Oram sees New Zealand nearer safety

Published: Monday, May 19, 2008, 20:35 [IST]
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New Zealand all-rounder Jacob Oram's unbeaten 55 saw his side nearer the safety of a draw come tea on the final day of the first Test against England at Lord's here on Monday.

New Zealand were 199 for four in their second innings, a lead of 157 with a minimum of 39 overs left in the match.

Test debutant Daniel Flynn was 19 not out.

New Zealand resumed after lunch on 113 for three, just 71 runs ahead.

And 16 balls later that became 115 for four when Jamie How, trying to turn fast bowler Stuart Broad legside, got an outside edge and was well-caught for 68 by Alastair Cook at third slip.

Opener How, celebrating his 27th birthday on Monday, batted for over three hours facing 131 balls with nine fours for his second Test fifty.

Star batsman Brendon McCullum, on 11, then had to retire hurt when a short ball from Broad hit his unprotected left forearm with New Zealand on 120 for four, 78 in front.

Fortunately for New Zealand an X-ray subsequently revealed McCullum, who made a dashing run-a-ball 97 in his side's first innings 277, had not suffered a break.

Oram then pulled left-arm spinner Monty Panesar for the first six of the match before a square-cut boundary off fast bowler James Anderson saw the tall left-hander to a 67-ball fifty also featuring six fours.

England, finding wickets hard to come by, then saw part-time off-spinner Kevin Pietersen brought into their attack by captain Michael Vaughan.

But Oram and Flynn held firm.

New Zealand started on Monday 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 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.

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

How then got away with another unconvincing drive to complete his second Test fifty, off 98 balls with seven fours.

Vaughan's decision to bring Monty Panesar into the attack was soon rewarded when, with his sixth ball on Monday, the left-arm spinner had Ross Taylor lbw to effectively leave New Zealand 57 for three.

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

Vaughan top-scored with 106, his 18th Test century also equalling the Lord's Test record of six held by former England captain Graham Gooch.

Although the pitch offered little turn, left-arm spinner and Kiwi 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.

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