England 253 & 91-2 New Zealand 168: England saved by timeless virtues

Ryan Sidebottom is a man behind his time and England should be hugely thankful for it. The modern game, with all its coaches, tactics, analysts and hype, likes to believe that change equals improvement, but Sidebottom continues to prove the theory wrong by exhibiting the virtues of bowling that have stood the test of time: line, length and a bloody big heart.

In today's world such qualities do not sound particularly sexy, but a bowler who remains competitive no matter the state of the pitch or the match situation, and can consistently land the ball on a good length on or just outside off-stump, has the potential to go a long way. Achieving these basic skills sounds simple, but it is not. They take years of hard work to acquire, but once a player has them he possesses a game that will make him competitive most days of his career.

Where England would be in the series without Sidebottom barely warrants thinking about and in New Zealand's first innings he was the star again, taking career-best figures of 7 for 47 as the Black Caps lost their last nine wickets for the addition of just 65 runs. The haul took his series tally to 23, a total that makes him England's most successful bowler on a tour of New Zealand. His excellence took him past Andrew Caddick and Darren Gough, both of whom took 19 wickets here in 1996-97 and 2001-02 respectively.

Sidebottom's display here in Napier was by far his most important of the tour. In the first Test in Hamilton the 30-year-old's hat-trick and 10-wicket haul were in vain because England lost. In the second at Basin Reserve second-innings figures of 5 for 105 helped England to victory, but New Zealand were always unlikely to chase down the huge target set them, and James Anderson or Stuart Broad would probably have taken wickets had Sidebottom failed.

Here, though, England's hopes of winning their first overseas series in three years were about to disappear into nearby Hawkes Bay when Vaughan tossed Sidebottom the ball after lunch. After dismissing England for 253 the Black Caps had cruised to 93 for 1, smashing Anderson and Broad all around the ground.

Vaughan's ambition was limited to begin with. The England captain positioned deep fielders on each side of the ground to cut off Stephen Fleming's boundary-scoring options and in an attempt to regain some control he started with Paul Collingwood. But then Fleming, on 59, wafted at a short of a length ball from Sidebottom and edged a catch to Collingwood.

The pitch and the overhead conditions offered the bowlers little assistance so Sidebottom, at the request of Vaughan, opted to bowl round the wicket. The ploy brought immediate success when Jamie How drove loosely at a widish delivery and edged to Andrew Strauss at first slip.

Broad dismissed Ross Taylor with a beauty before Brendon McCullum was bowled by Sidebottom playing an atrocious shot. Sidebottom, Broad, Tim Southee and Chris Martin have all bowled well, but the quality of batting on the opening two days of the Test has been appaling. Much of it has not been worthy of Test status.

Grant Elliott became Sidebottom's sixth victim when he edged a tentative push to the keeper before Broad increased his wicket count to three.

England's hero returned to dismiss Daniel Vettori. The New Zealand captain stormed from the pitch as Sidebottom received a standing ovation. Vettori knew that a golden opportunity to win a series had been wasted.

The inadequacies of the New Zealand batsmen should not detract from Sidebottom's achievement. With his curly locks flowing behind him and roared on by the Barmy Army, he charged in for an entire session, stretching every sinew as he pushed his body to the limit. Sidebottom's action is never pretty, especially when he gets a little tired, but like a Volvo he just keeps going and going, taking 5 for 33 in 13 overs between lunch and tea.

"I think the old-fashioned virtues of line and length are underestimated," admitted the ever modest Sidebottom. "I don't bowl at 88 or 90 mph and I have never bowled any different to what I am now in my career. I have just tried to get the ball in the right area, and if it swings or seams around a little bit you are always in with a chance. It is going well for me here, the whole thing is surreal, but I have not changed anything I do from Sri Lanka before Christmas when I was struggling for wickets. Some days you get your nicks, some days you don't.

"It was my most pleasing day of Test cricket, especially as our backs were against the wall at one stage. At lunch we were extremely disappointed. We didn't have a telling off but Peter Moores [the England coach] got us all together and told us basically to pull our fingers out because the match was slipping away from us early in the Test."

Sidebottom would not have needed the reminder; players with his traits never take anything for granted. If a few of his team-mates can follow his example the England team may once again become a side to be feared.

Napier Scoreboard

England won toss

England – First innings

A N Cook b Martin 2

28 mins, 21 balls

*M P Vaughan lbw b Southee 2

15 mins, 11 balls

A J Strauss c How b Southee 0

8 mins, 6 balls

K P Pietersen c How b Southee 129

294 mins, 208 balls, 12 fours, 1 six

I R Bell c and b Elliott 9

68 mins, 58 balls, 1 four

P D Collingwood c Elliott b Patel 30

96 mins, 82 balls, 6 fours

+T R Ambrose c Taylor b Patel 11

39 mins, 38 balls, 1 four

S C J Broad c McCullum b Southee 42

127 mins, 103 balls, 5 fours, 1 six

R J Sidebottom c Bell b Southee 14

60 mins, 37 balls, 1 four

M S Panesar b Martin 1

14 mins, 13 balls

J M Anderson not out 0

2 mins, 1 ball

Extras (b 0, lb 9, w 3, nb 1) 13

Total (380 mins, 96.1 overs) 253

Fall: 1-4 (Vaughan), 2-4 (Strauss), 3-4 (Cook), 4-36 (Bell), 5-125 (Collingwood), 6-147 (Ambrose), 7-208 (Pietersen), 8-240 (Broad), 9-253 (Panesar), 10-253 (Sidebottom).

Bowling: Martin 26-6-74-2 (w2) (9-3-16-1, 6-1-17-0, 3-0-22-0, 8-2-19-1), Southee 23.1-8-55-5 (w1) (7-3-6-2, 3-1-9-0, 6-2-16-0, 7.1-2-24-3), Elliott 10-2-27-1 (5-1-10-1, 5-1-17-0), Vettori 19-6-51-0 (9-2-32-0, 4-2-4-0, 6-2-15-0), Patel 18-3-37-2 (nb1) (one spell).

Progress: First day: 50: 113 min, 27.2 overs. Lunch: 58-4 (Pietersen 43, Collingwood 1) 30 overs. 100: 162 min, 40.5 overs. 150: 240 mins, 62 overs. Tea: 150-6 (Pietersen 90, Broad 1) 62 overs. 200: 301 mins, 79.1 overs. New ball taken after 81 overs at 205-6. Close: 240-7 (Broad 42, Sidebottom 3) 92 overs. Second day: 250: 372 mins, 94.2 overs. Innings closed 10.49am.

Pietersen 50: 105 mins, 74 balls, 4 fours. 100: 235 mins, 163 balls, 10 fours.

New Zealand – First innings

J M How c Strauss b Sidebottom 44

129 mins, 73 balls, 8 fours

M D Bell lbw b Sidebottom 0

2 mins, 2 balls

S P Fleming c Collingwood b Sidebottom 59

98 mins, 72 balls, 9 fours, 1 six

M S Sinclair c Broad b Sidebottom 7

38 mins, 31 balls, 1 four

L R P L Taylor c Ambrose b Broad 2

7 mins, 4 balls

G D Elliott c Ambrose b Sidebottom 6

36 mins, 24 balls

+B B McCullum b Sidebottom 9

14 mins, 8 balls, 2 fours

*D L Vettori c Cook b Sidebottom 14

73 mins, 32 balls, 1 four

T G Southee c Pietersen b Broad 5

23 mins, 20 balls, 1 four

J S Patel c Panesar b Broad 4

25 mins, 25 balls

C S Martin not out 4

4 mins, 1 ball, 1 four

Extras (b 0, lb 13, w 1, nb 0) 14

Total (229 mins, 48.4 overs) 168

Fall: 1-1 (Bell), 2-103 (Fleming), 3-116 (How), 4-119 (Taylor), 5-119 (Sinclair), 6-137 (McCullum), 7-138 (Elliott), 8-152 (Southee), 9-164 (Patel), 10-168 (Vettori).

Bowling: Sidebottom 21.4-6-47-7 (7-4-10-1, 14.4-2-37-6), Anderson 7-1-54-0 (5-1-27-0, 2-0-27-0), Broad 17-3-54-3 (w1) (4-0-22-0, 13-3-32-3), Panesar 1-1-0-0, Collingwood 2-2-0-0 (one spell each).

Progress: Second day: 50: 61 mins, 13.3 overs. Lunch: 93-1 (How 30, Fleming 56) 20 overs. 100: 94 min, 20.5 overs. 150: 195 mins, 41.4 overs. Tea: 155-8 (Vettori 10, Patel 1) 45 overs. Innings closed 3.47pm.

Fleming 50: 73 min, 53 balls, 8 fours, 1 six.

England – Second innings

A N Cook c McCullum b Patel 37

98 mins, 69 balls, 7 fours

*M P Vaughan c McCullum b Martin 4

4 mins, 4 balls, 1 four

A J Strauss not out 42

116 mins, 93 balls, 5 fours

K P Pietersen not out 7

22 mins, 26 balls, 1 four

Extras (b 0, lb 1, w 0, nb 0) 1

Total (2 wkts, 121 mins, 32 overs) 91

Fall: 1-5 (Vaughan), 2-77 (Cook).

To bat: I R Bell, P D Collingwood, +T R Ambrose, S C J Broad, R J Sidebottom, M S Panesar, J M Anderson.

Bowling: Martin 6-2-23-1 (one spell), Southee 6-3-18-0 (5-3-9-0, 1-0-9-0), Elliott 4-0-19-0 (one spell), Patel 9-1-14-1 (2-0-5-0, 7-1-9-1), Vettori 7-0-16-0 (one spell).

Progress: Second day: 50: 62 min, 14.3 overs.

Umpires: D J Harper (Aus) and R E Koertzen (SA).

TV replay umpire: G A V Baxter (NZ).

Match referee: J Srinath (India).

Listen to Angus Fraser and Stephen Brenkley discuss today's play at

independent.co.uk/sport

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas