A strange test match. New Zealand bowled very well, as expected, taking advantage of swinging conditions to restrict England to 232 and 213. They also lost by nearly an innings, making only 275 themselves. Moreover, while the target of 239 looked eminently gettable, there wasn't any indication they'd be able to do so, with just the one partnership of note in their first innings between Williamson and Taylor. That bodes poorly for Headingley, a notorious ground for movement and collapses, when compared to Lord's reputation as a road - even in May.
England will be concerned that their batting struggled. Although in the end, their technical ability got them the runs, they clearly miss Pietersen (and in the second innings, Bell) to propel the score along. All the New Zealand bowlers were good, but Southee's 10/108 highlights his continued improvement. Anderson's 5/47 was probably as crucial as Broad's second innings 7/44, giving England the lead, and wiping out the top order. Finn didn't really impress, but he has a knack for taking wickets, and he wasn't needed at all in the second innings, such was the speed of the collapse.
New Zealand did manage to beat their expected margin, but not by much, and if the rain holds off for enough time to play, they'll likely struggle to beat it in Leeds.
Shaded teams have played fewer than 2 games per season. Non-test team ratings are not comparable to test ratings as they don't play each other.
Idle Summers 25th May, 2013 02:49:10 [#]