March 18, 2013
There wasn’t much wind in WWW (Wellington – world’s windiest city), but that didn’t stop Cyclone Sandra having her say with heavy rain putting paid to any hope of a result in the second test. No play was possible on the final day, so the match was drawn, with New Zealand finishing their second innings on 166-2, still trailing England by 49 runs.
England can claim a moral victory, but this will count for nothing if they fail to overcome New Zealand in the final deciding test, which starts in Auckland on 22 March. They will be bolstered by impressive individual performances in this game from an increasingly confident Nick Compton (100), Mr. Reliable Jonathan Trott (121), Kevin Pietersen (73), the ever-reliable Matt Prior (82) and a seemingly re-invigorated Stuart Broad (6-51). Captain Alastair Cook is hoping for more bounce in the drop-in Auckland pitch to assist both bowlers and batsmen.
New Zealand are pulling together well as a team, but the feeling persists that they lack sufficient firepower to triumph consistently in the longer form of the game. Skipper, Brendon McCullum, predicts a good scrap in Auckland and claims that New Zealand will not be playing for a draw. Both teams are likely to remain unchanged.
So, for UK viewers it is just five more all nighters on the sofa before summer returns allowing sleep patterns to return to normal.
The Scoop 18/03/13