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Birthday boy How keeps New Zealand afloat

Published: Monday, May 19, 2008, 17:55 [IST]
 
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London: Jamie How marked his 27th birthday with an unbeaten 66 but New Zealand were still in trouble on the fifth and final day of the first Test against England here at Lord's on Monday.

New Zealand in their second innings were 113 for three at lunch, a lead of just 71 runs, with 72 overs still to be bowled.

First innings hero Brendon McCullum was 10 not out.

New Zealand resumed on 40 without loss, a deficit of two, with How unbeaten on 26 and Aaron Redmond, who'd avoided a pair on his Test debut, 14 not out.

But only seven runs had been added when Redmond, pushing forward with an angled bat, edged James Anderson straight to Andrew Strauss at first slip.

And they were only 10 in front when, 17 balls later, James Marshall was lbw for nought to an inswinging delivery from left-arm quick Ryan Sidebottom, who'd taken four for 77 in the first innings, the first with a changed ball.

Anderson almost struck next when Ross Taylor, trying to withdraw the bat on three, edged him between the diving Alastair Cook and Paul Collingwood, at second and third slips respectively.

An even better chance was missed when How, on 46, drove loosely at the last delivery of Stuart Broad's first over on Monday only for Strauss to drop the head-high slip chance as the ball burst through his hands.

New Zealand were then 75 for two, just 33 ahead.

How then got away with another unconvincing drive to complete his second Test fifty, off 98 balls with seven fours. But he was much more assured in cover-driving Broad for four.

And when England switched to spinner Monty Panesar, in the 20th over of the day, How swept the left-armer's second ball for four.

But Panesar didn't have long to wait for a wicket. His sixth ball had Taylor, struck on the boot, lbw and New Zealand were, in effect, 57 for three.

England, who were well placed at 148 for one after a first century stand between the opening duo of Strauss and Cook, had to settle for a modest first-innings lead of 42 after being bowled out for 319.

Michael Vaughan, England's captain, top-scored with 106.

His 18th Test century was also Vaughan's sixth at Lord's, equalling the ground record of former England captain Graham Gooch.

Although the pitch offered precious little in the way of turn, left-arm spinner and Kiw captain Daniel Vettori still took five wickets for 69 runs - the 14th time in his career he'd taken five or more wickets in a Test innings.

And when Vettori had Vaughan hole out to end England's innings it meant he'd become only the second New Zealand cricketer after Sir Richard Hadlee to take 250 Test wickets.

Wicket-keeper McCullum had already made his mark on the match with a superbly-judged run-a-ball 97 as New Zealand recovered, after losing the toss in difficult conditions, to post a respectable first innings total of 277.

Brief Scores (at lunch, D-5):

New Zealand 277

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