England in control after Sidebottom haul

An inspired spell of precision bowling by Ryan Sidebottom pulled England off the ropes and put them in charge of the third Test against New Zealand.

updated: March 23, 2008 07:34 IST
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An inspired spell of precision bowling by Ryan Sidebottom pulled England off the ropes and put them in charge of the third cricket Test against New Zealand as 15 wickets fell on Sunday.

After a day of fluctuating fortunes, England reached stumps on the second day of the series decider at 91 for two, holding an overall lead of 176.

As batsmen contrived to make the placid McLean Park wicket look dangerous, England's first innings folded for a seemingly inconsequential 258.

New Zealand raced to 103 for one in reply before Sidebottom grabbed the initiative and New Zealand's last nine wickets tumbled for 65 runs with the left-arm quick claiming a career-best seven for 47.

The carnage continued when England started their second innings with Chris Martin having Michael Vaughan caught behind by Brendon McCullum for four in the first over.

Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss then put on 72 for the second wicket before Cook was caught behind by McCullum leaving Strauss not out 40 and Kevin Pietersen on seven.

As momentum swung between sessions New Zealand were firmly in control in the morning, polishing off the last three England batsmen for 13 runs and then pounding the England bowlers, Sidebottom apart, to go to lunch at one for 93.

Central to the New Zealand batting onslaught was Stephen Fleming who joined Jamie How in the middle when Sidebottom removed Matthew Bell with the third ball of the innings.

Fleming, in his final Test, was particularly harsh on James Anderson, and belted him out of the attack early as he raced to 59 off 72 balls, including nine fours and a six, before falling to Sidebottom three overs after lunch.

It was a disappointing end for Fleming -- caught at second slip by Paul Collingwood -- as he again failed to convert a half century into a 100.

He now needs 54 runs in the second innings to meet his goal of ending an 111-Test career with an average of 40.

Fleming's dismissal started the New Zealand slump as Sidebottom dominated the England bowling attack just as Kevin Pietersen did with his 129 when England batted.

How was next to fall, caught at slip by Andrew Strauss 44, and no other New Zealand batsman was able to settle in.

Sidebottom continued his rampage with the wickets of Mathew Sinclair (7), Grant Elliott (6), Brendon McCullum (9) and Daniel Vettori (14) while Stuart Broad claimed Ross Taylor (2), Tim Southee (5) and Jeetan Patel (4).

Teenager Southee had earlier announced his arrival on the international scene with a five-wicket haul on debut as he wrapped up the England first innings.

When England resumed at 240 for seven, the 19-year-old Southee removed Stuart Broad with the first ball of the day, caught by Brendon McCullum for a Test-best 42.

He then finished the innings with Sidebottom caught by Mattew Bell at mid-off for 14, while in between the two Southee dismissals Chris Martin bowled Monty Panesar for one. Southee returned an impressive five for 55 off 23.1 overs, the third best debut figures for a New Zealand bowler.