In the end it took England less than an hour to wrap up proceedings on Day Four and secure victory by 170 runs in the first Test with New Zealand at Lord’s.
After a frantic morning session in which they reduced their opposition to 29/6 in just 11.4 overs, victory always looked assured for England and in they end they only needed 11 more overs to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
Stuart Broad claimed his sixth wicket of the innings when he had Tim Southee caught in the deep by Joe Root, only a ball after being dropped in the slips by James Anderson.
Anderson struck three overs later to remove BJ Watling, the keeper only able to edge an outswinging delivery to Jonathan Trott in the slips.
Broad soon had another victim and career best figures of 7/44, clean bowling the injured Bruce Martin with a delivery that flattened middle stump and left New Zealand 67/9.
The game ended an over later in comic circumstances, when Neil Wagner who had shown a willingness to play a few shots, including a pull into lower tier of the Mound Stand for six, skied one to 12th man Billy Root in the deep.
Root junior made a horrible mess of the catch but as New Zealand’s batsmen dithered in the middle of the wicket, the ball was thrown to Anderson who simply ran to the non-strikers end to run Wagner out for 17.
It was a bizarre end to a dramatic day’s cricket, which had begun with the distinct possibility of an England loss, and ended over an hour before tea in a crushing victory. They will go to Headingley in high spirits for Friday’s game.