Broad, Anderson shine | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 07, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 07, 2008

Broad, Anderson shine


England batsman Kevin Pietersen punches the air in delight after reaching his century against New Zealand on the first day of the third and final Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Thursday.Photo: AFP

Stuart Broad recorded his maiden Test half-century and James Anderson followed up a career-best 28 with two new-ball breakthroughs, as England stamped their authority on the third Test at Trent Bridge. By tea on the second day, New Zealand were toiling on 57 for 2 in response to England's first innings of 364, which - as an indication of England's dominance - was 85 runs better than the previous highest total at Nottingham this season.
It represented quite some turnaround for England, after their first-day scoreline of 86 for 5. and on the second day, it was entirely down to their bowlers. When New Zealand took the field under slate-grey skies, with England evenly poised on their overnight 273 for 7, they doubtless envisaged a swift denouement. Instead Broad and Anderson combined in an unlikely 76-run stand for the eighth wicket, as New Zealand's bowlers toiled lucklessly and with mounting frustration.
For Broad, it was yet another demonstration of his rich promise as an allrounder. Since his batting breakthrough in partnership with Kevin Pietersen at Napier in March, he has reached at least 25 in each of his last five innings, and his shot selection and patience has borne all the hallmarks of a pedigree cricketer. It was especially appropriate that his best innings to date should come at his new county home of Trent Bridge, where his father Chris made his name as a batsman in the mid-1980s.
His poise and balance at the crease was exemplary, and any international cricketer would be proud of his back-foot driving, which earned him three more boundaries in the morning session. He did require one massive, and tone-setting, moment of good fortune in the third over of the day when, on 21, he edged Chris Martin firmly to second slip, only for Brendon McCullum to fumble the opportunity. McCullum handed over the wicketkeeping gloves on the morning of the match because of a bad back, and clearly had not been able to adjust to the angles required in his new role.
After that, Broad's performance was plain-sailing, until he reached the threshold of his half-century. On 49, he was made to sweat as Daniel Vettori pinned him down for three tight maidens in a row before Jacob Oram - New Zealand's most economical seamer - extended Broad's runless run to 22 balls with a strangulating final over before lunch. But crucially, Broad refused to succumb to a rash slog, and after the break he waited three more balls before flicking Vettori through midwicket for a hugely cathartic boundary.
Anderson by now had fallen, 20 minutes before lunch, and his disappointment was tangible as he feathered an edge to the keeper off Oram, to give New Zealand their only breakthrough of the morning session. Up until that point he had produced some shots that belied his lowly reputation, including a crunching cover-drive and a confident slog sweep in consecutive overs from Iain O'Brien and Vettori. But when Monty Panesar, to his bemusement, was given out caught at bat-pad for a second-ball duck, the fires within Anderson were still burning bright.
There are few more mercurial performers in world cricket than Anderson, but when he gets it right, no line-up in the world can resist. Just as he had done at Wellington back in March, he found a full, late-swing length with the new ball, and detonated the off stumps of both Aaron Redmond for 1 and, vitally, McCullum for 9. Ross Taylor, flushed with confidence, counter-attacked gamely to go to tea on 22 not out, and Jamie How continued his low-key run of fine form with an unbeaten 20, but it was England who held all the trump cards.

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