Stand-in Saggers strikes as England lose Jones again

New Zealand 41-1 v England

There must have been times during Martin Saggers' 255-mile journey from Canterbury on Wednesday when the Kent fast bowler wondered whether he was wasting his time driving to Leeds. As the 32-year-old made his way up the M1 he would have known that his chances of playing in the second Test were dependent on one of England's bowlers picking up an unexpected injury. At this stage of England's preparations Saggers' sole reason for travelling was to act as cover.

Yet on arriving at the team hotel Saggers' view of his trip would have changed. At the team meeting he was told of Simon Jones' injury and informed he would play in his first Test match in England.

Saggers wasted no time in making an impact against the New Zealanders and proved that the selectors were right to call him into the squad. With his first delivery he produced a beautiful in-swinger which penetrated the solid defence of Mark Richardson and clipped the top of his off stump. Saggers had every right to look elated. Not only had he dismissed the player who had batted for 813 minutes in the first Test at Lord's; he had also become the first English bowler since Richard Illingworth, in 1991, to take a Test wicket with his first delivery in England.

This proved England's only success on a day when rain and bad light dominated. The majority of a sparse first-day crowd had left for the pub when the umpires finally abandoned play at 6.25pm. New Zealand, after losing an important toss, had made their way to 41 for 1.

"I just wanted to make sure that Richardson had to play at my first ball," said Saggers. "I didn't see too much of the Lord's game but it was nice to get him early. I was nervous and Wednesday was a bit of a sleepless night but the openers gave me time to settle in. We could have done with some more time out there, especially with the ball swinging around like it is."

Saggers made a favourable impression during his England debut against Bangladesh during the winter. In Chittagong he took three wickets and held on to a brilliant one-handed catch at fine-leg. But when England went on to Sri Lanka Saggers returned home.

The abundance of exciting fast bowlers in England means that Saggers' opportunities of playing Test cricket will be rare but he appears determined to make the most of this unexpected break.

England, who decided to play Ashley Giles ahead of Paul Collingwood, will be disappointed to have taken only one wicket in the 19 overs they bowled.

With the exception of Saggers, who caused the New Zealand batsmen more problems in the two overs he bowled than the rest of England's attack, the bowlers bowled too short. Matthew Hoggard also swung the ball but the Kiwis were allowed to watch too many deliveries pass harmlessly through to the wicketkeeper.

England should have dismissed Michael Papps on 15 and 20 but Mark Butcher and Graham Thorpe dropped catches in the slips. Butcher grassed a low chance at fifth slip off Stephen Harmison and Thorpe shelled a sitter at third off Hoggard.

These chances, and the inability of the bowlers to capitalise on the favourable conditions, could prove costly. The weather forecast for the remainder of the Test match is good and this will make it easier for the "Black Caps" to work themselves into a strong position if they bat well today.

Jones' injury is a major blow to England and another significant setback in the stop-start career of the Glamorgan fast bowler. In the second innings of the first Test Jones was the pick of England's attack even though he only collected one wicket. But it was during this impressive spell that he began to feel pains in his left foot. The 25-year-old bowled 10 overs for Glamorgan against Middlesex on Saturday and had a gentle run through in the nets on Wednesday before he was sent for an MRI scan.

"The scan showed evidence that there is the potential for Simon developing a stress fracture in the same bone that he suffered a stress fracture in during the 1998 season," said a member of the England and Wales Cricket Board's medical team. "As a preventative measure, Simon will be rested from the next two Test matches and his return to cricket will be dependent on the time it takes for the symptoms to heal. We are optimistic, however, that with rest and treatment he will be fit for the Test series against the West Indies later this summer."

Following this injury, the fourth in Jones's seven-Test career, doubts will continue to be raised about the ability of his body to cope with the demands of bowling fast. The Welshman's horrendous knee injury in Australia had nothing to do with his bowling but the side-strain he picked up on his debut, the shin splints he sustained on the A tour of India and this problem are the results of his fragile body saying no to its workload.

Headingley scoreboard

England won the toss

New Zealand - First innings

M H Richardson b Saggers 13 60 min, 49 balls, 2 fours

M H W Papps not out 24 79 min, 54 balls, 3 fours

*S P Fleming not out 3 18 min, 11 balls

Extras (lb 1) 1

Total (for 1, 79 min, 19 overs) 41

Fall: 1-33 (Richardson).

To bat: N J Astle, S B Styris, J D P Oram, C L Cairns, +B B McCullum, D L Vettori, D R Tuffey, C S Martin.

Bowling: Hoggard 8-2-21-0 (3-1-8-0 5-1-13-0); Harmison 7-3-13-0; Flintoff 2-1-2-0; Saggers 2-1-4-1 (one spell each).

Progress: First day: Rain delayed start until 1.10pm (min 83 overs). Rain stopped play 2.19-4.43pm (min 51 overs) 36-1 (Papps 20, Fleming 2) 17 overs. Bad light stopped play 4.52pm.

England: M E Trescothick, A J Strauss, M A Butcher, *M P Vaughan, G P Thorpe, A Flintoff, +G O Jones, A F Giles, M J Hoggard, M J Saggers, S J Harmison.

Umpires: S A Bucknor (W Indies) and S J A Taufel (Aus).

TV replay umpire: N J Llong (Eng).

Match referee: C H Lloyd (W Indies).

PROMOTED VIDEO
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

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links