It was a somewhat traumatised New Zealand that rolled up to Headingley, having collapsed so badly at Lord's, the possibility of the same, and a subsequent loss seemed ever-present. England's decision to bat having lost the first day to rain was somewhat odd. But the scored quickly, particularly Root (104) and Bairstow (64) who put on 124 in 29 overs. The only oddity to the New Zealand collapse was that it came to Swann (4/42), not swing. The tail almost rescued the follow-on, but it wasn't enforced, as it needn't have been with sufficient time to play as long as the rain held.
Cook scored a fast century (130) while Trott (76) dithered and Compton struggled. Like Ed Cowan, a couple of very good seasons are not a statistically sound basis for assuming he will average more than his career first-class record of the low 40s. Still, he has faced hard conditions in his tests to date, and mostly succeeded. New Zealand could certainly use Compton's steal, as only Taylor (70) showed any real resistance to Swann and the match concluded shortly after lunch, amid the threatening clouds and daft accusations at Cook.
Ultimately, what mattered, was that England won, convincingly, but no better than expected. New Zealand's bowling impressed, their batting did not, and they'll not challenge many sides away from home until they can find a way to fight through the difficult patches and not prod clumsily at the moving ball. England now turn to the endless Ashes series, well placed to win, though they are not so good they cannot lose, if they don't play near their potential.
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 5th June, 2013 00:28:12 [#]