Wednesday 21 March 2018

Kiwis leave Cook's men facing record chase to save series

BJ Watling became the first New Zealander to make a Test century at Headingley AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS
BJ Watling became the first New Zealander to make a Test century at Headingley AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS

David Clough

England must pull off a record run chase for victory after BJ Watling became the first New Zealander to make a Test century at Headingley.

Watling (100no), Martin Guptill (70) and Brendon McCullum (55), and for the hosts Stuart Broad and Mark Wood, were chiefly responsible as 435 runs were scored and 11 wickets fell on day three of the second Test.

After both sides were dismissed for 350 in the first innings, England's challenge to close out the series success will be easy to calculate but difficult to achieve - with the Kiwis already up to 338-6.

Just once in Test history here has a higher fourth-innings total been chased, by Don Bradman's invincible Australian tourists of 1948 - and England have never made as many to win anywhere.

Only after the comparative sobriety of a 79-ball half-century from arch-aggressor McCullum in a 121-run fifth-wicket stand with Watling was it clear the Kiwis were on top as they try to level up at 1-1.

After overnight rain, Tim Southee (4-83) took three wickets for six runs - but Broad and Wood counter-attacked in a ninth-wicket stand of 51. After Wood fell, James Anderson joined in the fun for Alastair Cook's men.

At a venue where Broad has made two of his 10 Test 50s, he eventually fell four short of another when he was bowled aiming to hit Matt Henry to leg.

This was still the highest score he has made in eight Test innings since having his nose broken by India seamer Varun Aaron at Old Trafford last year.

And when the tourists began their second innings, he was almost immediately in the thick of it again with two wickets in 12 balls.

If established cricket sense suggested caution from 23-2, it was routinely over-ridden by the Kiwis' new vibe under McCullum as Guptill and Ross Taylor blasted their way out of trouble with 99 in under 15 overs.

Wood (3-64) had Taylor poking a low catch to cover, however, with the first ball of his second spell - and then Joe Root was safe at third slip off the Durham fast bowler to see off Guptill too before tea.

After tea, McCullum batted against his own ethos but to great effect until Wood struck again to pin him lbw. But on a pitch beginning to offer variable bounce, Watling - who had survived one tough caught-behind chance on 50 - completed his 136-ball century.

England v New Zealand

Live, Sky Sports 2, 11.0

D'Arcy sees Clontarf edge their way home

Shocks were avoided in the first round of the Leinster Senior Cup as the four Division One clubs asserted their superiority over their Division Two opponents, but for holders Clontarf it was a case of only just.

A horror start which yielded three wickets for Joe Carroll and Bilal Azhar reduced Clontarf to 29-5, in pursuit of Leinster's 200, but Adrian D'Arcy with a stunning 114 not out, from 119 balls, saw them home by three wickets.

Thomas Ritchie scored 93 not out for Leinster as they also recovered from Michael Granger's early burst which left the visitors on 15-4, Granger finishing with 5-24.

North County had only two wickets to spare in the Fingal derby against Balbriggan, who were bowled out for 135 in 56 overs. It was not good for the County old boys with the bat, No 11 Paddy Martin, with three, scoring more than John Mooney and Dwayne Harper.

An unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 71 between Felix Page and Callum Riches saw Malahide, last year's beaten finalists, safely past Rush's 172.

Pembroke saw off the challenge of The Hills, the Irish Cup holders all out for 207, 42 runs short of the D4 side's total which was dominated by a fourth-wicket stand of 110 between Jono Cook (70) and Lorcan Tucker (50).

When Phoenix posted 327-7 (Sam Anderson 91, Masud Ahmed 76) it looked as if league champions YMCA would be the big cup casualties but they eased home with 11 balls to spare, losing only two wickets.

Cork County and Railway Union clash was abandoned after 31 overs by persistent rain in the south.

Indo Sport

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport