James Anderson claims 300th wicket but England labour against New Zealand

England 232 v New Zealand 153 for 4

On an August evening 39 years ago the first and greatest bowler to take 300 wickets in Test cricket made a pronouncement. “Aye,” said Fred Trueman, when asked if anybody else might achieve the feat, “but whoever does will be bloody tired.”

For most of the day on which Jimmy Anderson became only the fourth England bowler to reach the landmark almost the entire side managed to meet Fred’s expectations. In all but brief spells, England were careworn and lethargic on the second day of the Investec series. They looked bloody tired.

Anderson was all but alone in defying the logic. He bounded in jauntily, not as a man who had bowled 17667 balls to join the exclusive club and often taken a delight in being grumpy while doing so. His crucial interventions at the start of the innings and later when New Zealand were threatening to run away with the opening Test of this mini-series of two, sustained England.

Without him, the second day would have been as uninspiring as the first. It is becoming business as usual. On a long gloomy day England managed to keep in touch but they gave the impression of men who were clinging on to a life raft and not sailing full steam ahead in tranquil seas.

In the morning, far from developing the laborious groundwork which they had put in place on the first day, England wasted it. They lost their last six wickets for 40 runs, unable, unwilling or both to raise the tempo. The pitch remained slow, the newly relaid outfield continued to deny perfectly sound shorts value for money and the New Zealand bowling kept its discipline. Together, these things overwhelmed England.

The tourists’ response was assertive and ought to have been a lesson for their opponents. Falling to seven for two in the face of Anderson’ incisive early spell with the swinging new ball they might have attempted to retrench.

Instead, they did quite the opposite. If it was a bold gamble it was not reckless and the board which had trundled along at barely two runs an over was suddenly being demanded to work much harder. The sluggish outfield responded as if it had been cut from glass. Ross Taylor scored 66 from 72 balls, a complete contrast to anything else in the match, and only when Anderson pinned him in front with a lovely inswinger was relief provided.

Throughout the match so far, New Zealand have played smarter cricket than England. There was every chance that they would be overawed in this Test match, paupers in a palace, but virtually form the moment they lost the toss they have put the squeeze on England. The odds differences between the sides have for the moment been rendered a gross misjudgement by punters.

The second day began with England’s future at the crease, urgently required to perform in the present. Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow had what amounted to a clean sheet to write on.

With their county giving the champions Warwickshire the runaround at Edgbaston, it was tempting to run with the old mantra: if Yorkshire are strong, England are strong.

Root looked in fine fettle in his first home Test match, Bairstow was never in trouble. But in common with their colleagues higher up the order they did not actually do very much.

They were to pay for the inaction. England’s innings began to teeter to its doom with one of those pieces of cricketing misfortune. Root received a ball from Tim Southee which was slipping down the leg side and glanced more finely than he intended. B-J Watling took the catch, swooping to his left.

At least this brought in Matt Prior, England player of the year and general go to man. He received a peach first ball – the previous delivery from Southee having been out of kilter with the probing stuff he had supplied for most of the innings – and was understandably beaten by the late movement. It might have only just been lbw but lbw it was.

In the next over Stuart Broad played early and across a full length ball and lbw to Neil Wagner, Graeme Swann offered a regulation edge soon after. Southee brought the innings to end by having Steve Finn lbw and then clung on to a rasping return catch from Bairstow who was trying to plunder some late runs. England had added 72 runs in 32.2 overs to their overnight score. To say that it represented an improvement is not to heap them with praise.

Such a modest total, their third first innings total under 200 in the three recent Tests against New Zealand, needed bowling that was immediately on the button. Anderson, in conditions that he might have ordered to fit, was wonderful.

Struck for four by Hamish Rutherford he followed with a beauty which moved away from the left-hander. Alastair Cook took a sharp chance going to his right at first slip.

Before his opening spell was done, Anderson had Peter Fulton groping forward to one and edging to second slip. This might have persuaded the tourists that their most effective method was to hang in there and survive.

Taylor thought otherwise, aided by inefficient bowling from both Broad and Finn. He drove and more often cut with relish, taking three fours in a Broad over. He was supported by Kane Williamson, from whom much more may be heard in the next few years and who had clearly decided he should play an anchor role.

This outpouring of runs – three an over was a veritable rush – needed to be stemmed and Anderson was the man to stem it. He was bowling with such metronomic accuracy and control that he deserved more wickets. He should have another too but Prior’s rare bad day continued when he dropped a straightforward opportunity with his right hand overshooting the ball which hit his wrist when Williamson edged.

Dean Brownlie was lbw too on review to give Finn a wicket. But the Kiwis were rapidly closing the gap.

News
news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

News
people

Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge
booksJK Rowling to publish new story set in wizard's world for Halloween
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites those Star Wars rumours
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
people

Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?

Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch
tv

Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

News
i100
News
peopleCampaign 'to help protect young people across the world'
Life and Style
tech

News
people'When I see people who look totally different, it brings me back to that time in my life'
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

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker