Three Ryan Sidebottoms, that’s what we’ve been campaigning for. He’s exceptional.
Sidebottom actually started on a hat trick, having taken two wickets in two balls at the end of New Zealand’s first innings. He failed, but no matter, another hat trick opportunity soon arose. They’re nothing special. There’s nothing out of the ordinary in taking three wickets with consecutive deliveries.
Alastair Cook caught the first two and they were blinders. Prior to this Test, Alastair Cook was considered at best a mediocre fielder, but he’s taken about five jaw-dropping catches over the last four days; five real eye-catchers. We’ve never seen such a transformation.
The flipside of this is that England have effectively set themselves a stiff target where they’d probably just expected to have to bat out a short amount of time previously. New Zealand will be quite happy with this, we suspect.
New Zealand v England, first Test at Hamilton – day four
New Zealand 470 (Ross Taylor 120, Jamie How 92, Daniel Vettori 88, Brendon McCullum 51, Ryan Sidebottom 4-90)
England 348 (Paul Collingwood 66, Michael Vaughan 63, Tim Ambrose 55, Jeetan Patel 3-107)
New Zealand 147-8 (Stephen Fleming 66, Ryan Sidebottom 5-37, Monty Panesar 3-33)