Cricket: Gough in defiant mood

SECOND TEST: England in control as batsmen build on bowlers' success
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After his second five-wicket haul in Test cricket that helped dismiss New Zealand for 124 in their first innings Darren Gough was upbeat and defiant yesterday. "We feel as a team that we have taken a lot of stick which is quite amusing really because we haven't yet lost a Test this winter."

With their batsmen taking their cue from their bowlers England ended the second day on 204 for 3, a lead of 80, thanks to another half-century from Alec Stewart, and an unbeaten fourth-wicket stand of 98 between Nasser Hussain (60) and Graham Thorpe (47).

"We are all very determined to finish off New Zealand this time and get a Test win," Gough said. "We knew you can take nothing for granted, and no one in the side got carried away just because we had them six wickets down overnight."

Gough said he felt it was his best Test bowling display since his 6 for 49 against Australia in Sydney just over two years ago and, after being left out of England's side for the whole of last summer, that he now thought of himself as established again.

Last summer Gough was not selected for any of the Tests against India and Pakistan and he came on this winter's tour readily admitting that the limit of his immediate ambitions was to win back his place in the Test side.

He has done that, and more, and yesterday said: "I feel I am part of the England set-up again and a five-wicket haul certainly does give you extra confidence."

Gough's only problem during New Zealand's innings came when Geoff Allott hung around and the Yorkshireman took vocal exception after the batsman avoided a second successive bouncer.

The umpire Steve Bucknor told Gough to cool it, and then spoke with Atherton, but there was no official warning. "That goes on all the time in cricket," Gough said. "He's a fast bowler too so I'd expect the same from him. What did I say? He said 'well bowled' and I answered 'thank you'."

Hussain, England's vice-captain, had nothing but good words about Gough. "Darren's bowled well. He's not got as many wickets as he would like, but he is a bubbly character and I'm sure every side would like to have a Darren Gough.

"Give credit to all the bowlers. To bowl a Test side out for 120, even though there is a bit in the wicket, is a great performance."

Second day's play, page 27