England wrap up series whitewash with convincing win

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Football News

England wrapped up a 2-0 series win against New Zealand with a comprehensive 247-run victory on the final day of the 2nd test at Headingley today.

After England opted against enforcing the follow-on New Zealand were counting on the weather doing them a favour on the final day as they chased an improbable 468 - but the showers could only delay the inevitable before James Anderson encouraged an edge from Trent Boult as the visitors were bowled out for 220.

New Zealand went into the final day six wickets down with 158 runs on the board needing a further 310 to claim a historic win, but a fightback never looked on the cards as the visitors were once more bamboozled by the England attack.

Stuart Broad claimed the first scalp of the day as he pulled of an athletic catch from his own bowling to snare captain Brendon McCullum for one with just four runs added to their overnight score.

That exposed the New Zealand tail but some meaty hitting from Tim Southee and the intervention of some typical Yorkshire weather meant the game went beyond lunch.

Man of the Match Graeme Swann, who ended the game with impressive figures of 10-132, got the breakthrough as he enticed an edge from the free-swinging Southee not long after the teams came back on after 3pm.

The Nottinghamshire spinner grabbed his 6th wicket of the innings by removing Doug Bracewell, leaving Anderson to round things off in emphatic fashion.

England's well-deserved win comes after much speculation regarding captain Alastair Cook's decision to not enforce the follow-on having bowled New Zealand out cheaply in the first innings on day three.

After England had amassed 354 1st innings runs, largely thanks to Joe Root's maiden test century, the Black Caps fell for just 174, with Swann taking centre stage in helpful conditions.

Opener Peter Fulton top-scored with 28 but it was all downhill from there as Swann wreaked havoc with able support from Broad and Steve Finn, who shared five wickets.

The 34-year-old took four wickets for himself to rip the heart out of New Zealand's batting order, leaving them 180 adrift of their hosts' total and facing the prospect of being put back into bat once more.

Cook opted against doing that and instead headed out to the middle alongside Nick Compton with more than a few questions about his decision to not enforce the follow-on ringing in his ears - with the forecast suggesting that the final day could be a washout.

However the Essex man came up with all the right answers as he compiled his 7th century since becoming England captain, and his 25th overall.

Cook's uncharacteristically quick 130 off 190 balls set the tone for England's second innings as they amassed 287-5 before declaring, with Jonathan Trott chipping in with 76 from 164 deliveries. 

That left New Zealand requiring a world record 468 to level things up in the two-match series, something that never looked on the cards despite resistance in the form of a half-century from Ross Taylor and 42 from Hamish Rutherford.

The writing was on the wall when Taylor eventually fell to Swann for 70, and while the rain made things a little uncomfortable for England they wrapped up proceedings with plenty of time to spare.

The series win means England get their hectic summer of cricket off to the perfect start, with a three-game ODI series against New Zealand - which gets underway on Friday - to come, before the ICC Champions Trophy, a Twenty20 series against the Black Caps and then the Ashes.

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