Prior, New Ball Bowlers Fight Back After Slow Start

Prior, New Ball Bowlers Fight Back After Slow Start
Prior, New Ball Bowlers Fight Back After Slow Start
©REUTERS / Action Images

England 465 (Trott 121, Compton 100) v
New Zealand 61-3 (Broad 2-18)
Second Test, Wellington, day two
Scorecard | Day One | Swann Operation
Report by John Pennington

England fought back from a shaky first session to finish day two of the second Test against New Zealand in Wellington with the upper hand on proceedings.

They lost three wickets before lunch but half-centuries from Kevin Pietersen and Matthew Prior helped them reach 465 all out and they finished the day strongly, reducing New Zealand to 61 for three.

Pietersen made 73 and Prior 82 before Stuart Broad returned two for 18 and James Anderson one for 17, succeeding where New Zealand had failed by making inroads with the new ball.

Left-arm spinner Bruce Martin had earlier finished with four for 130 as England, who resumed on 267 for two, added another 198 runs before being bowled out.

They made a terrible start to the day when Jonathan Trott (121) was caught by BJ Watling off Trent Boult to the first ball he faced. Ian Bell looked to have sized the situation up, unfurling a glorious early cover drive before failing to get fully behind an attempted lofted drive off Martin. He was caught by Peter Fulton for 11 and was furious with himself for giving his wicket away.

Pietersen had no such worries, as he struck the first ball he faced from Martin straight over his head for a huge six. This was a highly valuable Pietersen innings and it was he who held things together for England as they threatened to fall apart, Joe Root (10) next to depart when he edged Martin to Watling having tried an overly-ambitious stroke across the line.

His dismissal brought Pietersen and Prior together and lunch was taken with England on 353 for five. Pietersen fell soon after, having faced 149 balls, and with Stuart Broad making just six before departing, Prior moved quickly through the gears and went on the attack.

He struck 10 fours and two sixes as his counter-attack, in combination with another fine knock of 24 from Steven Finn, began to turn the tide of the day's play. Prior and Finn put on 83 together but once Finn was out, the inning quickly ended, Prior and Monty Panesar losing their wickets to Kane Williamson, who picked up two for 16 in just under four overs.

Boult (2-117) and Wagner (2-122) also found success, although not as much as Broad and Anderson when England came to bowl.

Just six runs were on the board when Anderson had Fulton caught by Alastair Cook and Hamish Rutherford, who had made a briliant century on debut in Dunedin, made 23 before Cook the catcher and Broad the bowler combined to remove him.

Broad struck again immediately, bowling Ross Taylor first ball to leave England cock-a-hoop despite Williamson (32 not out) and Dean Brownlie (8 not out) digging in towards the end as they began the slow road towards recovery.

© Cricket World 2013

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