England in New Zealand: Kane Williamson & Ross Taylor make centuries in draw

England captain Joe Root (left) and New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson both made centuries in Hamilton
Second Test, Seddon Park, Hamilton (day five of five):
New Zealand 375(Latham 105)& 241-2(Williamson 104*, Taylor 105*)
England 476(Root 226, Burns 101; Wagner 5-124)
Match drawn; New Zealand won series 1-0

New Zealand sealed a 1-0 series win over England as Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor centuries helped secure a draw in the second Test in Hamilton.

Captain Williamson made an unbeaten 104 and Taylor 105 not out as they guided New Zealand to 241-2 – a lead of 140 – before rain ended play early.

England were unable to take a wicket in the 41 overs possible in the day.

The tourists, who lost the first Test by an innings and 65 runs, have not won in New Zealand since 2008.

They end the year without a Test series victory for the first time since 1999.

They travel to South Africa for a four-Test series starting on 26 December.

Williamson survives ‘worst drop in history’

Williamson and Taylor had fought their way through a difficult evening session on the fourth day, but the inconsistent bounce that England had found then all but disappeared overnight.

Despite that, Williamson offered two chances – both straightforward – but England were unable to take them.

He gloved a Ben Stokes short ball down the leg side on 39 but Ollie Pope, keeping for only the sixth time in a first-class match, could not hold on as he dived to his left.

The worst, however, was Joe Denly’s miss with Williamson on 62. Outfoxed by a Jofra Archer slower ball, Williamson lobbed the tamest of catches to mid-wicket, where Denly let the ball slip out of his fingertips in what was described by BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew as “the worst drop in Test history”.

Williamson and Taylor grew in confidence against England’s short-ball tactics, putting on 213 with a mixture of pulls and gentle dabs to the third man boundary.

The skipper, who would have been run out for 97 had Sam Curran not missed with a throw from mid-off, reached three figures first by gently flicking Joe Root off his pads for his 21st Test century.

Taylor reached his hundred by hitting Root for successive sixes shortly after becoming the second New Zealander to reach 7,000 Test runs.

Rain forced the players off two balls later, and play was abandoned at 03:00 GMT, the scheduled start of the final session.

England still with questions to answer

The two-match series was not part of the Test World Championship and, although England remain third in the International Cricket Council rankings, there is plenty to ponder given that they have won only four of 11 Tests this year.

Root’s 226 in the first innings was a welcome return to form, while Rory Burns continued to show the maturity he demonstrated in the summer with his second Test century.

However, England’s middle order is still far from settled, and their bowling attack once again failed to take 20 wickets in a match, albeit in placid conditions and in a rain-affected match.

Chris Woakes, recalled for the second Test, was the standout bowler at Seddon Park and fellow all-rounder Sam Curran showed he can use his variations to good effect.

But Jack Leach was dropped for the final Test after struggling in Mount Maunganui for the consistency that England want from their spinner.

Archer also had a difficult series, finishing the series with two wickets at an average of 104.50, and there are concerns over Ben Stokes’ long-term fitness after he was limited by a knee injury in Hamilton.

England began this tour saying they would show more patience with the bat. While they did that to an extent in the second Test, there are still frailties there that may be exploited on the bouncier South African pitches.

Read More

0 Reviews

Write a Review


Read Previous

Joshua v Ruiz II: Inside the 24 hours that shook boxing

Read Next

Anthony Joshua recalls GB exile for cannabis possession – Sports Mole

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *