New Zealand v England: Hamish Rutherford piles on agony in first Test

 

Dunedin

England’s unforeseen misery multiplied in the First Test today. Having failed catastrophically with the bat, they were severely undermined with the ball as New Zealand built an imposing first innings lead of 235.

The tourists’ unlikely nemesis in chief on a chilly, rain spattered third day at University Oval was the 22-year-old debutant, Hamish Rutherford, who made a marvellously paced if not wholly faultless 171.

It was the sixth-highest maiden Test innings, taking 217 balls and containing 22 fours and three sixes. Rutherford offered two catching opportunities, one of which should certainly have been snaffled, and two others which came into the realms of near misses.

Had Jimmy Anderson clung on to a return drive which was drilled past him at catchable height when Rutherford was on 109 it might have removed one or both of his hands into the bargain. Instead it flew by for four.

Otherwise, Rutherford’s timing and assurance were commanding in an innings lasting nearly six hours. His first appearance in a Test a match was totally at odds with that of his father, Ken, who made a pair on his debut 27 years ago and went on to make five ducks in his first 10 innings.

England did not bowl as lamentably as they batted – that would have been an order as steep as the local landmark, Baldwin Street, the highest residential street in the world. But they never came to terms with the benign surface or the pragmatic way in which the Kiwis approached their batting.

Only a flurry of wickets with the second new ball arrested New Zealand’s development but even then they were conscious of the need to keep the board ticking over at a lively rate. When rain eventually forced the teams off 20 minutes after tea, New Zealand were on 402 for 7, scoring at almost four runs an over.

Whether they are bowled out or declare, their lead will be substantial and England will have to bat around three times longer than they did in the first innings to save the match.

So little has gone right for them so far that it would be easy to mistake which is the second and which the eighth ranked Test team in the world.

England managed finally to break the first wicket partnership in the ninth over of the morning. Peter Fulton edged a half-cocked drive low to Matt Prior behind the wicket, but not before having made his first Test half century for seven years. His partnership of 158 with Rutherford was New Zealand’s highest for the first wicket against England in New Zealand since 1930.

If the wicket might have persuaded Rutherford to regroup awhile he spurned the idea. He continued to be brutal on anything given width and the shots with which he reached 100 and 150 were sublime. The first milestone came with a sizzling extra cover drive, the second with a straight six.

In one over from Anderson, who was comfortably England’s best bowler, he hit three fours - on the up through cover, backward of square, his favourite area, and past wide mid-wicket. Before lunch England took a second wicket when Kane Williamson misread a straight one from Monty Panesar which sneaked through his optimistic cut shot and bowled him.

By now, however, the second new ball was crucial to any aspirations England had of preventing the Kiwis galloping across the hills and far away. To their enormous relief it worked instantly.

Somehow, Rutherford contrived to clip a leg stump ball from Anderson in the air to square leg. He went off to a standing ovation and with one of cricket’s more arcane records: his total was the highest against England by a player in his first Test innings, beating Chares Bannerman’s 165 for Australia in the first Test of all in 1887.

Anderson had his tail up now and he cannot have been best pleased when Joe Root put down a regulation slip catch at third slip, offered by Dean Brownlie. It might have explained Anderson’s grumpy reaction when Ross Taylor, who was looking in extremely good order, nudged an outswinger to Jonathan Trott at second slip.

He followed by bowling a static Brownlie off an inside edge and when Broad took his first Test wicket of the winter, England had four wickets in 13 overs. By the time Broad struck again six overs late another 44 runs had been added as Brendon McCullum and Tim Southee meted out some measured punishment. The rain saved England – if only for the day.

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
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
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'