Oram century sees New Zealand to first Test draw

Published: Tuesday, May 20, 2008, 10:34 [IST]
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Jacob Oram's 101 secured a draw for New Zealand on the fifth and final day of the first Test against England at Lord's here Monday.

Oram's fifth Test hundred, and first against England, was the centrepiece of New Zealand's second innings 269 for six - 227 ahead.

When Oram came to the crease, after wicket-keeper and leading batsman Brendon McCullum had retired hurt on 11, New Zealand were only 78 runs ahead at 120 for four.

But by the time he was out, New Zealand had made the game ahead of the start of the second Test of this three-match series at Old Trafford on Friday.

"That was the moment when we created an opportunity and the chance was there to go on and win the game," England captain Michael Vaughan told Sky Sports as he reflected on McCullum's injury.

"But full credit to Jacob Oram. It proves it is going to be a tough series.

"We go to Manchester and hope the weather is going to be better there. If we just improve that little bit more, the game should be a good one."

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori, man-of-the-match for his first innings haul of five for 69, on a pitch which gave little assistance to his left-arm spin, added: "We've got a team that believes.

"We're young but we've still got a good side," said the 29-year-old.

"Jacob took us from a little bit of a precarious situation. It was nice to see him play his normal game, to get a hundred in difficult conditions was fantastic."

Oram, 55 not out at tea, sped through the 90s with three boundaries after England had taken the new ball with the tall left-hander on 89.

He cut the first delivery with the new ball, from Ryan Sidebottom, for four to go to 93, drove the left-arm quick down the ground to reach 97 and reached his hundred with a forcing shot through the offside against the same bowler.

But one ball after completing a 120-ball hundred with two sixes and 15 fours, which got him onto the Lord's honours board, he was bowled having dominated a stand of 132 with Daniel Flynn in which the Test debutant made just 22.

There was still time for McCullum, who made a run-a-ball 97 in the first innings, to resume before he was caught behind for 24.

Flynn finished on 29 not out with Vettori unbeaten on nought.

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, 27 on Monday, trying to turn fast bowler Stuart Broad legside, was well caught for 68 by Alastair Cook at third slip.

McCullum then had to retire hurt after a short ball from Broad hit his unprotected left forearm.

Fortunately for New Zealand an X-ray subsequently revealed McCullum had not suffered a break.

Oram then pulled left-arm spinner Monty Panesar for the first six of the match.

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 Sidebottom, who'd taken four for 77 in New Zealand's first innings 277.

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.

Panesar struck with his sixth ball on Monday, Ross Taylor out 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..

When Vettori dismissed Vaughan to end the innings, he become only the second New Zealand cricketer after Sir Richard Hadlee to take 250 Test wickets.

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