Sat, Jun 12, 2004 - Page 19 News List

Harmison heads England's attack

AFP , NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND

Chris Cairns of New Zealand bats against England in what will be his last Test match before he retires on the second day of the third and final Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.

PHOTO: AFP

Stephen Harmison took two wickets in two balls as England checked New Zealand's progress in the third Test at Trent Bridge on Thursday

But at stumps, on the first day, New Zealand were still reasonably well-placed at 295 for four after winning the toss with captain Stephen Fleming making 117.

His fellow left-handed opener Mark Richardson weighed in with 73 while, at the close, Scott Styris was 68 not out and Jacob Oram 10 not out.

But Harmison, the spearhead of England's attack with 15 wickets in the series already before play on Thursday, pegged New Zealand back with the new ball.

Harmison struck with the new ball 11 deliveries old when he had dangerman Nathan Astle playing on for 15.

Next ball 272 for three became 273 for four when Craig McMillan, returning from a injury, was lbw.

That was the last ball of Harmison's over and he was close to a hat-trick at the start of his next when Styris almost edged a drive through to wicket-keeper Geraint Jones.

New Zealand began the final session on 196 for one with Fleming 107 not out and Styris unbeaten on 12.

But Fleming added just 10 more runs to his total before he edged all-rounder Andrew Flintoff through to Graham Thorpe in the slips.

"England came back well and picked up some wickets but at the start of the day we would have settled for having almost 300 on the board by stumps," said Fleming who believes his team's defeat in the first two Tests are not a true reflection of the series.

"They have played extremely well and we haven't underestimated them. I don't think we are too far off the pace. It's just at crucial times they have played a lot better."

Fleming put on 62 with Styris to leave New Zealand 225 for two.

But Styris carried on to a chanceless fifty off 86 balls with five fours. In four previous series innings Styris had managed a mere 44 runs.

Up until Harmison's double strike, it had been a largely frustrating day for England with several appeals rejected by Australian umpires Simon Taufel and Daryl Harper.

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