England v New Zealand: Hard work on beating left-handers should keep paying dividends



A day that began with victory a possibility for both sides ended up being as short as it was Broad's.

The England captain, Alastair Cook, admitted after the match: "We would have liked a few more, we were trying get 250 to 260 as a lead." But when Stuart Broad found himself at the crease before the first over of the day had been completed, England's lead was just 208 runs and Cook's target looked as distant as the speck of blue sky away to the east.

Cook said: "That hour Jimmy [Anderson] and Broady bowled there was as good as any bowling I've seen in an opening spell. Obviously [Broad]'s done it on numerous occasions now. Anyone who bowls at high-80s [miles per hour], from six foot five or six, and bangs a good length – and it's swinging – it's going to be very hard.

"I don't think I've experienced a game that ebbed and flowed quite as much as that," added Cook. He could just as easily have been discussing the fortunes of Broad. When he replaced the nightwatchman, Steven Finn, at the crease yesterday morning, his return from this Test was meagre: a solitary, though crucial, first-innings wicket and a three-ball duck.

Just three and a half hours later, he was leading a victorious England off the field with career-best Test figures of seven for 44. It was all sparked by Broad's rearguard action with the bat, something that has been conspicuous by its absence over the last 18 months. Or, as Broad put it: "Once I got to 20, I got a bit of a nosebleed."

His first job was to avoid a pair. He managed that task as he troubled the scorers with a single from his first ball. With that monkey off his back, he set about wrenching control of the game for England. Between the tumble of the last four home wickets Broad, with drives both exquisite and agricultural, found time to score an unbeaten 26 from 25 balls.

"I knew the best way I could help the team was to play quite positively," said Broad. "I know as a bowler, if it is doing a little bit and someone actually plays their shots it can be quite frustrating so I wanted to try and set that intent. I think that gave me a bit of confidence with the ball."

That confidence became manifest with just the third ball of his spell when Broad had the New Zealand opener Peter Fulton caught behind. When he trapped their captain, Brendon McCullum, lbw 31 balls later, not only was he on the bowlers' honours board for the second time at Lord's, he could also lay claim to equalling the English record for fewest deliveries taken from the start of a spell for a 'five-fer'. It is a record he shares with Bernard Bosanquet, who also managed the feat in 32 balls, against the Australians in 1904.

There is no footage available of Bosanquet spinning Australia into chaos but there is no doubt that the footage of Broad's dismissal of the dangerman southpaw Hamish Rutherford will be oft-repeated this summer. It was Rutherford's wicket that gave Broad most satisfaction.

"It's something I've worked on actually, in New Zealand and since coming back, trying to run it across the left-handers," said Broad. "To Hamish, you can't give him any width. I think that's obvious from the 170 he got in Dunedin, he just thrives on that.

"So I wanted to try and pitch it on the stumps and run it across him. It was nice to see the off stump going and nice to see that the hard work on that particular ball has paid off for one delivery, and hopefully it will for a lot more this summer."

After a disappointing winter, Broad's hope for more will spring eternal for England fans. But, for now, he should bask in a short day's work well done.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific