Opening pair keep England on course for draw with New Zealand in first Test

England 167 & 234-1 New Zealand 460-9 decl.

Dunedin

Nick Compton's maiden Test century, and Alastair Cook's 24th, made a mockery of England's first-innings failings as they sought to salvage a draw after all at the University Oval.

England's first double-century opening stand for almost four years, and their highest ever against New Zealand, helped them to 234 for one by stumps on day four of the first Test.

They still trailed by 59, having conceded a mammoth deficit first time round, but could be increasingly optimistic about closing out a stalemate tomorrow thanks to their twin hundreds.

For Compton (102no), grandson of one of England's greatest batsman Denis, today's breakthrough innings meant he was upholding an especially famous family tradition.

The small matter of 16 more centuries are required to emulate his grandfather.

Captain Cook (116) is already out on his own, of course, as his country's most prolific centurion after his 23rd at Kolkata three months ago.

He was first to three figures again, sweeping his 13th four from his 221st ball off Bruce Martin.

Compton, however, kept his well-wishers waiting until the penultimate over of the day when - with Cook just gone - he at last pushed Tim Southee for a single into the leg-side to reach his milestone in 259 deliveries and approaching six hours.

England this morning found themselves needing to bat the majority of five and a half sessions to stay level after this first match of three.

Compton began with work still to do to confirm himself as the captain's partner for next summer's Ashes, but could consider himself considerably better established in that role by stumps.

He played and missed several times and survived an optimistic DRS procedure for caught-behind on 16 but was otherwise largely assured for all but the final half hour of the day.

The 29-year-old got himself off a pair with a pushed single from the first ball he faced, also off Southee, and he and Cook barely had a moment of concern thereafter until the protege opener reached the nervous 90s.

A succession of dicey, scrambled singles ensued - Cook just making his ground when called through by Compton on 93 and his partner almost running himself out on 94.

England's batsmen had been profligate in the extreme at their first attempt two days ago, and Cook and Compton were determined to set the tone for the much more disciplined performance the tourists so badly needed.

They did so admirably for almost 85 overs, in which Trent Boult in particular strangled the scoring rate but no bowler carried a worrying threat on this reliable pitch.

Finally Cook, with Compton still searching for that precious 100th run, got a thin edge behind off the left-armer to give the Kiwi attack their only success of the day with the score on 231.

Their own batsmen had licence to attack when they continued for 40 minutes on another cool and cloudy morning - a situation which perfectly suited Brendon McCullum (74).

From a start-of-play 402 for seven, the Kiwis bagged another 58 runs for two wickets in under nine overs before the declaration came.

McCullum's share was 30 from just 17 balls, including two sixes off James Anderson and one off Stuart Broad.

He began with a mighty pull off Broad high into the trees at deep square-leg, and then repeated the dose off Anderson at the other end before also striking him high over long-off for good measure.

Debutant tailender Martin was no slouch either, in a stand of 77 which ended when McCullum aimed another huge hit at Broad (three for 118) but succeeded only in propelling the ball vertically.

Anderson was the man under the skier at midwicket, and his hands were mercifully safe.

Still New Zealand pressed on until Martin was ninth out, caught behind trying to pull and giving Steven Finn his only wicket of the innings.

That was the point at which the pressure was squarely back on England.

But it was met convincingly by the two men at the top of their order.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence