Andrew Strauss’s second fifty of the match took England closer to a come-from-behind win against New Zealand in the second Test at Old Trafford yesterday.
At press time England were 228 for two needing chasing a victory target of 294.
And, having been outplayed for much of the match, there was now a chance England could go 1-0 up in this three-Test series with a day to spare.
Middlesex batsman Strauss, whose 60 was the lone top-order highlight in a meager first innings 202, was 102 not out with Hampshire’s Kevin Pietersen unbeaten on 23.
It looked as if England might get through the session without losing a wicket until captain Michael Vaughan was caught behind for 48 after a stand of 90 with Strauss.
England resumed yesterday on 76 for one, left-hander Strauss 27 not out and Vaughan unbeaten on 12.
No side had ever made more to win an Old Trafford Test than the 231 for three England posted against the West Indies four years ago.
The pitch was taking turn — New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori had taken five wickets in the first innings and rival left-arm spinner Monty Panesar six in New Zealand’s second innings 114.
But Strauss and Vaughan, unlike England’s batsmen in the first innings, were running hard to take singles and turn ones into twos as runs, which had seemed so difficult to come by, began to arrive briskly.
Vettori showed he remained a threat by twice beating Vaughan, who had driven him four, on a pitch where the bounce was increasingly variable.
New Zealand wicket-keeper Brendon McCullum didn’t help his team’s cause when his wild shy at the stumps went for four overthrows.
There was a sense of momentum shifting, with Strauss completing a 105-ball fifty when he steered Iain O’Brien to third man for his fourth four.
All-rounder Jacob Oram, whose eight first innings overs cost a mere five runs, was brought into the attack with England 119 for one.
He hadn’t bowled at all on Sunday after landing awkwardly on his shoulder during a warm-up fielding session and injuring his neck.
The medium-pacer soon settled into a good line and length, twice beating the England skipper outside off-stump in his first over yesterday.
However, the introduction of pace bowler Chris Martin gave New Zealand the wicket they needed desperately when Vaughan, driving loosely, edged to McCullum to leave England 150 for two.
Pietersen survived a scare shortly before lunch when a Vettori ball struck him on the boot and bounced over his stumps for four runs.
six of the best
Northamptonshire spinner Panesar’s haul of six for 37 on Sunday was his best innings return in Test cricket and included his 100th Test wicket.
It kept England in a match where they’d conceded an initial lead of 179 after, for the 11th straight Test, they’d failed to reach the first innings benchmark total of 400.
Vettori’s five for 66 was the second innings in a row he’d taken five wickets after his man-of-the-match winning effort in the drawn first Test at Lord’s.
Ross Taylor had set-up New Zealand’s strong early position with a career-best 154 not out.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker found himself in need of an assist to help the state fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He called on the New England Patriots. One of the team’s private airplanes on Thursday evening landed in Boston after returning from China carrying more than 1 million masks critical to healthcare providers fighting to control the spread of the coronavirus. Members of the Massachusetts National Guard met the airplane and offloaded the containers of masks onto waiting trucks for transport to warehouses for distribution. Baker secured the N95 masks from Chinese manufacturers, but had no way of getting them to the US. He
WAIT AND SEE: The estimated cost of postponement started at US$2 billion and has kept rising, but the IOC has yet to say whether it would help pay for the extra expenses Postponing the Tokyo Olympics to next year would make the event more costly for all parties, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) acknowledged on Thursday, although it offered few details on what the final bill might be. Four directors of the Olympic body held a conference call three days after Tokyo’s new dates were finalized, with the Games pushed back to July 23 to Aug. 8 next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the new dates cleared up any uncertainty about the event’s future, there are still plenty of question marks as the committee begins to work with Tokyo organizers and the
DECREASED TENSION: The US players’ lawyers said that the soccer federation no longer disputes that the jobs of the women’s and men’s national teams require equal skill Women players suing the US Soccer Federation (USSF) said in in court documents filed on Tuesday that the federation has acknowledged that the jobs of male and female soccer players require equal skill. The language seemed to signal a decrease in tension between the parties after language in documents filed by the federation’s lawyers earlier last month provoked widespread outrage in saying that playing on the men’s national team required a higher level of skill based on speed and strength and carried greater responsibility. The fierce backlash — not only from the women players, but also from sponsors such as Coca-Cola —
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are planning to play a charity golf match next month with Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, CNBC reported on Wednesday. CNBC, which cited an unnamed person familiar with the negotiations, said that the charity match would be held at an undisclosed location without fans and is being organized by the PGA Tour and AT&T’s WarnerMedia. The negotiations are still being finalized, but the match pitting 15-time major champion Woods and Manning against five-time major winner Mickelson and Brady could be aired on live TV and is unlikely to be featured on pay-per-view, CNBC said. “Discussions