Sidebottom seals crushing England victory

Published: Sunday, June 8, 2008, 17:13 [IST]
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Nottingham: Ryan Sidebottom's devastating spell of four wickets for five runs in 19 balls propelled England to an innings and nine run third Test victory against New Zealand at Trent Bridge here on Sunday.

England's win, achieved before lunch on the fourth day, saw them take the three-match series 2-0.

Left-arm quick Sidebottom, who finished with figures of six for 77, routed the New Zealand lower order on his Nottinghamshire home ground.

But it was fellow fast bowler and man-of-the-match James Anderson, with a Test best seven for 43 in the first innings, who did the decisive damage that made New Zealand follow-on.

Only all-rounder Jacob Oram, with an unbeaten 39-ball fifty featuring two sixes and six fours offered some resistance Sunday.

New Zealand resumed on 177 for five - still 64 runs shy of making England bat again - after suffering the double blow of losing both Brendon McCullum (71) and Daniel Flynn (49) shortly before stumps on Saturday.

Test debutant Gareth Hopkins was seven not out and Oram eight not out.


Wicket-keeper Hopkins had added just five to his overnight score when he edged Sidebottom to England gloveman Tim Ambrose.

Oram, who made a hundred in the drawn first Test at Lord's, square cut Stuart Broad, a county colleague of Sidebottom's, and then pulled the fast bowler for successive fours.

And when the 21-year-old quick dropped short again, to expose the tall all-rounder's supposed weakness against the rising ball, Oram hooked him for the first six of the match.

At the other end though New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori gave his wicket away when driving Sidebottom to Kevin Pietersen in the gully.

Tailenders Kyle Mills and Iain O'Brien were both caught in the slips by Sidebottom before Anderson finished the match when last man Chris Martin was caught at second slip by Paul Collingwood.

New Zealand, as was the case during their six-wicket second Test defeat at Old Trafford, had enjoyed some early success in this match and reduced England to 86 for five after captain Daniel Vettori won the toss and fielded.

But a stand of 161 between Pietersen (115) and Ambrose (67) got England back into the match before tailenders Broad (64) and Anderson (28) both recorded their Test-best scores to bolster the hosts' total.

The Black Caps, several of whose batsmen demonstrated a faulty technique against the swinging ball, were bowled out for 123 - 42 short of avoiding the follow-on.

However, one concern for England was the form of struggling middle-order batsmen Ian Bell and Paul Collingwood and their collective failure, for the 12th successive Test, to reach the benchmark first innings score of 400.

But the likes of batsmen Owais Shah and Ravi Bopara will have to wait until the July 10 series opener against South Africa at Lord's to press their claims for a Test place.

And the selectors are likely to face another problem if star pace-bowling all-rounder Andrew Flintoff is fully fit following a side injury.

An inexperienced New Zealand side had played just four Tests in 10 months before losing 2-1 at home to England in a three-match series in March.

Their next Test assignment isn't until October when they are away to minnows Bangladesh.

But the World Cup semi-finalists remain an impressive one-day outfit.

They now meet England in a one-off Twenty20 clash at Old Trafford on June 13 before the teams play the first of five one-day internationals at the Riverside two days later.

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