Cricket / Second Test: Crowe makes wrong decision

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NEW ZEALAND were taken almost to 500, not by their two remaining batsmen, Martin Crowe and Shane Thomson, but by their late middle order and tailenders.

It may seem churlish to criticise Crowe after such a splendid innings, yet his approach on the second morning was wrong, especially after Thomson had given his wicket away unnecessarily.

It is foolish to be run out at any time, but especially so 15 minutes after the start of a day's play. Paul Taylor's pick-up and throw was quite brilliant, but Thomson should never have given England the chance of breaking the stand in this way.

Crowe and Thomson began the day as if they were determined to reach 500 and Crowe seemed to decide, after Thomson's dismissal, that if he occupied the crease for long enough the runs would come. This is a false logic for it allows the bowlers to take charge.

There was no need for a batsman of Crowe's ability to be held down by this England attack. One felt that he should have made more effort to play his strokes at the start of the day.

New Zealand were lucky that their lower order batsmen played as well as they did. Given that Adam Parore, Matthew Hart and Dion Nash can bat better than most tailenders, Crowe had even more reason to attempt to dictate to the bowlers at the start of the day.

He got out without scoring many more runs and it may be that his dodgy knee was hurting after his innings on Thursday. Even so, I felt he was wrong not to have attempted more at the start of the second day.