The Over: England v New Zealand – First Test, Day 1

It’s a Test match summer folks! Now all we need is to draw in the crowds with fast-paced, exciting Test cricket. Oh wait…

  • We’re sure when we started watching this morning we didn’t have these matching, flowing, white beards, arthritis in our knees and cataracts. Yes, it actually feels like we’ve visibly aged after that day of Test cricket. Stuff for the purists slightly. It doesn’t seem to be the sort of pitch to encourage fast scoring, but you kind of get the sense that England’s batsmen were so intent on not screwing up against these upstart visitors that they forgot to, you know, actually score some runs… According to Andy Zaltzman’s ever reliable stats, this was the slowest 80 overs and featured the most dot balls by England in the first innings of a Test since records began to be kept in 2001. Surely we’re not playing for the draw already…

  • Just when you thought Ian Bell was turning a corner, following his exemplary blocking session in Auckland (75 off 271 balls), he goes and has one of his usual brain farts, nicking off to a fairly innocuous ball outside off peg. Perhaps it’s a number 4 thing and KP’s spirit is rubbing off, because it’s exactly the sort of thing Kev would have done.
  • The stage is set for a certain England Player of the Year (well-deserved, we might add) to come in and have a good wallop tomorrow to wake the crowd up. If he stays in for half a session, the run rate won’t stay at 2.00 for long.
  • Tim Bresnan must be feeling just a mite peeved. Steve Finn’s been bowling like a drain so far this county season, with 7 first class wickets @ 39.57 in 3 matches before this one (and 6 of those came in 1 match) while Brezza’s been significantly better with 13 wickets @ 27.07. We’re all for consistency, and we’ll probably be proven wrong when Finn takes a hatful, but the steam coming out of Bresnan’s ears could probably have powered him all the way up the M40 to Edgbaston to join in Yorkshire’s County Champ match this afternoon.
  • Bruce Martin bowls more four-balls than we probably would (and neither of us can remotely be described as bowlers by any stretch of the imagination). Hampered by a slow pitch and a slow outfield, though, England’s batsmen let him get away with an awful lot. He burgled Compton’s wicket after the opener pretty much got bored out by his own soporific strike rate and should have had Trott three balls later. He’s no Vettori, that’s for sure.
  • All credit to New Zealand’s quicks, though. Apart from getting out, England’s batsmen didn’t do badly (although we realise that not getting out is kind of the name of the game for batsmen). They were just stifled by good bowling and fielding. Let’s just hope things are a little less monochrome tomorrow (either way) because we suspect time will stop altogether with another day like that.


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  1. Yeah Martin is a strange bowler, reminds me a lot of spinners you see at club and social level. He looks shit, only bowls about one really good ball an over, but takes bags of wickets, mostly through batsmen doing silly things against him. I can never work out if that is a talent in itself, or if he is just lucky.

    • It certainly explains his FC average of 36-odd. If you’d seen a random sample of his bowling today, you’d never have guessed he’d only gone at 1.5 an over!

  2. it will be a good match…


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