Tea Report: New Zealand 277 & 199-4; England 319

Tea on the final day of five (England won the toss)
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The Independent Online

New Zealand suffered a double blow early in the afternoon session as they set about getting far enough ahead of England to force a draw.

Opener Jamie How was making steady progress, seeing of the best that England could fire at him when he shaped to play a shot from Stuart Broad through mid-wicket and the ball flew off the leading edge and down to third slip where Alastair Cook, moving to his right took a two-handed catch.

How had made 68 in his three and a quarter hours at the crease and had shown stickability, even though this was only his tenth Test match. He did have a generous slice of luck on 46 when he edged a Broad delivery to Andrew Strauss at first slip, but the chance was grassed and shortly after this he celebrated his 27th birthday by reaching the second fifty of his burgeoning career.

His loss was a setback, but then the Kiwis suffered another misfortune. Brendon McCullum, their big-hitting wicketkeeper, was hit on the left arm by a short ball from Broad when he was on 11 and he had to be taken to hospital for X-rays. Although it was later reported that there was no fracture, there was still a question mark over whether McCullum would resume his innings.

Jacob Oram took up the cudgels, a sweep slog for six off Monty Panesar as clear a statement of his intent as anything could be, but his innings was not without risk. When he was on 28 he edged a ball from Ryan Sidebottom between second and third slips.

He survived and went smoothly on to reach a 67-ball fifty, the first second innings fifty of his 28-Test career. It was his second fifty at Lord’s and the fifth of his career.

Thanks to Oram the runs kept coming and the lead over England kept increasing, by tea it was a comfortable-looking 157. New Zealand had begun the day on 40-0, still two runs behind England on the first innings but that was rapidly wiped out.

However, they then lost a couple of quick wickets, Aaron Redmond departing in the sixth over , caught at first slip by Andrew Strauss. Three overs later James Marshall fell lbw to Sidebottom and then with lunch looming Monty Panesar had Ross Taylor lbw.