Matt Prior and Kevin Pietersen scored half centuries and Stuart Broad took wickets in consecutive balls as England held off a New Zealand rally to stay in command following an eventful second day in the second test match on Friday.
Earlier,wicketkeeper Matt Prior shared an 83-run eighth wicket partnership with Steve Finn to help England reach 465 before its first innings ended at tea on Friday on the second day of the second test against New Zealand.
Prior scored 82 and aspiring all-rounder Finn had 24 before No. 8-ranked New Zealand dismissed both batsmen in a five-minute span just before tea,bringing No. 2-ranked England’s innings to an end after 147 overs.
New Zealand got back into the match with an improved bowling performance in the morning after England had posted a commanding 267-2 overnight score. But Prior,Finn and Kevin Pietersen (73) restored England’s dominant position with a session remaining on the
Left-arm spinner Bruce Martin had figures of 4-130,capturing the wickets of Nick Compton (100) on the first day and Pietersen and Ian Bell on the second as New Zealand fought hard to try to undo the strong position England had achieved.
New Zealand secured three wickets in the first session Friday,including those of Trott (121) and Bell (11),to leave the tourists on 353-5 at lunch. The hosts then dismissed Pietersen and Broad early in the second session to hold England to 374-7.
But Prior and Finn produced a defiant stand for the eighth wicket to stall New Zealand’s rally.
Prior reached his 25th half century in tests in exactly 100 minutes and briskly carried on to 82,while Finn,who batted for nearly six hours as nightwatchman to reach his maiden half century in the second innings of the drawn first test,was equally stubborn.
Martin’s 4-130 added to the four-wicket bag he claimed on his debut in the first test,giving him nine wickets in the three test innings in which he has bowled to date. His dismissals of Pietersen and Bell on Friday in almost identical circumstances were critical as New Zealand fought to regain a footing after Trott and Compton had batted England into a powerful position at the end of the first day.
Pietersen had been the bulwark of the England innings through the opening session,taking his overnight score of 18 to 68 at lunch,with a half century from 112 balls. He batted with less freedom than usual,managing a strike rate of only 48,although his innings included seven fours and a straight-hit six off Martin.
After Pietersen was dismissed early in the second session,Prior took the majority of the responsibility. England lost its last five wickets between lunch and tea but added 112 runs to place New Zealand under renewed pressure.
The pitch at the Basin Reserve,which produced little on the first day to support New Zealand’s decision to bowl,offered a great deal more on the second day,including turn and bounce which Martin exploited.