Monday 17 March 2008 

England Level Series With 126-Run Victory In Wellington

England 342 (Ambrose 102) & 293 (Cook 60, Collingwood 59)
New Zealand 198 (Anderson 5-73) & 311 (McCullum 85, Sidebottom 5-105)

England won by 126 runs and level the three-match series 1-1

England kept alive their hopes of winning the Test series in New Zealand by clinching a 126-run victory in the second match on the final day in Wellington.

Chasing a victory target of 438, New Zealand were bowled out for 311 in their second innings as Ryan Sidebottom took five for 105.

Resuming on 242 for six, it was essential for the New Zealand side to keep Daniel Vettori and Brendon McCullum, the overnight batsmen, at the crease for as long as possible. Unfortunately, Vettori departed without scoring, caught by Alastair Cook off of Sidebottom.

That left McCullum playing the lone hand with the tail, and he scored nine fours and hit three sixes in a typically entertaining knock of 85 before he was last man out, caught by Sidebottom, Monty Panesar the bowler.

Kyle Mills (13) and Mark Gillespie (nine) offered support, but New Zealand always had far too much to do.

It was England's first overseas Test win since March 2006 and captain Michael Vaughan's first since January 2005. "We were all desperate to win a game of cricket," he said after the game.

"I can only say how delighted I am for that set of players and the management, we've not won many games and we've all been working very, very hard.

"It's just nice to be sat in the dressing room with a victory under our belts.

"We won't go over the top, we'll treat the game with respect, we know New Zealand are hard to beat on their home soil.

"A week in cricket is a long time."

Tim Ambrose, who scored his maiden Test century to put England in a commanding position, was named man of the match, and Vaughan's counterpart Vettori paid tribute to the partnership between the England wicket-keeper and Paul Collingwood as the turning point of the game.

"You have to give credit to the way Ambrose and Collingwood batted and put together a tough...partnership that set up the victory for England," he said.

"We let Tim Ambrose get away through some poor bowling and by feeding his strengths.

"When we had them 130 for five we knew we could get into them....it just all comes back to that session, the way we fed his strengths and he capitalised.

"He played very well and probably took the game away from us."

England's win levels the series at 1-1 with the final match starting in Napier on March 22nd.

  • New Zealand have added teenage pace bowler Tim Southee to their squad for the final match. Southee played both Twenty20 International earlier on the tour before being named man of the tournament in the Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia, in which New Zealand were beaten semi-finalists.


  • � Cricket World 2008

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