Caddick strikes early blows for England

England 228 and 468-6 dec New Zealand 147 and 140-3
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England's search for wickets on the fourth morning of this opening Test match was rewarded by Andrew Caddick. Needing to bat for two days to avoid defeat, New Zealand found themselves two wickets down inside the first hour after Caddick struck twice in successive overs. Later, in his second spell he removed the opener Mark Richardson for a plucky 76 to leave the home side 140 for 3 at lunch.

The tall fast bowler, disappointingly innocuous in the first innings, suddenly found conditions to his liking. Bowling from the City End, he removed Matthew Horne for 4, after the opener had opted for an innings of virtually strokeless resistance.

With Matthew Hoggard failing to find the lavish swing that had brought him seven wickets on the opening day, Caddick proved the more dangerous option. In his next over, Lou Vincent, so assured on his debut two months earlier against Australia, edged an awkward rising ball to Mark Butcher at second slip before he had scored.

As England celebrated, Butcher, already fielding with his hand heavily strapped, left the field for a precautionary x-ray on his right thumb. Soon after, his captain was also nursing a sore finger after failing to gather a low chance at first slip as Hoggard found the edge of Stephen Fleming's bat.

It was one of two chances England fluffed in the morning session, the second put down by Foster after Richardson got a thick edge off Ashley Giles. Although batting fluently, the left-handed opener had been lucky to survive an lbw shout off Hoggard that would have flattened middle stump. Human nature being what it is de Silva, realising his error, made up for it by giving Richardson out after a Caddick bouncer flicked his shirt sleeve.

Faced with a mammoth target of 550, the home side could have done without such a poor decision, particularly after the news that Chris Cairns will take no further part in the series, after a scan revealed a partial tear to his patella tendon. Cairns is New Zealand's most accomplished player and will be badly missed. With the World Cup less than a year away and a major goal for the all-rounder, his coming season with Nottinghamshire now looks in doubt.

Fourth day; New Zealand won toss

ENGLAND – First Innings 228 (N Hussain 106).

NEW ZEALAND – First Innings 147 (M J Hoggard 7-63).

ENGLAND – Second Innings 468 for 6dec (G P Thorpe 200 not out, A Flintoff 137)

NEW ZEALAND – Second Innings

(Overnight: 28 for 0)

M H Richardson c Foster b Caddickt 76

M J Horne c Foster b Caddick 4

L Vincent c Butcher b Caddick 0

*S P Fleming not out 30

N J Astle not out 13

Extras (lb8, nb9) 17

Total (for 3, 46 overs) 240

To bat: C D McMillan, C L Cairns, ÝA C Parore, D L Vettori, I G Butler, C J Drum.

Bowling: Caddick 15-7-35-3; Hoggard 15-3-52-0; Giles 14-3-39-0; Flintoff 2-1-6-0.

Umpires: B F Bowden and E A R de Silva (Sri Lanka).