When New Zealand were floored at Lord’s

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The usual Stuart Broad picture - can't be bothered finding a new one today

In post match analysis, many people have been saying that they thought Graeme Swann was going to be key and marvelling that he didn’t get a bowl. Yes, that’s true, but let’s put this in perspective: Steven Finn didn’t get a bowl either.

James Anderson took 2-23 and Stuart Broad took 7-44. As new ball spells go, these are adequate.

It sounds odd, but people sometimes undervalue bowling performances like this, particularly once the excitement has worn off and a few of the details have been forgotten. The innings is either described in terms of the batting side collapsing or the results are diminished by talk of helpful conditions. But while destructive bowling in unhelpful conditions is undeniably admirable, there’s something really special about dismissing a side for 68. You’ll be lauded if you dismiss the opposition for twice that and the difference between those two scores speaks of the standards you set yourself.

The TV highlights were pretty much the entire day’s play, but yet they still felt very much like highlights. The wickets were interspersed with dozens of similar deliveries which just happened to beat the edge, rather than catch it. Many swing bowlers have picked up five wickets when the ball’s doing something, but only the best ones make it seem unavoidable.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. Good on lil’ Stu. He may be the Hero Honda man of the match today, but he’s got to be careful people don’t hit him around for Yes Bank Maxima in the next game.

  2. Physics makes the usual Stuart Broad photo particularly appropriate today, as it shows him at what is very probably a short-lived high point. But maybe this time he will manage the trick that has eluded members of The Natural Law Party for so long.

    1. Was this the first time in history that a four man bowling attack had two of its number, Swann and Finn, with surnames ending in the same double letter?

      Ad it was even those two who missed out on bowling second time around.


  3. Anderson dismissing Brownlie was a sick joke, watching from New Zealand. Inswinger nearly cut him in half, outswinger one ball later forced an edge.

    Thats it, I’m officially a neutral now so I can appreciate masterful performances when they happen against the team I support.

    1. Yeah, bit annoyed Broad took all those wickets actually. Would have been nice to see a bit more Anderson artistry.

  4. Why does anyone (and judging from the reports and interviews, that means everyone) think that NZ threw this match away with ONE poor innings, having played beautifully till that point? Williamson and especially Taylor played very well in the first innings. The next best batsman (Brownlie) scored 23. Two others got past ten. NZ failed to get past England’s universally-described weak total. The only difference between NZ’s first and second innings was that Taylor and Williamson didn’t scrape them to vague respectability again.

    They’re kidding themselves with their assessment if they think that collapse is all they have to worry about. NZ’s batsmen were crap in both their innings. Southee was the only consistently good performer in the entire team, and the only reason they were even remotely in with a chance in this match.

    1. You could make that argument about every test innings ever played, whether good or bad. It’s always only a couple of batsmen who are responsible for the bulk of the scoring. Unless you were talking about the Sri Lankan team of the late nineties where ten players got fifties and twenty players bowled.

    2. I also voiced the opinion to anyone that was listening (plus Mrs. Smudge and Ian Smith on the telly neither of whom were really listening) that England in fact had a first innings lead and were not outplayed for the first 3 1/2 days as was being suggested.

      It was a corking game of cricket though, didn’t you thinkk?

    3. Look. Just because we’ve had, England in NZ notwithstanding, massive collapses in 6 out of the other 8 most recent matches (1 vs Aussie (arguably 2), the entire South African jaunt, the first Sri Lankan test and now Lords), doesn’t mean our batting’s rubbish.

      I know this, because, um, because our Captain said we’ve achieved a lot in the last 12 months. Yeah, so there!

    4. I agree that we didn’t play brilliantly; but what if the headline was “Broad rescues terrible England”? The batting from both side was pretty average, only 4 50’s (2 per team), so to say Southee was the only reason we were remotely in with a chance is pretty biased. You could just as easily say Broad was the only reason England got away with a win. For the match, Southee got 10 wickets & 19 runs; Broad got 8 wickets & 26 runs. I agree that Broad’s spell was astonishing, but in the numbers there’s a pretty solid argument that Southee should have got MOM over Broad.

    5. If you removerd trott and Root from England’s 2nd innings then the next highest scorer was Broad with 26. This would have left NZ chasing 111 to win.

    6. Sometimes matches are low-scoring. We don’t think either side’s batsmen played as badly as the scorecards suggest. We’d say those who made fifties played very well.

    7. Just to be clear, I think England batted very poorly in this match, especially in the first innings, and in the second as well for the most part. But as Smudge says, for NZ to have come up short of a poor England total implies that they batted badly in the first innings as well (two players excepted). All I am saying is that it’s not an aberration when it happens twice in two innings.

      I would have preferred McCullum to say after the match that they lost it by not batting to a 150 first innings lead when their bowlers had presented them with the opportunity.

      I think Jon J’s headline slightly modified sums the match up well. “Anderson, then Broad, Rescue Terrible England; Southee Keeps Worse NZ In Contention”

    8. From the day I witnessed live and thoroughly (Day 2) I think that particular Lord’s wicket in those climatic conditions was very difficult for batting.

      In my view, England (by which I mainly mean Broad and Finn) bowled poorly for most of New Zealand’s first innings.

      On the Saturday morning, both Broad and Finn bowled much better and the result was a clatter of wickets.

      Daisy’s view (without the benefit of hindsight) towards the end of Day 3, when England lost a clutch of wickets late in the day was telling. I said “we could be in trouble here – I think we need 250-260 to bowl at to put them under pressure.” Daisy replied, “we’re safe already – 150 would be plenty”.

  5. Broad batted and then took five wickets before lunch on day 4. First time for that too, surely.

    1. England v Aussieland 3rd test 1981 Headingley

      Day 5, Big Bob Willis batted in the morning with Sir Iron Bottom. Not sure how many Big Bob took before lunch, but the whole thing was over about 45 minutes after lunch & he took 8 in the innings.

    2. 58-4, eh? That fact does dent my case somewhat.

      That 1981 match climax really did unfold in just 40 minutes or so after lunch, then.

      I was doing a holiday job and I recall cricket lovers in the office phoning for the score periodically (that’s how you got the score in those days) and at increasingly short intervals as the game unfolded that final day.

      But the crucial detail for Sam’s question was lost in the mists of time and my small brain.

      Batting plus five-fer before lunch might be a unique thing, then, Sam.

    3. daneel — I am genuinely curious about the stream of ideas/random web-crawlings that led you to that link.

    4. Ah, that does look simpler than I thought. I thought you had an evil statsguru formula.

    5. Obvious really, Daneel! We all should have thought of it.

      Herbert Sutcliffe’s debut test too.

    6. Gustavus Fowke is a great name for a cricketer.

      Or a disease.

      “Terrible news. Cedric is in hospital, he has a chronic attack of gustavus fowke. In both the large and small intestine.”

    7. Interesting (?) note – Cedric only exists as a name because Sir Walter Scott misspelt Cerdic in Ivanhoe.

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