Anderson puts New Zealand in trouble

Published: Saturday, June 7, 2008, 0:09 [IST]
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Nottingham: James Anderson recorded his Test-best figures with both bat and ball here Friday as England took control of their series finale with New Zealand at Trent Bridge.

Anderson claimed all six wickets to fall to leave New Zealand 96 for six, still 69 short of avoiding the follow-on and 268 behind England's first innings 364, when bad light forced an early close on the second day of the third Test.

His figures of six for 42 in 15 overs surpassed his previous Test-best of five for 42 against India at Lord's in July last year.


That England made as many as they did owed much to an eighth-wicket stand of 76 between Stuart Broad and fellow fast bowler Anderson.

Both quicks made their Test-best scores, Broad's 64 his maiden Test fifty, and nightwatchman Anderson, in his 25th Test, contributing 28.

"It probably is the best day I've had," said Anderson, who was near unplayable at times when bowling in overcast conditions tailor-made for his style. "It was ideal, I bowl at my best when the ball is swinging."

Before tea, the 25-year-old Lancashire quick took two wickets for five runs in 11 balls to reduce New Zealand to 14 for two.

He struck again soon afterwards when New Zealand, who'd recovered slightly to 57 for two, found themselves declining to 62 for four after Anderson took two wickets in four balls without conceding a run.

England, who'd resumed Friday in trouble at 273 for seven added 91 more valuable runs as they looked to win the series 2-0.

Then Anderson, in overcast conditions, produced two superb outswingers which saw him take two wickets for five runs in 11 balls, his third delivery clean bowling opener Aaron Redmond for one.

Kiwi dangerman Brendon McCullum, promoted to No 3 in place of the dropped James Marshall, was playing in this match as a batsman only after a back injury meant he was unable to keep wicket.

But he managed just nine before, aiming across the line, he too lost his off-stump.

Trying to explain why Redmond and McCullum especially hadn't played straight, he added: "On my natural angle, players seem to want to hit me legside."

As if to prove the point, Ross Taylor exited for 21, turned round by a ball which went off the outside edge to Kevin Pietersen in the gully.

Taylor's departure brought in Daniel Flynn, who lost two teeth after being hit on the head by an Anderson bouncer during England's six-wicket second Test win at Old Trafford.

The luckless Flynn lasted just three balls before he was lbw for nought to an Anderson delivery that kept low.

Opener Jamie How had made 40 as his colleagues came and went but he became Anderson's fifth victim when edging through to wicket-keeper Tim Ambrose and New Zealand were in dire straits at 77 for five.

And before the umpires took the players off for bad light, Anderson had all-rounder Jacob Oram, who made a century in the drawn first Test at Lord's, caught behind for seven.

It was that dismissal which pleased Anderson the most. "I've worked quite hard at getting my outswinger right to the left-hander from around the wicket," he said."

An admiring How added: "He certainly bowled well and deserved his figures. He was putting us under a lot of pressure.

"There are a few guys disappointed with their dismissals, myself included, but the changing room is still positive."

Debutant wicket-keeper Gareth Hopkins was 11 not out and New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori unbeaten on three.

Broad, 15 not out overnight, was dropped twice, most damagingly of all on 21 when McCullum floored a routine second slip chance off Chris Martin.

The son of former England opening batsman Chris, who also played here for Nottinghamshire, Broad beat his previous best of 42, against New Zealand at Napier in March, when he cover-drove Iain O'Brien for four.

Anderson slogged-sweeped left-arm spinner Vettori for four to surpass his previous Test-best score of 21 not out against South Africa at Lord's in 2003.

"I've worked hard on my batting," said Anderson, promoted up the order this match ahead of both Ryan Sidebottom and Monty Panesar.

Broad spent 25 balls either side of lunch one run shy of fifty but kept his cool and reached the landmark when he turned Vettori for four through mid-wicket.

The 21-year-old, in his sixth Test, batted for nearly three hours, facing 132 balls with 10 fours before he was bowled by Martin.

New Zealand were again left thinking of what might have been, having reduced England to 86 for five after Vettori won the toss.

But a sixth-wicket stand of 161 between Pietersen (115) and Ambrose (67) revived England before Broad and Anderson performed the second rescue mission of the innings.

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