For the first time in some time, the ball dominated a Lords Test, with Tim Southee, Stuart Broad and James Anderson (who also took his 300th Test wicket) making it onto the honours board for their work with ball in hand.
The swinging ball and some careless stroke-play resulted in this being the first Test involving England at Lords since the 2005 Ashes in which there wasn’t a century scored by either side.
It was a game that fuelled the fires of Test cricket’s doubters, with slow over- and scoring-rates, tricky batting conditions and very little appearing to happen for two days.
The game burst into life on Saturday, however, with 12 wickets falling in total including a breathless final hour in which England lost four wickets for just 12 runs.
This continued on Sunday, a day that nobody expected to be over by 2.30, as Stuart Broad tore New Zealand’s fragile batting line-up to pieces in bowler-friendly conditions. England were below par for much of the game, but showed a good deal of class in seeing off the plucky New Zealanders.
Here we look at how the England team performed over the four days.
Alastair Cook - 6
Got a start in the first innings before nicking off unconvincingly to Boult. Led well, and was more attacking and inventive than in New Zealand, perhaps his opposite number is rubbing off on him? Must have said something pretty spectacular to Broad and Anderson on Sunday morning.
Nick Compton - 3
The Somerset man will be seriously annoyed with the wild choice of shot that led to his first-innings dismissal. Castled by a corker from Wagner in the second but overall had a very forgettable match. Place safe for now but he will be hoping to outscore the young Yorkshiremen in the middle order at Headingley to secure his Ashes berth.
Jonathan Trott - 7
This man simply loves batting and put on England’s only meaningful stand of the match in the second innings with Root. Another solid performance at Lords, where he has scored two of his three highest Test scores.
Ian Bell - 5
Dismissed in tame circumstances in both innings, and seemed to get somewhat bogged down by the tough conditions on the first day. Suffering from ‘flu-like symptoms’ and dropped to number eight on Saturday but gave his wicket away trying to push the score on Sunday morning.
Joe Root - 8
Got the highest score of the match and was England’s stand-out batsman and was very solid in the field, too. Always looking to rotate the strike and score, Root only enhanced his burgeoning reputation. Great to see his brother Billy in the field for England too, a very special moment for the family.
Jonny Bairstow - 7
A funny match for Root’s Yorkshire team mate: did very well in tricky conditions and circumstances to top-score with 41 in the first innings, but fell softly trying to accelerate the score. Never looked comfortable second time round and was part of England’s Saturday evening collapse. Needs big runs at Headingley if he wants an Ashes spot.
Matt Prior - 3
England’s stand out player in New Zealand, but in the week following his acceptance of the England player of the year gong, the Sussex man had his worst game for England for some time. Got a pair (including a first-baller in the first innings) and dropped a rare catch off Kane Williamson on Day two that cost his team 40-odd runs. Besides this lapse, he kept tidily and notched up his 200th dismissal in an England shirt.
Stuart Broad - 9
When he bats well he bowls well. Absolutely irresistible on Sunday morning, particularly with the ball, as he picked up 7-44 and was nothing short of unplayable. His only first innings wicket was also the most important, snaring Brendon McCullum on Saturday morning and precipitating the Kiwi collapse.
Graeme Swann - 5
Went wicketless but bowled well in the first innings and so dominant were Broad and Anderson on Sunday that he and Finn didn’t get a chance. The side looks far more balanced with Swann around - he not only bats and fields better than Monty Panesar but is a more patient bowler who holds up an end exceptionally.
Steven Finn - 6
Was flattered by his figures of 4-63 in the first innings but has a knack of taking wickets even when not at his best. Looks a little rusty but should have done enough to see off competition from Tim Bresnan at Headingley. Needs to pitch it up more.
Jimmy Anderson - 9
Match figures of 7-70 were bettered only by Broad for England but he bowled even better than these figures suggest and was simply superb in the first innings. An exceptional achievement to become only the fourth Englishman to 300 Test wickets, and at only 30 years of age, England fans can expect a fair few more. Over the last five years he has proved that he can do it all over the world, but home conditions are his bread and butter: testament to this is his fourth appearance the Lord’s honours board. Beefy, Willis and Trueman, Jimmy’s coming for you!
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