Tuesday 25 March 2008 

Panesar Takes Six, Southee Entertains But England Win

England 253 (Pietersen 129) & 467-7 declared (Strauss 177, I Bell 110) v
New Zealand 168 (Fleming 59) & 431 (Southee 77no, Panesar 6-126)

England won by 121 runs and win the series 2-1

Monty Panesar finished with six wickets on day five of the decisive third Test as England eventually wrapped up a 122-run victory over New Zealand in Napier but not before Tim Southee recorded the fastest Test half-century by a New Zealander.

Panesar followed a crucial early double strike to remove danger men Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum with the wicket of Jeetan Patel before James Anderson removed Daniel Vettori with four wickets falling for 25 runs although New Zealand survived until the afternoon session as Southee smashed nine sixes and four fours in all, remaining unbeaten on 77 from 40 balls with New Zealand bowled out for 431.

Resuming on 222 for five, and chasing 553 to win, Taylor raced to his third Test half-century, smashing Ryan Sidebottom through square leg to reach the milestone before he was undone by a fine slip catch from Paul Collingwood once he had got to 74.

He had faced 117 balls and his dismissal ended a partnership worth 104 with McCullum, who had advanced to 42 when he was bowled by Panesar as he attempted to pull the ball away, giving Panesar his seventh five wicket haul in Tests and at 281 for seven, leaving New Zealand's tail with too much to do.

Patel resisted for 45 balls, hitting three fours and making 18 runs before sweeping Panesar straight into the hands of Stuart Broad at long leg.

Captain Vettori showed that runs could be scored as he smashed Anderson for four fours in two overs as the Lancashire man proved typically expensive. Anderson, however, had the last laugh when Vettori tried one pull shot too many and edged through to wicket-keeper Tim Ambrose having made a quick 43 from 56 balls.

Southee enjoyed himself by teeing off against Anderson, Panesar and Broad, but it could never last, especially with Chris Martin at the other end. It was fitting that Sidebottom, by far England's bowler of the series, ended the match, needing just five balls to clean bowl Martin for five and seal England's first overseas Test series win since their win in South Africa in 2004/05.

Panesar finished with six for 126 having removed the top three batsmen yesterday and the first three in the morning while Anderson took one for 99, Sidebottom one for 83 and Broad two for 78.

Southee revealed that his innings came courtesy of a bat borrowed from Stephen Fleming:

"Flem looked at my bats and asked what sort of sticks did GM (Gunn and Moore) give you?," Southee said. "He looked at them and said 'try this one out' (and) gave me one of his.

"I went out there today with it. There's nothing wrong with mine. His were just another step up."

� Cricket World 2008

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