the mark. Martin beats Cook outside his off stump with a cracker. Cook scores a couple off the bat and England's lead moves to 147.

"Do those of us in Australia who have spent many company hours following this not get a mention?!?

"Are we not on a par with the others because our residence is not so exotic sounding?"
Tom, Sydney, via email

Easy tiger. Feeling a little unloved? And to think, you have the sun, the sea, the surf, the quality of life and the lack of a mention on here has you fuming.

0440: England will be facing a tricky 20 minutes before the close of play. Mind you, they do have a more than handy lead of 144.

"In Collingwood's last 10 matches, he has taken his wickets at 22.8 runs each. Compare that with Harmison (37.8), Hoggard (37.3), Panesar (34.1) and Sidebottom (32.0)."
Jonathan, Edinburgh, via email

Stattage, my friend, stattage. I think I have just made a word up as an ominous red line is running under stattage on my computer.

Wicket falls
0431: WICKET - Martin b Collingwood 1 (NZ 198 all out)
A bowl of full length from Colly is too much for Martin. Colly ends with Test best figures of 7.5/1/23/3. In truth, though, Anderson was the pick of the bowlers with his five wicket haul. Top stuff and England bang on top. I make that 15 wickets in the day so far.

"With all this focus on students writing their essays - don't forget us church ministers with loads of sermons to write for Easter, and the huge distraction of following the cricket. I'm sure someone can help me with cricket analogies with which I can confuse the good people of Toronto!"
Pete, Tornoto, via email

That's 50
0429: 198-9 Crazy scenes. Vettori half plays, half guides one outside his off-stump, a sort of paddled top edge that goes for six and takes him to a brisk half century from 42 balls.

Good morning to all you lot in Chile, Jordan, New Mexico, Abu Dhabi, Sri Lanka etc who all appear to have checked in recently. Been a good day for England.

"My wife is returning from her school trip to China today after four days. It's been great sharing the last couple with you all. I think it might be ending. Thanks anyway!
Richard, Banpong, Thailand, via email

Come on Richard, sweet talk her and join us again tomorrow as England tighten their grip.

0424: 188-9 Vettori drives into open field from the third delivery of Colly's over and declines the single. Next ball he does take the single. Colly throws one wastefully down the leg side, then a play and a miss ends the over.

0420: 187-9 The sun is out, doubtless matching the disposition of the England squad. That said, Vettori swats Broad to the fence with a decent pull stroke. The skipper hits a single - leaving Martin with a couple to survive. Martin shoulders arms to the first and nurdles the second into space but the run is declined. Harsh, his skipper at the other end denying him a run like that.

0416: 182-9 Chris Martin scores a run, which apparently doesn't happen all that often. It comes from an edge. Colly beats him all ends up with the last delivery of the over.

"Do Auckland want Harmison and Strauss for a few days?Saludos."
Alan, Mexico, via email

Out for a duck
0411: WICKET - Gillespie b Collingwood 0 (NZ 180-9)
A fullish delivery that Gillespie, to keep it simple, misses as he tries to drive the ball.

0408: 180-8 Some hugely ambitious strokes from Vettori off Broad. Playing inside the line to a ball outside his off stump (he misses) and then clipping him to the rope thanks to yet another awful Monty mis-field.

0405: 176-8 You'd have to say that so far all the much discussed bowling changes are thoroughly vindicated by the scoreboard. Colly ends his over and the Barmy Army are in fine, or at least loud, voice.

Wicket falls
0403: WICKET - Mills c Bell b Collingwood 1 (NZ 176-8)
A very ambitious, expansive stroke results in a simple catch for Bell in the cover region. Skipper Vettori is not thrilled at the non-striker's end.

"On teaching non-cricketing nations the art of the great game, my wife, from Kazakhstan, still refers to the umpires as doctors, probably due to the white coats."
Andrew, Kazakhstan, via email

"You have a very difficult assignment there. I can only sympathise. I have troubles - and my wife is from Yorkshire.

0359: 176-7 Vettori pulls Broad. The ball spends a considerable amount of time off terra firma but the Colonel, on as substitute fielder, just does not pick it up. The Black Caps are picking up runs where they can.

"What with Jimbo picking up five and you having the same name as a 70s Turf Moor legend, it's been a good night for Burnley.

"Which, if you're a life-long Clarets fan with a research paper on Wittgenstein still to finish, is just the kind of stuff to cheer you up. Keep up the good work".
Mark, Chicago, via email

That is my only connection with Turf Moor. I'm not really a Burnley man, if you catch my drift. Though I do enjoy a Holland's pie. Meat n Potato especially.

0354: 172-7 Vetorri pulls Anderson for a boundary. The pace of this game has stepped up but the bottom line is that England are well on top.

Jonathan Agnew
"Broad is only 21 and really has a huge amount of promise. He has just taken a big wicket."
TMS commentator Jonathan Agnew

Wicket falls
0348: WICKET - McCullum c Strauss b Broad 25 (NZ 165-7)
Broad takes his second Test wicket and it is bye bye to the dangerous McCullum, who was really starting to motor. A lot of credit goes to Strauss, who took an excellent slip catch low at first slip.

0344: You can't take your eyes off this - well I'm not allowed to anyway! McCullum charges down the track to Broad and almost edges behind. It's a no-ball but McCullum then smacks down the ground almost baseball-style for yet another boundary to bring up the fifty partnership off 31 balls.

0339: 158-6 McCullum is starting to look dangerous. He clips Anderson off his legs for four, flicks for two and drives over mid-on for another boundary before a pushed single. Vettori pulls the last ball to make it 15 off the over and these two have added 45 in 28 balls!

0337: 143-6 A big appeal for lbw against McCullum is turned down. Siders looks frustrated. He has worked hard today. McCullum looks like a man in a big hurry - perhaps to get to India and the IPL. Vettori hits a wideish ball to the ropes and the Kiwis look certain to avoid the follow-on. Oh, Vettori flashes at a wide one, gets a legitimate edge but the ball flies down to the boundary and the Black Caps do indeed avoid the follow-on.

"Greetings from Chile. It's just gone midnight here and I have to finish a translation for tomorrow morning at 8am. The cricket is spurring me on! Come on England."
Paul Graves, Chile, via email

Paul, I was in Chile last year and understood virtually nothing of their version of Spanish, all those truncated words. Still, loved it all the same. Puntas Arenas - can't beat it!

0330: 134-6 Vettori plays positively - joining the McCullum party - and six runs come off Anderson's over. By the way, in all the drama I did not get the chance to mention that Oram hit his bat with his gloves after he was given out and could be in trouble with the match referee. Drinks come onto the field.

"Can we have a round of applause for the Auckland team, who got Jimbo into form?"
Jim, Seattle, via email

We sure can. I just bet they are popular in NZ right now. Apparently the Kiwis are fuming about the whole situation.

0326: 128-6 The match situation? Not relevant to McCullum, who batters Siders to the ropes with the ultimate stand and deliver shot. Four leg-byes follow.

0319: 119-6 Anderson is inches from another wicket, with a ball that hits Vettori's pads and almost dribbles on to the stumps. This has been a cracking return from Jimbo, who has finally worked out the short change conundrum (See 2326). McCullum is off the mark with a vicious cut shot. The Kiwis still need 24 to avoid the follow-on.

Wicket falls
0315: WICKET - Taylor c Ambrose b Anderson 53 (NZ 113-6)
A cracker from Jimbo as he finds the outside edge. A wonderful line, just outside off stump - and no mistake from Anderson, who of course played for Auckland in a match last week that undoubtedly helped him run into form. He now has 5-41 and there are two new batsmen at the crease.

Wicket falls
0310: WICKET - Oram lbw b Sidebottom 8 (NZ 113-5)
Oram plays a horrible drive off Siders. He finishes the shot with just one of the two hands available attached to the bat. He does not look to be in great nick. Wowzers. To prove the point Oram misses a straight one and is given out. The ball hits him on the knee roll and looks fairly plumb.

"Greetings from Brazil, where I have finally given up trying to explain the game to the locals in the bar and have taken my lap top into a corner to sulk. Come on England give me something to cheer about."
Jeremy, Brazil, via email

We had the coach of the Brazil team emailing last night. Big job that.

0307: 113-4 Jimbo around the wicket. He tempts Oram into a pull shot that falls short of the two fielders in the deep. Fortunate. I'm starting to feel a little tired. Some serious on-field action would perk me up.

0302: 111-4 Ambrose looks very tidy behind the stumps. Could be a long wait for some of the others. Another decent over from Siders apart from a boundary last ball off one he pushed onto Oram's legs. I reckon there has been just 11 runs scored in more than 30 minutes since play resumed.

0300: 106-4 Jimbo in to Oram. A maiden. I like the look of Oram (as a cricketer), though obviously he has the near obligatory Kiwi bleach in his barnet. He seems pretty composed at the crease and fairly mild mannered. It would take a lot of sledging to get him going, I imagine.

"I'm at work, desperately trying to stay awake, desperately refreshing the page every 10 seconds hoping we've taken another wicket. They'd better get one soon cause I've still got the 3.00-6.00 graveyard hours to go yet and I need something to get through it."
Graeme, Bed-ford, via text on 81111

Get ya. Could do with some system that would cause the computer to start beeping if a wicket falls so that you can get your head down safe in the knowledge you won't miss anything.

0254: 106-4 Siders in again and another consistent over that costs just one run - with Oram doubling his tally.

Jonathan Agnew
"As long as he remains fit Anderson will now get a long run in the team."
TMS commentator Jonathan Agnew

0250: 105-4 Jacob Oram off the mark. Taylor and Fleming put on 71 valuable runs but the latter will not be thrilled with the manner of his dismissal. Anderson now has 4-39.

Wicket falls
0247: WICKET - Fleming c Pietersen b Anderson 34 (NZ 102-4)
Jimbo strikes but it is an awful shot from Fleming. Not a particularly threatening ball, shortish just outside off stump, that the Kiwi loops up to KP at point. A very soft dismissal and Fleming's career average slips just below the magical 40 mark.

0244: 102-3 A single off the over from Sidebottom and no real alarms for the home team.

"You're a loser Fletch, I never have any issues with the great Mr Dirs putting my emails on the board! I think you have an attitude problem!"
Dan, Newcastle, NSW.

Toys in the pram Dan, toys in the pram. For example, do you really expect me to post emails suggesting I was on the booze while my wife was being grilled by an American customs officer?

0240: 101-3 Taylor drives Jimbo and the ball crashes into the stumps at the non-striker's end. A certain boundary saved. Jimbo completes his maiden with one that seems to go right through Taylor's bat.

"This wind is nothing by Wellington standards. We don't have legendary wind for nothing. If the wind picks up over the next few days, you'll find out..."
Michael, Wellington, via email

Gee, must be pretty strong if I'm going to find out about it here in London! I spent a few months in Lower Hutt watching Euro 96 at a friend of a friends. Great days.

0236: 101-3 The luckless Sidebottom has now toiled for 11 overs, conceding just 14 runs but yet to take a wicket.

That's 50
0235: 101-3 Siders starts after lunch and Taylor works him away for a single to bring up his 50 off 74 balls.

0231: The play starts, the tannoy music stops. Honestly, I'm sure they haven't played a tune from this decade all match. Takes me back, in a nice way. They must have a Now CD on a loop

0230: The players are back out. A stiffish wind, though apparently not by Wellington standards, and a final session to look forward to.

"Come on England, please help restore my pride and give me something to retort with to these gloating Kiwi's." Will, Auckland, via email

They are trying Will, trying really hard. A couple of quick wickets after tea and it could be all on.

0215: With 89 runs in the session for the loss of one wicket I would say that it belongs to the home team. Some gutsy cricket followed by some fine strokes. Colly did miss a couple of chances, though. And as for that missed run-out...

0212: 100-3 Last over before tea and we say hello to Monty. There should be a run-out straight away. A stop-start single and Fleming should perish running to the non-striker's end. A poor throw by KP that Monty fails to collect cleanly and Fleming makes his ground. The Kiwi grins ruefully. Taylor hits a single with the final delivery and the Kiwis go in for tea with three figures on the board.

0208: 98-3 The ball runs off the face of Taylor's bat and beats KP to the ropes. Taylor is closing in on his 50 - two short to be precise. You would have to say that he fully deserves it.

0204: 94-3 Colly continues. Another Monty mis-field. Sloppy. Get him out of the field by giving him a bowl! NZ ticking over nicely.

"Just been kicked out of the house by my soon to be ex-wife.

"Trying to keep up to date with match on my mobile, but unable to access the commentary!

"At least I have got to listen to her moaning about me watching or listen to another sporting programme! Happy days!"
Nick via email

Glad to see that you're looking on the bright side. The cricket will never leave you, though England can be a teasing, cruel mistress.

0200: 88-3 Taylor drives to the ropes majestically off Anderson, who does not look as potent as he did an hour or so ago. Taylor looks in superb touch - and his shot brings up the 50 partnership off 89 balls. Taylor then slashes hard and the ball flies over the slips and crashes into the boundary boards. Jimbo looks perplexed, like he has been short changed again.

0153: 80-3 The wind stiffens, Colly continues and another mis-field, this time by KP. There is a slightly sloppy look to England's play at the moment. Ambrose stands up at the stumps.

0149: 78-3 The Burnley Express is back and Fleming clips a delivery short of a length off his hip for another boundary. After digging in, the Kiwis are starting to cut loose a touch. It could be a long afternoon.

(See 0143) "Leave it out Fletch; stop dropping 'hints' that you've got a 'missus'. Not fooling me, or my flatmates. Or the seventeen birds we've got with us."
Nick via email

Very droll. You shall be hearing from my legal representatives. Though whether you will have the energy to open the letter is another matter.

0146: 73-3 Oops. A terrible, terrible mis-field by Monty at mid-off gifts Taylor a boundary. The Kiwi then hits Colly to the fence again with a sweet drive. Not a great 10 minutes for Colly with 10 in total coming off the over.

Christopher Martin-Jenkins
"I think in an ideal world Broad might have waited another year before playing Test cricket. He still looks coltish."
TMS commentator Christopher Martin-Jenkins

0143: 63-3 Taylor cuts at Broad and top edges the ball to second slip. It looks like a regulation chance to Colly but he clearly doesn't see it and the ball hits him on the outside of the shin below the knee. Painful, in the extreme. Treatment follows. Instant swelling.

"Any chance we're going to bowl NZ out in next 40 minutes before we take off? Barring that, anyone with ideas on how to get up dates on plane - not sure US pilot is going to do the right thing and radio London for update!"
James (just boarded plane in NY for Gatwick) via email

Sorry James, doubt it. And watch where you turn your phone on in NY airport or Homeland Security will be all over you. My missus once had a real grilling over there.

0132: 58-3 As if to underline the workmanlike nature of this session Colly comes on to bowl. Taylor plays across the line and is saved from a huge lbw appeal by an inside edge.

0131: 56-3 A cracker from Broad, who gets one to leave Taylor, beating the Kiwi all ends up. This session is becoming attritional with the Kiwis really digging in.

(See 0035) "Your entry about students toiling over quill and ink was one of the most beautiful pieces of prose that the BBC has provided in a long while."
Andy, Birmingham, via text on 81111

Are we back to irony and sarcasm again?

0126: 55-3 A brilliant diving effort from Colly at second slip, low to his left after Fleming edges one from Siders. You could call it a chance but it was one of those that sticks or it doesn't. It doesn't.

0120: 54-3 Fleming nudges a single off Broad to bring up 50 for New Zealand and become the first Kiwi to 7,000 Test runs. He gets a standing ovation from the crowd at the Basin Reserve. Taylor smacks the ball through the covers but is beaten by a good one to end the over.

0117: 49-3 Sidebottom continues after drinks, probing away. Fleming takes a single. Boycott rages about bad umpire decisions in the TMS commentary box.

The Kiwis need 143 to avoid the follow-on. Any danger?

0111: 48-3 The strains of Rocky float across the Basin Reserve as Broad charges in. He looks very fired up. Three off the over, a couple of short ones in the mix, and then drinks come on to the field.

"Last night I stayed up to revise for an exam and to complete my essay. I didn't have the commentary on as I couldn't pay attention to my work, just checked back with you every 6-7 minutes for the updates.

"The problem is though, I ended up staying up so late that I went to bed slightly dazed and confused, at 5.30am and set my alarm for 8.30, having to be at college for 9. I just didn't realise that I'd set my alarm to pm not am, so I overslept.

"I was woken at 12.50 by my mother who had driven home from work because I had missed my exam and the deadline for my essay. I was in big trouble with school and her as they had phoned her.

"So tonight I have cut out the middle man, I'm not doing any work, just following the cricket. Unfortunately every single word of this is true."
Matthew via email

That could be the final word on all matters essay. I just don't think that can be topped.

0105: 45-3 Siders replaces Jimbo. Just a single off the over.

A big hello to Pranav in Nicaragua, who is leaving me for dead with his Spanish. Leon eh. Those were the days. Make sure you visit the old prison on the outskirts of town. Fascinating.

0102: 44-3 A cracking bouncer from Broad to Taylor and then one that hits the outside edge but runs through the slip cordon and to the ropes. A potential problem is running on the pitch - the umpires are making ominous preliminary inspections.

0058: 40-3 Ross Taylor flicks Jimbo through midwicket and the ball runs for a boundary. A dangerous shot against a man who is swinging the ball. The Burnley Express now has figures of 9-2-20-3.

0055: 35-3 Lots of noise from the England players. Plenty of fizz, oohs and aahs. Fleming leaves a delivery on length that goes over his stumps.

"Final project handed in this morning. Last ever lecture yesterday morning. Housemates all out celebrating and I'm still sitting here with you and TMS. Hows that for dedication?"
Murdock, Warwick, via email

I'm flattered but I have to wonder whether you should not be out larging it with your mates. Trust me, mate, cash in while you can. When you look back on this decision in 30 years are you going to feel proud? Still, I admire your dedication.

Wicket falls
0050: WICKET - Sinclair c Ambrose b Anderson 9 (NZ 31-3) Another good delivery from Jimbo and a big appeal that umpire Koertzen answers in the affirmative after a period of deliberation. The delivery was outside the off stump and Sinclair did not have to play at it. A bit of a waft.

(See 2130) "No essays just a really dull night shift, I think Dick Van Dyke (Dr. Mark Sloan) could definitely help England's cause."
Mark, London, via email

Who is this Sloan man? Loads of people have suggested him but I've never heard of him.

And as for the A-Team - you've got to find them first.

0042: 30-2 Broad is tossed the ball. I like Broad, there is a bit of the mongrel about him. The way he breathes as he runs into the wicket is like an aggressive dog closing in on a hard target. I met he didn't allow anyone to nick his lunch money at school. Not scared to mix it.

He comes within inches of bowling Flemo after the Kiwi shoulders arms. Early signs of bounce for Broad, who concedes a couple of singles before a boundary is struck off the final ball of the over.

0039: 24-2 England cannot be accused of lacking discipline as Jimbo bowls another maiden.

0035: 24-2 A maiden from Siders. The camera keeps cutting to Broad, who must be itching to be thrown the ball.

"Only 3,000 words of my dissertation left to go before the midday deadline... a Test match on the other side of the world is perfectly timed to help us students through the long nights!"
Ed, Nottingham Uni, via email

I have this vision of naked lightbulbs across the nation providing a modicum of light to students slaving over their notebooks (probably electronic) like wordsmiths of centuries past toiling with quill and ink to craft texts that will shape the thinking of future generations.

0030: 24-2 Jimbo still enjoying some swing, while the odd one is jagging off the pitch. Fleming is totally bewildered by a delivery that nips back and hits the inside edge before flying to the ropes. The first boundary of the innings.

0026: 20-2 Siders in again and the Kiwis are starting to pick off a few runs here and there. A single from this over. The sun is out - I wonder if we are in for a repeat of yesterday's afternoon session? Hope not.

"Not an essay, but its going be an all-nighter, good old Marine Structures assignment. The cricket is providing a good source of procrastination!"
Owen, Newcastle, via email

"About 750 words to go and I'm flagging. You and Aggers are keeping me going, along with excessive amounts of coffee. I think it's time for Broad to come and stick it up Fleming."
James, Stockport, via email

Keep writing, writing, writing. If you are relying on me for wit and inspiration to keep you going it could be a definite fail. A third at best.

0022: 19-2 The Burnley Express charges in looking for his third wicket of the innings. He finds Sinclair's outside edge but the ball falls short of Cook at slip. Sinclair responds with a clip through mid-wicket.

(See 0007) "Can I combine two conversations and say that I'd like the A-Team to write my essay for me?"
Geoff, London, via email

0018: 16-2 Siders probing outside Fleming's off stump. The former Kiwi skipper is watchful in the extreme. These two of course used to be county colleagues at Nottinghamshire. Fleming drives for three.

Vic Marks
"Fleming is timing the ball so well at the moment."
TMS summariser Vic Marks

0013: 13-2 Jimbo starts after lunch and bowls a jaffa at Matthew Sinclair as he pushes forward. Two off the over from a delivery that strayed down leg.

0007: Play is about to resume and I must know, students - how are the essays going?

"Fletch, what did you have for lunch? I've been tucking into chocolate hobnobs. Do you have a biscuit of choice?"
Matt, Chichester, via text on 81111

Matt, I had half a cheese and turkey sandwich, with potato salad and prawn cocktail crisps, rounded off by a couple of pieces of chocolate. Not the healthiest but brown bread at least.

"Jonathan Creek would not only provide some original tactics and thinking to the team but he could lend his long lost twin brother Ryan Sidebottom some shampoo when Botts runs out."
Patrick, Brisbane, via email

Alternatively, they could both just do the right thing and get their hair cut.

"That is much better - 11-2. The kids have let me back on the computer (England were all out just after my dinner). My son is asking 'who is Charlie Chan?', when I told him I thought he would be a good England cricket team coach."
Andrew, Sao Paolo, via email

But is he son number one?

(See 2322) "The A-team were on the run, having escaped a maximum security stockade. Of course they were fugitives!"
Gareth, Cambridge, via email

Thanks Gareth, and with that I'm off the the filling station for lunch (affectionately known as the killing station). Back about 0000 - whatever that means.

Geoffrey Boycott
"We have got one hell of a contest here and England are definitely in it - 342 is a good score for England to work with. This is a proper pitch with a bit of pace and bounce. The two wickets so far were absolute beauties."
TMS summariser Geoff Boycott

2331: 11-2 Flemo playing very much for lunch. England with an attacking field. Siders finds a thickish edge but it falls short of the slips. Flemo is then beaten, the ball flying past his outside edge. Flemo survives and that is lunch - and with two early wickets you would have to say the morning belongs to England.

Wicket falls
2326: WICKET - How c Strauss b Anderson 7 (NZ 9-2) The Burnley Express (Jimbo) beats How, who pushes at the ball. It is tip and run from How, who picks up another single. Flemo likewise. Jimbo then produces another cracker of fullish length that finds How's outside edge and is snaffled in the slip cordon.

Jimbo is not really an in-yer-face fella. Always looks a bit confused to me, like someone trying to fathom out how they have been short changed. Nothing wrong with his bowling this over though.

2322: 7-1 How picks up a single off Siders. Flemo is looking very watchful and quite content to play out the over. Perhaps he is focused on lunch.

(See 2305) "Paul, the A-Team are not classed as fugitives but as 'Soldiers of Fortune'. Sorry to pick you up on that one."
Sam via email

2317: 6-1 How sneaks at single, pushing the ball into the off-side. Otherwise another testing over from Jimbo. The Kiwis are under the hammer here as they try to bat through to lunch.

(See 2130) "My wife (who has no interest in cricket) but is patiently sitting next to me as I listen thinks that Poirot would be an inspirational coach for the England team. If I'm honest she really doesn't care but wanted to contribute."
Mark C, Dorset, via email

2311: 5-1 How takes a single off Sidebottom, who then goes past Flemo's outside edge twice during the remainder of the over.

Out for a duck
2305: WICKET - Bell b Anderson 0 (NZ 4-1)
Jimbo, given the new ball, strikes in his first over - bowling Bell with a straight delivery that swings from leg to off. A great, great delivery. Fleming plays out the final ball.

Geoffrey Boycott
"A beautiful delivery and that is what Anderson is capable of - he turned the batsman around."
TMS summariser Geoff Boycott

(See 2130) "Simple really. Has to be the A Team, with Mr. T as strength and conditioning coach."
Graham, Florida, via email

Not that simple. I think they would do a great job but they have never really been classed as detectives, more fugitives. Perhaps they would be better suited to a rugby league team.

2300: 4-0 OK then - Siders with the new cherry and into Jamie How. A tricky 30 minutes for the Kiwi openers of How and Matthew Bell to survive. How off the mark with a couple through midwicket that he follows with a quick single. A scampered leg-bye completes the over.

(See 2130) "Surely the new coaching staff ought to be Charlie's Angels. Even if the NZ bowlers could keep focused, the 3 girls may still play better than our top order."
Kieran, Glasgow - (but an English Cricket fan) - via email

2255: No justice. Gillespie finished with 4-79 while Oram had to settle for 3-46. Oram was the pick of the bowlers, no question.

Mike Selvey
"There is pace in the pitch and England have a very tall bowler in Stuart Broad and reasonably tall ones in both Ryan Sidebottom and James Anderson. Broad should be able to exploit this pitch and get some bounce."
TMS summariser Mike Selvey

Wicket falls
2246: WICKET - Panesar C McCullum b Gillespie 6 (Eng 342 all out)
The batsman had crossed and so Monty faces the next ball, which he gloves down the leg side. That's it then, innings over. A total that strikes me as very difficult to judge. Middle ground.

Gillespie will be on a hat-trick when England's next innings begins.

Wicket falls
2246: WICKET - Sidebottom c Bell b Gillespie 14 (Eng 342-9)
Monty drives Gillespie - and just as he did with Mills in the previous over he collects three thank you very much. He does pretty well at ducking a short one. But Siders tries to swat a short one and skies it high. He is caught at midwicket.

(See 2130) "My vote goes to Shaft, he's a lover and a fighter rolled into one, either way it would strike the fear of God into team and opponents alike."
Paddy, Brisbane, via email

Lots and lots of people suggesting Shaft. The team could all wear some smart leather jackets as their official on-tour attire.

2242: 339-8 Martin replaces Oram - and Monty clips him off his toes. This lad can bat.

2237: 335-8 Colly did not look thrilled with the lbw decision. Monty is in and he plays a cracking drive that is, alas, straight to the fielder. A wicket maiden for Gillespie.

(See 2130) "England need to toughen up sharpish and there's only one man for the job - Jim Rockford. Let's see Hayden, Symonds or Harbhajan take liberties then - especially with his dad Rocky in the background."
Neil, WA, via email

Brilliant. England could play that amazing theme as they walk out on to the field rather than Jerusalem.

Wicket falls
2233: WICKET - Collingwood lbw b Gillespie 65 (Eng 335-8)
The first delivery after the break for drinks and Gillespie strikes with a fullish delivery that produces the slow digit of death from umpire Koertzen.

2228: 335-7 Oram comes around the wicket to Siders and slides one on to the pads that ricochets down to the boundary. Another handy four runs - and Siders and Colly have now put on 30. Drinks are called.

2226: 330-7 Gillespie into the attack and Siders immediately plays a variation on the pull stroke that disappears to the ropes. He follows that up with a couple more. I've been impressed with his attitude so far. If it's in the slot, it's off. Having said that, he is almost caught with a lofted drive to Chris Martin at mid-on. Martin gets his fingertips to the ball but cannot hold on as he dives forward.

Ah, Higgins, as Philip Nathan points out, in the man from Magnum P.I.

2221: 324-7 Colly hits a superb boundary off Oram with a pull shot. Colly defends the final ball of the delivery and Oram wangs it at the stumps. All good fun.

With the nip and lift Oram is extracting off this pitch I wonder whether Harmy is miffed at missing out here? Only got himself to blame.

2217: 318-7 Mills concedes four leg byes and two off Sidebottom, who pulls the ball in front of square. By the way, I have made a correction to 2147 - Oram, of course, has three wickets.

(See 2130) "It has got to be Magnum P.I. He may not be the strictest boss but he'd do wonders for team morale!"
Sam Roberts, Liverpool, via email

Brilliant. Magnum would make a great coach. The team might not win but they would sure have a great time. He could bring in his housekeeper blokey (the one who wore kimono type clothes) as the bad cop of the pair.

2213: 312-7 A hint of sunshine in Wellington and some blue sky. Oram has a deepish field for Colly. No doubt about who he wants at the striker's end. Colly obliges with a single. Siders into the single action. Colly rounds off the over with two more.

"On a night when my wife has let me stay out late, I've failed to find the curry house where my mate is, so I'm heading home having turned to cricket commentary for a small consolation."
Paul, on his way out of London Bridge, via text on 81111

Why miss out? Have a curry on yer own. You won't have to share pappadums that way. Tricky spelling, pappadum.

2209: 307-7 Mills into Sidey/Widebottom/Botts/Siders - and the England player struggles with an excellent short delivery. Sidey plays a decent drive for a single off the final ball of the over.

2204: 306-7 A score of 400 is looking increasingly remote - though Sidebottom is off the mark with a single.

(See 2130) "I think a trio of US based super sleuths is what England require;

"Columbo on Tactics & strategy (keep him away from the ball though due to his glass eye)

"Jessica Fletcher as conditioning & fitness coach (all that cycling on her bike with the 'heavy weave' shopping basket)

"Quincy (ME) - Motivation & technique (soft hands but stoic approach)."
Greg, Sydney, via email

Wicket falls
2147: WICKET - Broad b Oram 1 (Eng 305-7)
A straightish delivery from Oram that Broad tries to work away but the ball strikes the batsman on the leg and hits the leg stump. An unusual dismissal and three wickets for Oram.

2159: 304-6 A steady over. After the early wicket of Ambo, the Kiwis are clearly keen to make some inroads.

(See 2130) "I don't think The Sweeney would be too sympathetic towards Harmison and Trescothick."
Andrew, Gateshead, via email

2155: 302-6 Colly tucks the ball away for a couple. Oram is clearly not happy with the fielding. I think he wants a ball at Broad.

(See 2120) "From my 12th floor apartment here in Sao Paulo, it has just stopped raining, the first time in nearly eight hours and it's almost dark (18.40). I love this NZ time as it means I get some cricket before bedtime."
Andrew, Sao Paulo, Brazil

2151: 300-6 Stuart Broad, fresh at the crease, bats out the over. Colly and Ambo put on 164. Ambo played and missed four of the 12 deliveries he faced this morning and edged three more while one struck him on his leg.

Wicket falls
2147: WICKET - Ambrose c Taylor b Mills 102 (Eng 300-6)
Ambo has not been in great shape today and nicks one to second slip off Mills. Taylor takes a decent catch. It really was a matter of time on the evidence of Ambo's form this morning but at least he got to his magical three figures.

2145: 300-5 After reaching his century Ambo takes a single to raise the 300-mark for the team. Oram has been luckless in the extreme so far today.

He's reached 100
2143: 299-5 Ambo gets an edge off Mills. No matter, it goes wide of second slip and runs to the fence. Ambo gets a big hug off Colly and celebrates his maiden Test century.

That's 50
2140: 295-5 Colly cuts Mills for a boundary - the first of the day and enough to take him to his 14th Test half-century.

(See 2130) "How about Inspector Monkfish from the fast show┐? 'Oi Pieterson - stop looking in the mirror - put your knickers on and make a cup of tea!!'."
Ian Phillips, Walsall, via email.

Don't know him. Hope you're not stitching me up.

2137: 291-5 Oram into the attack - and into Ambo, who plays and misses. Twice. Then a big appeal for caught behind - don't panic it came off the thigh. Ambo survives. Another maiden.

2133: 291-5 Mills finds Colly's edge straight away but it falls short of second slip. A couple of leading edges follow and Colly plays out a maiden.

"According to Chambers, sarcasm is '...often but not necessarily ironical'."
Steve via email

Closure, at last.

2130: OK then, the preamble is over and Ambo is one drive of the blade away from three magic figures - but it is Colly to face first up.

"Until Ashes to Ashes finishes on the telly I'm reliant on you to let me know of events in Wellington, so if Ambrose gets out its your fault. I was thinking, perhaps the ECB should appoint Gene Hunt as head coach? He'd sort them out in no time."
Chris, Coventry via email

Hmm - I like this one. Which TV detective/sleuth would make the best England coach? I think The Professionals might have the edge over Miss Marple.

(See 2110) "On the sarcasm/irony debate I remember hearing a fabled story about a professor who was explaining that in some languages a double negative is negative and in some languages it is a positive but nowhere is a double positive a negative, to which a student at the back responded 'yeah right.' Classic."
Graham, Watford, via email

2120: "From the my 25th floor office, its looking very overcast in Wellington this morning, and quite dark at the moment. Southerly wind, which is never good for Wellington."
Andy, Wellington, via email

Come on mate - can we please have positive chat, though I do appreciate your honesty.

2113: If you want to break away for a few minutes before the cricket starts check out the Sport Relief clockwatch - and find out all about what Adrian Chiles and Alan Shearer are up to.

2110: Not really relevant to the Test match but something that is irritating me - can sarcasm be irony?

"I feel 400 is the very minimum England should be after today. Let's inflict an innings defeat to boost moral."
Steve via text on 81111

2105: Thanks to Simon from Cambridge for pointing out that when I started my clockwatch it was 2100 and not 0900. Maybe my body-clock is a little more skewed than I first thought.

2100 GMT: Now then - hope you are all well. I feel refreshed after sleeping through most of the day - reminds me very much of being a student!

Tim Ambrose and Paul Collingwood have so far put on an unbeaten 155 - and three more runs to the England keeper will see him reach his maiden Test century.

Colly, who was happy to drop anchor while Ambo went on the attack, is two short of a half century.

What I cannot work out is this - what is a good score on this pitch? I reckon if England reach 400 it will give the new(ish) blood something to defend.

Anderson puts England in control
14 Mar 08 |  England
New Zealand v England photos
13 Mar 08 |  England
England in New Zealand 2008
09 Mar 08 |  Cricket


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