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Page last updated at 18:04 GMT, Sunday, 18 May 2008 19:04 UK

Vaughan gives England narrow lead

First Test, Lord's (day four, close)
New Zealand 277 & 40-0 v England 319

By David Ornstein

Michael Vaughan
Vaughan drew level with Graham Gooch's record of six Lord's hundreds

Michael Vaughan returned to form with a patient 106 as England ended day four of the first Test at Lord's with a two-run lead over New Zealand.

Replying to 277, Andrew Strauss (63), Alastair Cook (61) and captain Vaughan were the home side's only big scorers.

Black Caps skipper Daniel Vettori (5-69) removed Paul Collingwood and Tim Ambrose with successive balls before England were bowled out for 319.

Jamie How and Aaron Redmond guided the tourists to 40-0 at the close.

Given the deteriorating light and England's desire to force a result, New Zealand will be delighted to have reached stumps unscathed.

Redmond and How both survived huge lbw appeals off the bowling of Monty Panesar but otherwise the openers looked comfortable.

To England's immense frustration a draw remains the most likely result, but, if they manage to bowl New Zealand out relatively quickly on Monday, they could still snatch victory.

Indeed, following three days ravaged by poor weather, both sides would have been relieved that day four began on time and under reasonably clear, sunny skies.

A somewhat moist, green pitch favouring the bowling side gave way to a hard, white track conducive to high scoring, and, having resumed on 89-0, Cook and Strauss swiftly brought up England's 100.

In doing so, the duo surpassed their previous highest score as an opening partnership - 95 against India in Nagpur in March 2006 - and helped quash the doubts lingering over their effectiveness as a pairing.

But New Zealand's pace attack was beginning to generate movement off the pitch and Chris Martin got one to shape into Cook before seaming away, catching the 23-year-old's outside edge before travelling through to wicket-keeper Brendon McCullum.

Without a century in his previous 15 Test innings, Vaughan arrived at the crease under pressure to make a big score, but he was able to go about his business relatively quietly as Strauss initially dominated the strike.

The Middlesex batsman, who hit 112 and 83 on his England debut against the Black Caps at Lord's in 2004, flicked Martin for a single off his legs to bring up his 12th Test half-century.

Yet, in similar fashion to Cook, just when Strauss would have been looking to kick on towards 100, he was trapped plumb in front of his stumps by Jacob Oram.

Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen never looked comfortable before falling for three
Vettori's decision to bring Oram into the attack paid immediate dividends, and things would get better for the Kiwis before lunch when the New Zealand skipper himself struck to remove Kevin Pietersen for three.

Pietersen has reportedly been offered more than 2m to play in the Indian Premier League from next year and will have been keen to illustrate his expansive game on a day England needed to keep the run rate high.

But the Hampshire batsman looked ill at ease from the moment he arrived at the crease, and nine balls later he was returning to the pavilion thanks to one of three lbw decisions that the umpires got absolutely correct.

Vaughan and Ian Bell cautiously guided their side to 160-3 at lunch, but New Zealand bowled with even greater discipline after the interval.

Martin, who offered an accurate line and length throughout, produced another stunning delivery that swung marginally into the right-handed Bell before nipping away off the seam, catching the outside edge and travelling through to McCullum.

Vaughan continued to dispatch the bad balls - driving and clipping Tim Southee and then flicking Mills for four - but he was swiftly running out of partners.

Vettori brought himself back into the attack from the Pavilion End and, with the first ball of his second over, got one to turn up the hill from just outside off stump, snick Collingwood's blade and nestle in Ross Taylor's palms at slip.

Daniel Vettori
Vettori removed Paul Collingwood and Tim Ambrose in successive balls
The very next ball Vettori hit Ambrose's pads in line with the stumps and, offering no shot, the England wicket-keeper could hardly complain as umpire Simon Taufel confirmed his golden duck.

Making his home debut having earned a first England call-up on the winter tour to New Zealand, Ambrose has now disappointed in each of his four innings since making 102 against the Kiwis in Wellington.

Broad, conversely, has excelled with the bat since Wellington and proved an able partner for Vaughan, who brushed Vettori off his legs for a single to secure his 19th Test 50 just before tea.

England's progress towards New Zealand's 277 was not always smooth - Vaughan was dropped at second slip by Aaron Redmond off Southee and Broad twice saw outside edges fall short of the cordon.

Yet Broad unleashed three sumptuous drives for four through the off side, while Vaughan battled towards his first century in 15 innings by driving and lofting Vettori for consecutive boundaries in the 94th over.

Broad misjudged an Oram delivery and was bowled via his bat and pad for 25, but Vaughan's timing and shot selection continued to improve, and he reached three figures by lifting Vettori through midwicket.

The Yorkshire batsman equalled Graham Gooch's record of six centuries at Lord's but, after Ryan Sidebottom was caught at slip by Taylor off Kyle Mills and Panesar at short leg by Daniel Flynn off Vettori, Vaughan swept Vettori to James Marshall at midwicket.

It was Vettori's 250th Test wicket and his first five-wicket haul at Lord's.

see also
Vaughan revels in return to form
18 May 08 |  England
England frustrated at wet Lord's
17 May 08 |  England
First Test day four photos
18 May 08 |  England
England in New Zealand 2008
03 Jul 07 |  Cricket

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