The Lord’s test match stuttered towards its inevitable conclusion yesterday afternoon, and New Zealand will probably take the most positives out of the match. One of their debutants, Flynn, hung around for a long time with 29 not out, giving him vital practice out in the middle, Jacob Oram, arguably New Zealand’s most dangerous player, found form with a Century, and England yet again failed to polish off a weaker team’s lower order. Too often do England’s bowlers start well, and then struggle to break through against lower order batsmen. Admittedly neither Oram nor Vettori can be classed as “rabbits”, but you’d have thought that England’s bowling quartet could have capitalised on the last innings situation with New Zealand effectively 5 down for 120 with McCullum’s injury. Just after lunch it looked like England could have a chance to win the game, but by tea the game as a contest was over.
Of course it is not all negative for England. Michael Vaughan’s increasingly sumptuous century marks a welcome return to form for him, and all the bowlers put in decent performances.
- Sidebottom’s delivery to dismiss Oram just after he reached his century
- Daniel Vettori’s all round performance
- New Zealand’s grit and determination to make sure that England couldn’t force a win
- The England top order’s return to some sort of form.
Shane Warne just can’t keep out of the headlines. Fresh from his continuing excellent performances in the IPL, he seems to be offering his services back to Australia for the 2009 Ashes. Of course by that time he won’t have played and First Class cricket for a couple of years. Should the England players be quaking in their boots – probably not; the burger and kebab vendors probably have more to fear.