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England beat New Zealand to level series
March 17, 2008 07:22 IST
England [Images] produced an all-round performance to level the Test series with New Zealand [Images] on Monday, winning the second match by 126 runs early on the fifth and final day at the Basin Reserve.
Left arm pace bowler Ryan Sidebottom, who captured 10 wickets in the first Test in Hamilton, provided the impetus for the visitors with five wickets in New Zealand's second innings to help dismiss them for 311.
Wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum had a swashbuckling 85 and Ross Taylor 55 in an effort to help chase down the record 438 needed for victory, but too often New Zealand's batsmen got starts but then fell just as they needed to push on.
England, with a new pace attack after the dropping of stalwarts Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard [Images], dominated from the outset and James Anderson's five-wicket haul on the second day ensured New Zealand were played out of the match early.
Resuming on 242 for six, New Zealand's hopes of pulling off an improbable victory rested squarely on the shoulders of McCullum and captain Daniel Vettori [Images].
The aggressive McCullum had two large swishes at Stuart Broad deliveries in the first over before he hooked him to the backward square boundary to open the day's scoring.
However, Vettori was unable to reproduce the form that had given him two half centuries and he nicked a Sidebottom delivery to Alastair Cook [Images] at third slip in the second over of the day.
Vettori's dismissal effectively ended New Zealand's slim hopes of fashioning the victory, and first Test series win against England since 1999.
Fast bowler Kyle Mills, who has scored a first-class century and could have possibly held up one end while McCullum blazed away at the other, did not last long when he was trapped leg before for 13 by Sidebottom.
It was the left hander's third five-wicket Test haul and he ended with figures of five for 105.
He also completed the victory when he caught McCullum at long on, off Monty Panesar [Images], for 85 about 35 minutes before lunch.
Chris Martin was left on nought not out without facing a ball.
Broad, who took two wickets in one over on Sunday, ended with two for 62.
New Zealand won the first Test in Hamilton by 189 runs. The final match begins in Napier on March 22.