New Zealand vs England 2018
The first day-night test of New Zealand vs England 2018 in Auckland gave us a perfect endeavor of pace bowling at its highest level as New Zealand defeated England by an innings and 49 runs. New Zealand should be lauded for a remarkable bunch of a telling quartet. The mix of Trent Boult, Tim Southee, and Neil Wagner look like a pack capable of giving any top sides serious goosebumps and that was witnessed largely at the Eden Park.
A win by an innings and 49 runs for New Zealand gives them the edge prior to the 2nd Test against Joe Root’s side. It can be summed up as a perfect summer for the Kiwis at home after beating West Indies earlier and now having a significant 1-0 lead against England.
Astle gets Anderson and that's it! Boult takes the catch. England all out for 320. Victory by an innings and 49 runs. Card | https://t.co/MiIfpeaU9o #NZvENG 📷 = @PhotosportNZ pic.twitter.com/RglnbFkPfE
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) March 26, 2018
For all the greatness at home, the credit must be given to the quicks for dishing out consistent performances and forming a stable partnership. Boult and Southee had started the dominance on Thursday afternoon, and Wagner and Todd Astle finished it on Monday.
Although in New Zealand vs England 2018 series England fought hard to deny the hosts, with a sturdy 320 runs in the second innings, but the art of patience paid off for the Kiwis. In between Thursday and Monday, there were a couple of fine centuries, including the 102 that was Kane Williamson’s record-breaking 18th, plenty of rain, and plenty of fight shown by England batsmen.
- This was Black Caps’ 10th test win over England.
- The historic day-night fixture at Eden Park in Auckland was the venue’s 50th Test.
- NZ pacers picked 17 out of England’s 20 wickets.
An act of patience by Kiwi pacers
Boult and Southee may have run through England for 58 in less than 21 overs on Thursday, but a repeat of that performance, which Williamson labeled a “perfect storm,” was always unlikely. The hosts gave themselves 148 overs to do it again, having scored 427-8 across four days, two of them ruined by rain, before declaring, and in the end, they only needed 126.1 overs.
England was expected to show character after the first innings howler, and the Kiwi bowlers stood tall to their task and pounced on the moments that served as opportunities. Wagner was a revelation in the 2nd innings and time and time again he has shown the hard work he brings in every time.
Boult in a zone of his own
His 6/32 may have lit up the day-night Test, but it was also his performance in the second innings that should equally deserve respect. 3/67 that included the most pivotal wicket of Joe Root, must have been a captain’s delight. Boult looks like the leader in the attack, whose dividends are thick and strong.
209 Test wickets and a ninth five-wicket haul in his career, Boult offers the spark in this Kiwi side. His hunger and consistency should be lauded. A master of the swing, Boult got the important wicket of Moeen Ali (28) on Monday to add to his two earlier.
Stokes provides the graft for England
Ben Stokes has often been the player expected of providing the spark England needs and here too, he showed the special quality he brings with him. A defiant knock of 66 off 188 deliveries is so unlike the macho man of cricket, but he did what was right for his side.
A different Stokes innings this surely was but the player showed why he is such a strong personality, who brings so much to the side. Yes, he could not have saved an inept England side in the Ashes, but since his return now he could be that player his side needs build upon.
Along with Chris Woakes, the player offered substance in the middle. The duo added an 83-run stand and provided that thorn for the Kiwi bowlers on a pitch that for quite some time did not assist the pink ball.
Wagner’s short pitch prowess a blessing
A master of the short ball, Neil Wagner’s gift of the barrage of short-pitched bowling is a modern day class act. One can remember the venom he produced against the West Indies in December 2017, that wrecked apart the visitors. His Test match figures of 9/141 was a steal in those circumstances.
On the fifth day of the first Test against England, Wagner’s prominence of the bouncers grew tall. His rise as a short pitch delivery architect was on sound display. He bowled his heart out, banging on a bouncer after another. Over after over and session after session, he got Woakes (52) fending off the same.
Earlier, the 31-year-old had also got Stokes off a short ball. Wagner’s credibility should not be undermined.