Tim Southee, New Zealand's 19-year-old prodigy, added a few fireworks to what was otherwise a fairly routine 121-run win for England on the final morning of the series-deciding third Test here in Napier yesterday. Southee smashed nine sixes in an extraordinary 40-ball innings of 77 to delay England's celebrations, spoil a couple of the bowlers' analyses and take New Zealand to 431 before Chris Martin was bowled by Ryan Sidebottom.
It was fitting that Sidebottom took the final wicket because he has been haircut and shoulders above any other player in the series. The wicket of Martin took his series tally to 24 and he can look forward to playing against the same opposition on 15 May at Lord's.
Even so, it was Monty Panesar who starred in the final innings of a competitive but scrappy series. Panesar followed the three wickets he took on day four by taking three more on the last day. The display gave him career best figures of 6 of 126.
New Zealand began the final day with five wickets in hand and requiring a further 331 to complete the most sensational of victories. And to begin with Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum batted as though they were going for a win. Fifty-four runs were struck in eight overs and five balls. A weary Sidebottom received the most tap, conceding 31 runs in a unfamiliar three-over spell.
But the nature of the day changed with the final ball of Panesar's second over. The delivery pitched on the line of middle and off stump, turned sharply, found the outside edge of Taylor's bat and carried to Paul Collingwood at slip. Ten balls later England were all but home when McCullum tried to work a straight ball to leg and was bowled, giving Panesar his seventh five-wicket haul in Test cricket.
Jeetan Patel soon followed when Stuart Broad superbly held a top-edged sweep at Panesar at backward square leg. With 75 overs of the Test remaining Daniel Vettori, the New Zealand captain, decided to have some fun, cracking seven fours in his 43 before gloving a James Anderson bouncer through to the keeper.
Southee showed his power by hitting Panesar for six and he finished the morning session by depositing Anderson over the deep square-leg boundary. After lunch Anderson was hooked for another six, this time out of the ground, Panesar was lumped for 24 in an over and Southee brought his 50 up off the 29th ball he faced.
Broad was reintroduced and was slogged twice over midwicket for six but Sidebottom ended the fun by bowling a ball at the stumps. Funny that, it works occasionally.
Scoreboard from Napier
Fifth day of five; England won toss
England – First Innings 253 (Pietersen 129, Southee 5-55)
New Zealand – First Innings 168 (Sidebottom 7-47)
England – Second Innings 467 (Strauss 177, Bell 110)
New Zealand – Second Innings (overnight 222-5)
L R P L Taylor c Collingwood b Panesar 74
141 min, 117 balls, 14 fours
G D Elliott c Bell b Broad 4
29 min, 28 balls
+B B McCullum b Panesar 42
92 min, 55 balls, 7 fours
*D L Vettori c Ambrose b Anderson 43
74 min, 56 balls, 7 fours
J S Patel c Broad b Panesar 18
53 min, 45 balls, 3 fours
T G Southee not out 77
49 min, 40 balls, 4 fours, 9 sixes
C S Martin b Sidebottom 5
36 min, 21 balls, 1 four
Extras (b 6, lb 5, w 4, nb 1, pens 0) 16
Total (467 mins, 118.5 overs) 431
Fall: 1-48 (How), 2-147 (Bell), 3-156 (Fleming), 4-160 (Sinclair), 5-172 (Elliott), 6-276 (Taylor), 7-281 (McCullum), 8-329 (Patel), 9-347 (Vettori), 10-431 (Martin).
Bowling: Sidebottom 19.5-3-83-1 (w1) (6-2-9-0 2-0-6-0 3-1-17-0 2-0-6-0 4-0-34-0 2-0-10-0 0.5-0-1-1), Anderson 17-2-99-1 (5-1-30-0 4-1-14-0 1-0-10-0 7-0-45-1), Broad 32-10-78-2 (nb1,w3) (9-4-12-0 14-5-28-2 8-1-25-0 1-0-13-0), Panesar 46-17-126-6 (11-6-20-1 20-8-29-2 15-3-77-3), Collingwood 2-0-20-0, Pietersen 2-0-14-0 (one spell each).
Progress: Fifth day: 250: 337 min, 86.2 overs. 300: 388 min, 98.2 overs. 350: 433 min, 110.3 overs. Lunch: 360-9 (Southee 12, Martin 1) 112 overs. 400: 455 min, 116.2 overs. Innings closed 1.39pm.
Bell's 50: 152 min, 121 balls, 9 fours.
Fleming's 50: 89 min, 69 balls, 8 fours.
Taylor's 50: 115 min, 85 balls, 10 fours.
Southee's 50: 37 min, 29 balls, 2 fours, 7 sixes.
Umpires: D J Harper (Aus) and R E Koertzen (SA).
TV replay umpire: G A V Baxter (NZ) .
Match referee: J Srinath (India).
Man of the match: R J Sidebottom.
Man of the series: R J Sidebottom.
England win by 121 runs.
England win three-Test series 2-1.Reuse content