Cricket: Caddick leads fightback after England collapse

First Test: Hussain experiences mixed emotions as wickets tumble
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The Independent Online
IT HAS become something of a trend in recent years for cricketers to describe the drama of their lives as soap operas or movies. Yet, if it normally takes a while to experience the extreme highs and lows that contribute to such dramas, Nasser Hussain has experienced the whole gamut in less time than most. In a little under 24 hours, he has gone from Captain Courageous, to The Man Who Fell to Earth, to something verging on The Great Escape. From now on, life can only get more mundane.

In a remarkable day's cricket that saw England dismissed for 126 and batsmen in general come and go like number 11 buses, 20 wickets fell as ball overwhelmed bat. Indeed, any run scored off bona fide shots were cheered to the rafters by a boisterous crowd. England may yet have cause to be grateful for the 70-run partnership between Andy Caddick and Alex Tudor that helped lift England's total from 45 for 7 to 126 all out, a deficit of 100. Later Caddick caused Kiwi feathers to fly with a bowling performance far more controlled than his efforts in the first innings.

The pitch, a bit quicker than on the first day, was not a good one and it has provided virtually ball-by-ball movement in both vertical and lateral planes. But if none have yet scuttled, it is about the only thing that has not happened as the batsmen of both sides have been humbled, though a litany of poor strokes have also contributed to the body count.

New Zealand were particularly guilty and some of the shots played by batsmen comforted by a 100-run lead defied belief. Perhaps it was the surprise of losing Roger Twose to the first ball of the innings, lbw to a loosener, that brought the others out swinging. Positive strokeplay is all very well, but the shots chosen by Chris Cairns, Dion Nash and Nathan Astle smacked of desperation. Otherwise it was a combination of swing and seam with which Caddick and Alan Mullally wreaked their havoc.

As is so often the case of calamitous batting collapses, something mundane sparks them off. In England's case it was two unforced errors by their opening batsmen, the first a complete misjudgment of line by Alec Stewart, who padded up to the left-armer Geoff Allott in the third over of the morning. It was the same end from which Stewart had misjudged a slip catch the previous day, an error that cost England dear and one which Stewart repeated by dropping Stephen Fleming off Caddick, when the New Zealand captain was on 1.

The dismissal of Mark Butcher, run out by half the length of the pitch, required collusion and this was forthcoming in the shape of Hussain, who has previous poor form in this area. Unable to hear the sequence of calling from the boundary, blame must be apportioned equally. What probably abetted the confusion was that Hussain did not immediately know where the ball had gone after it had come off his thigh pad. When he had located it, Horne had pounced, something Hussain realised only after Butcher had committed himself to the run. Unsurprisingly, the pair's eyes did not meet as Butcher trudged past his captain on the way back to the dressing-room.

After that the ball started talking three languages at once, as swing, seam and trampoline bounce disconcerted all those who came into contact with it, or not, as was mostly the case with ball once again regularly passing bat. Soon after the run out, Hussain, who had twice found the boundary with cracking shots, received a beauty off Simon Doull that pitched on middle and clipped the top of the off stump. A conventional swing bowler, Doull bowled like a dream, his 1 for 17 a mockery to natural justice. He will have bowled far worse than he did here and ended up with five.

Graham Thorpe, clearly expecting the worst, followed a ball he would never have contemplated playing in calmer circumstances, while Mark Ramprakash, playing as if sweeping a minefield, gutsed it out for a 27-ball duck. His demise to a snorter from Chris Cairns brushed both bat and pocket, a combination that tested Adam Parore's agility behind the stumps.

A score of 38 for 5 is never the best way to ease through your debut and it left England's new boys, Aftab Habib and Chris Read, with an awful lot to do. Like many in the England side, county cricket does not school them in the art of survival and neither got beyond the binary stage of their innings; Habib being bowled off his pads by one that jagged back sharply and Read fending a catch to gully. As Caddick and Tudor later showed, time at the crease tends to makes things easier, though luck, too, is an ingredient that must not be underestimated when the ball moves about as much as it has here these past two days.

If both had more than their fair share, they also deserve credit for the way they mixed defence with aggression. When all looks lost it is too easy for bowlers to blame batsmen, hang the consequences and have a slog. Perhaps realising they could have bowled better on day one, they hung in until the deficit was only a hundred. With New Zealand also in turmoil, it may yet prove crucial.

EDGBASTON SCOREBOARD

Second day, New Zealand won toss

NEW ZEALAND - First Innings 226

ENGLAND - First Innings

M A Butcher run out (Horne-Doull) 11

35 min, 25 balls, 2 fours

A J Stewart lbw b Allott 1

9 min, 3 balls

*N Hussain b Doull 10

32 min, 21 balls, 2 fours

G P Thorpe c Astle b Allott 6

14 min, 9 balls

M R Ramprakash c Parore b Cairns 0

43 min, 27 balls

A Habib b Cairns 1

45 min, 27 balls

C M W Read c Sub b Nash 1

26 min, 25 balls

A R Caddick c Parore b Nash 33

104 min, 73 balls, 6 fours

A J Tudor not out 32

101 min, 62 balls, 7 fours

A D Mullally c Parore b Nash 0

1 min, 1 ball

P C R Tufnell c Fleming b Cairns 6

11 min, 13 balls, 1 four

Extras (b8, lb11, nb6) 25

Total (215 min, 46.4 overs) 126

Fall: 1-5 (Stewart); 2-26 (Butcher); 3-28 (Hussain); 4-33 (Thorpe); 5-38 (Ramprakash); 6-40 (Habib); 7-45 (Read); 8-115 (Caddick); 9-115 (Mullally); 10-126 (Tufnell).

Bowling: Allott 14-3-38-2 (nb2) (7-1-22-2 7-2-16-0); Doull 12-6-17-1 (8-5-8-1 4-1-9-0); Cairns 9.4-3-35-3 (nb4) (6-3-14-2 3.4-0-21-1); Nash 11-6-17-3 (5-4-3-1 6-2-14-2).

Progress: 50: 118 min, 24.4 overs. Lunch: 56-7 (Caddick 13, Tudor 0) 26 overs. 100: 191 min, 41.1 overs.

NEW ZEALAND - Second Innings

R G Twose lbw b Caddick 0

1 min, 1 ball

M J Horne c Read b Mullally 1

16 mins, 13 balls

*S P Fleming c Read b Tufnell 25

171 mins, 86 balls, 4 fours

N J Astle c Read b Mullally 9

16 mins, 14 balls, 2 fours

C D McMillan c Butcher b Mullally 15

41 mins, 32 balls, 1 four

C L Cairns c Read b Caddick 3

14 mins, 7 balls

A C Parore c Stewart b Caddick 0

2 mins, 2 balls

D J Nash c Read b Caddick 0

18 mins, 13 balls

D L Vettori b Caddick 0

2 mins, 2 balls

S B Doull not out 45

55 mins, 46 balls, 8 fours

Extras (b1,lb4,,w1,nb2) 8

Total (171 mins, 35.4 overs) 106

Fall: 1-0 (Twose), 2-5 (Horne), 3-17 (Astle), 4-39 (McMillan), 5-46 (Cairns), 6-46 (Parore), 7-52 (Nash), 8-52 (Vettori), 9-106 (Fleming).

To bat: G I Allott.

Bowling: Caddick 13-3-31-5 (nb2) (6-0-13-1 6-3-15-4 1-0-3-0), Mullally 16-3-48-3 (w1) (5-2-13-2 11-1-35-1), Tudor 5-2-15-0 (3-2-3-0 2-0-12-0), Tufnell 1.4-0-6-1.

Progress: Second day: 50 in 107 mins, 22.2 overs. 100 in 161 mins, 33.3 overs.

Umpires: S A Bucknor (WI) and P Willey.

TV Replay Umpire: R Julian.

Match Referee: P L van der Merwe (SA).

Compiled by Jo King

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