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
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
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

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering