England ended the drawn second Test at the Basin Reserve yesterday as a winner on points after rain washed out the entire final day, New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said.
McCullum’s side had reached 162-2 in their second innings after being forced to follow-on, though they were still 49 runs adrift from making England bat again.
Intermittent showers on the fourth day and persistent rain yesterday ensured the final match in Auckland later this week will be a series decider.
“If it’s viewed as a points decision, I guess England will take this one,” McCullum said. “They dictated this one and we held on and showed some fighting qualities.”
The New Zealand skipper won the toss on the first day and asked England to bat in the hope that the wicket would provide his seam attack with some assistance.
However, the visitors batted New Zealand out of the match on day one and McCullum said he felt that his side had not performed as well as they should have.
“I thought we were pretty average on day one. There was a little bit in the wicket that we could have got some more benefit from,” he said. “We probably didn’t bowl as well as what we needed to for as long as what we needed to against some quality batsmen.”
England bowling coach David Saker had criticized the nature of the pitches produced in both Dunedin and at the Basin Reserve, which he felt allowed the batsmen to dictate the flow of the game, though McCullum said the weather had been more of a defining feature in terms of results.
More than 100 overs were lost due to rain in Dunedin, while more than 150 were lost in Wellington and McCullum said if play had been able to go for the full five days in each match criticism of the pitches would not have been made.
“It seems to be bowling coaches who have an issue with them. It’s always going to be the way,” he said with a grin.
“If we look at the first Test match, we lost a whole day to rain. There would have been a certain result in that game — well, that’s what I think — and then if you look at this Test match as well, we lost a day and a half to rain,” McCullum said.
“It would have been interestingly poised and there probably would have been a result in this [game],” he said.
SRI LANKA V BANGLADESH
Sri Lanka’s Rangana Herath grabbed three wickets to put Bangladesh under pressure on the third day of the second and final Test in Colombo yesterday.
The left-arm spinner removed Mohammad Ashraful and then accounted for the well-set Jahurul Islam and Mohammad Mahmudullah off successive balls as Bangladesh reached 158-4 at stumps in their second innings.
The tourists, trailing by 106 in the first innings, are now just 52 runs ahead, with six wickets in hand. Mominul Haque was unbeaten on 36, with skipper Mushfiqur Rahim on 7 not out.
Sri Lanka were earlier bowled out for 346 in their first innings, in reply to Bangladesh’s 240, losing their remaining four wickets for 52 runs after resuming on 294-6.
INDIA V AUSTRALIA
By staff writer
India beat Australia by six wickets in Mohali yesterday to take a 3-0 lead in their four-Test series.
Earlier in the day, Australia were dismissed for 223 in their second innings leaving the hosts to chase 133 for victory.
Virat Kohli top-scored for India with 34, before Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja saw their side home, scoring 18 not out and 8 not out respectively.