Bowlers combine to take all ten England wickets on final day of second Test
New Zealand saw off both the elements and England on Day Five at Headingley to win the second Test by 199 runs and ensure it drew the two-match series 1-1 on Tuesday (June 2).
Forgetting the frustration of a rain-hit fourth day, Brendon McCullum’s side efficiently set about taking England apart, bowling the side out for 255 shortly after tea on the final day.
The home side had started on 44 without loss, still requiring a mammoth 411 more runs to pull off an unlikely win. New Zealand though had no intention of letting that happen, striking in just the third over of the day as Trent Boult, its Man of the Series, forced Adam Lyth into playing at one outside his offstump and edge it through to the ‘keeper.
With nine wickets remaining though, a draw was a realistic prospect, but a three-over burst from New Zealand turned the game in its favour.
First Boult removed Gary Ballance, swinging the ball into his pads and onto the stumps. Then Mark Craig struck twice in the space of three balls. Ian Bell turned the ball straight into the hands of Kane Williamson at leg slip, and then Joe Root went without scoring, hitting the ball straight to Tom Latham who did well to cling on to a difficult catch at short leg.
Suddenly England was 62 for 4 and, with the lunch break still some distance away, in real trouble. There was a brief spell of rebuilding, as Alastair Cook and Ben Stokes combined well, but ultimately all their good work was undone just before lunch.
McCullum turned to Williamson in an attempt to break the stand and was rewarded instantly, Stokes attempting to cut but only getting a thin edge through to Luke Ronchi – and England’s fifth wicket was down with only 102 runs on the board.
England’s hopes seemed to rest almost entirely in the hands of the captain, deservingly named its Man of the Series after the match, and it appeared for some time after lunch that he might be capable of saving the side, the left-hander bringing up his second half-century of the game.
However the golden arm of Williamson struck once again, sliding one across Cook and trapping him lbw for 56, a review failing to save him.
From that point on, victory was almost inevitable for New Zealand, even more so when Moeen Ali made a misjudgement against Matt Henry and was bowled for 2 shouldering arms.
England’s tail, marshalled by Jos Buttler, did hold out for a decent period of time, but ultimately they perished, Stuart Broad chopping on to give Williamson a third wicket, and Mark Wood falling victim to the second new ball, edging Tim Southee to Craig at second slip.
Buttler and James Anderson batted long enough for the fast bowler to get the six more he needed to reach 1,000 Test runs, but eventually Craig struck again, Buttler making the mistake of shouldering arms to a ball that crashed into his pads and he was given lbw for 73.
It brought an end to a valiant innings from England’s wicketkeeper, but the outcome was no less than New Zealand deserved.