Friday 14 March 2008 

Ambrose And Anderson Put England In Charge

England 342 (Ambrose 102, Collingwood 60, Gillespie 4-79) & 4-0 v
New Zealand 198 (Taylor 53, Vettori 50no, Anderson 5-73)

New Zealand lead the three-match series 1-0
Report by John Pennington

Tim Ambrose completed a maiden Test century before a five-wicket haul from James Anderson helped England secure a substantial first innings lead on day two of the second Test against New Zealand in Wellington.

Ambrose hit 102 out of England's 342 before Anderson picked up five for 73 as New Zealand were bowled out for 198. England closed on four without loss in their second innings.

It did not take Ambrose long to get to his century, although soon after reaching it with an edged boundary, he was dismissed, caught by Ross Taylor at second slip off of Kyle Mills. Paul Collingwood, with whom he had shared a stand of 164, made 65 before he was trapped in front by Mark Gillespie.

Ryan Sidebottom stuck around in hitting 14 runs but the rest of the tail contributed just seven runs between them, six of those coming from Monty Panesar.

Gillespie finished with four for 79 and Jacob Oram three for 46.

Anderson, under fire after a poor One Day International series and under pressure coming in to replace Matthew Hoggard, then hit back with an incisive spell of new ball bowling which accounted for New Zealand's top five.

Matthew Bell (nought), Jamie How (seven), Mathew Sinclair (nine), Stephen Fleming (34) and Taylor (53) all fell to the Lancashire man to leave the Black Caps in trouble at 113 for six with Sidebottom removing Oram for eight.

Anderson was quick to credit his spell bowling for Auckland in a recent State Championship match as one of the reasons for the return to form.

"(It was) a chance to show them how I'm bowling in a game situation," Anderson said.

"Often it's difficult because you can bowl well in nets but it's never the same. I saw it as an opportunity.

"(I) thought I bowled well, swung the ball nicely and got a fair few overs under my belt.

"I felt good in the spells I bowled, it was a flat pitch and hard work. I enjoyed it... (it was) quite refreshing."

There was a late rally from captain Daniel Vettori, who remained unbeaten on 50 but three quick wickets from Collingwood wrapped up the tail and by surviving for five overs without losing any wickets, Michael Vaughan and Alastair Cook ensured it had been comfortably England's day, and probably their best day since the tour began.

Nonetheless, despite trailing by 148 runs at stumps, McCullum still believes his side can win the match, telling reporters that, "If we didn't genuinely believe we were capable of winning this game we may as well not turn up tomorrow.

"The boys are hurting. It's never nice to have a deficit of 140 on the first innings.

"Hopefully by the time we get to bat second time around, the wicket would have flattened out a bit.

"If we can bowl well tomorrow (Saturday) and restrict them to 150-200 and set about chasing 350 on the final two days then we have every opportunity."

New Zealand lead the three-match series 1-0, with England needing to win both remaining matches to take the series.

� Cricket World 2008