Ambrose, Anderson give England firm grip on Test

Published: Friday, March 14, 2008, 12:33 [IST]
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A century by Tim Ambrose and a five-wicket bag for James Anderson gave England a firm grip on the second cricket Test against New Zealand by the end of the second day here Friday.

England were four without loss in their second innings at stumps for a commanding 148-run lead after routing New Zealand inside three sessions for 198.

Barring weather intervention, a result seems almost certain in the Test after 15 wickets fell in the day.

England, looking to make amends after losing the first Test, resumed the day at 291 for five in their first innings and Ambrose reached his maiden Test century as they added 51 runs before folding at 342.

New Zealand struggled to 100 for three by tea and then capitulated, losing their last seven wickets for 96 runs and leaving England openers Michael Vaughan and Alastair Cook to negotiate five overs before the close.

Recalled paceman Anderson was the chief destroyer of the New Zealand innings, taking out Matthew Bell for a duck and Jamie How for seven in his opening spell.

He removed Mathew Taylor (nine) after lunch before Stephen Fleming and Ross Taylor rallied the New Zealand innings with a 71-run stand, which ended soon after the tea break when Anderson struck twice more to finish with five for 79.

He had Fleming caught at backward point by Kevin Pietersen for 34 and then dismissed Taylor for 53, caught by wicketkeeper Ambrose.

It was not the complete innings former New Zealand captain Fleming wanted in his last Test at the Basin Reserve.

He received a standing ovation when he reached 18 to become the first New Zealand cricketer to amass 7,000 Test runs, but his first century on his adopted home ground continues to elude him.

Although he went on to score another 16 runs, Fleming never appeared comfortable in the face of swing bowling from Anderson and Stuart Broad.

He earned a reprieve on 18 when dropped by Paul Collingwood off Broad, and survived a run out chance in the final over before lunch when Kevin Pietersen's throw was wide and Monty Panesar was unable to remove the bails.

Collingwood, normally one of England's most reliable catchers, was also guilty of giving Taylor a life on 23 and he went on to top score for New Zealand with 53.

Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vettori attempted to keep the New Zealand innings alive with an aggressive partnership of 52 runs in 33 balls. But McCullum edged Collingwood to Andrew Strauss in slips and was gone for 25.

Vettori, left to bat with the tail, struck out to be unbeaten on 50 while Kyle Mills (one), Mark Gillespie (nought) and Chris Martin (one) came and went at the other end.

Collingwood, who finished the innings by bowling Martin, recorded his career best figures of 3-23.

Earlier Ambrose had resumed the day on 97 and reached his 100 by edging Jacob Oram through the slips for four in the fourth over of play.

But he added just one more before prodding at Mills and being caught by Ross Taylor at second slip.

Broad lasted seven balls before being bowled by Oram for one and Collingwood moved from his overnight 48 to 65 before he was trapped in front by Gillespie.

Gillespie then claimed Ryan Sidebottom for 14 and Anderson with his first ball to produce figures of 4-79 off 20 overs while Oram took 3-46 from 29 overs.

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