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Anderson polishes off NZ as England win first Test by 267 runs

James Anderson struck four times on the fourth day as England needed less than a session to clinch a thumping 267-run victory over New Zealand in the pink-ball first Test at Mount Maunganui.

New Zealand resumed on 63-5 in a chase of 394 after Stuart Broad (4-49) had clean bowled four of their top six during a scorching spell under the lights on Saturday night and the hosts were subsequently bundled out for 126 on Sunday afternoon as England made it 10 wins in 11 Tests under captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum.

Anderson (4-18) dismissed Scott Kuggeleijn (2) and Black Caps captain Tim Southee (0) from successive balls in the fourth over of the day – Kuggeleijn lbw to a nip-backer, Southee clipping an out-swinger to Joe Root at slip – after Michael Bracewell (25) flicked Jack Leach to Harry Brook at short midwicket in the third over.

New Zealand briefly delayed the tourists’ celebrations as Daryl Mitchell (57no) and Neil Wagner (9) put up eight-overs’ worth of resistance, before Anderson nicked off the latter and then bowled last man Blair Tickner (8 off 24) 11 overs later to put England 1-0 up in the two-match series ahead of the second Test in Wellington from Friday (Thursday night UK).

England are toasting a first Test victory in New Zealand since 2008, having drawn five matches and suffered two innings defeats across their previous seven fixtures in the country.

The win also snapped a five-match losing streak in day-night Tests with England beaten in Australia three times and defeated once each in New Zealand and India since thumping West Indies at home in 2017.

The team that surrendered meekly in their last pink-ball outing, in Hobart in January 2022 as Australia clinched a 4-0 Ashes success, is “unrecognisable”, to use Broad’s word, from the dynamic one now helmed by Stokes and McCullum.

Ben Stokes (Getty Images)
Image: England have won 10 Tests out of 11, including their last six, since Ben Stokes took over as captain

England continue winning run under Stokes and McCullum

The ‘Bazball’ era began with a 3-0 sweep at home to New Zealand in June before victory over India in the rearranged fifth Test at Edgbaston the following month and a 2-1 win over South Africa to close out the English summer.

England then became the first side to win 3-0 in Pakistan and will make it successive away series victories if they avoid defeat in the second Test against New Zealand at Basin Reserve.

The triumph in Tauranga this week featured the hallmarks of new England – blistering batting as they scored at over five runs an over in each innings, and a bold declaration with Stokes calling his side in on 325-9 from 58.2 overs in their first dig so his bowlers could attack New Zealand under the lights and ultimately reduce the hosts to 37-3.

But it also included the spectacle of Broad hoovering up wickets during a magical spell, something he has done frequently over the years, with his Ashes 8-15, at Trent Bridge in 2015, a notable example.

Stuart Broad (Associated Press)
Image: Stuart Broad’s four-wicket burst under the lights on day three helped England to a thumping win in the pink-ball Test at Bay Oval

Broad bowled four Devon Conway (2), Kane Williamson (0), Tom Latham (15) and Tom Blundell (1) during a sizzling display on Saturday evening as the hosts plunged to 28-5.

That vaporised any faint hopes New Zealand had of completing their highest successful chase in Test cricket, which remains the 324 they managed against Pakistan in Christchurch in 1994.

Broad’s first second-innings wicket made him and Anderson the most prolific Test bowling partnership as they surpassed Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne’s record of 1,001 in games played together.

Broad and Anderson were up to 1,005 by stumps on day three and 1,009 by the end of a game in which they made history and the Bazball revolution continued.

England's Stuart Broad, second right, celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of New Zealand's Devon Conway on the third day of their cricket test match in Tauranga, New Zealand, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023. (Andrew Cornaga/Photosport via AP)
Image: Broad and Anderson now have 1,009 wickets as a Test partnership

Stokes: ‘Clinical’ England wanted to entertain

England captain Ben Stokes:

“It was another great performance – very clinical with the bat and very clinical with the ball. When you look at the bowling attack we have got with the pink ball under the lights, we executed everything we wanted. To have Jimmy and Broady in your bowling attack, it is always going to be tough for the opposition.

“The most pleasing thing was that whatever New Zealand threw at us with the ball we managed to react to that. It was entertaining cricket. Even though we came away with the result, [entertaining] is what we want to do. Some days it is not going to work but thankfully everything we tried to do paid off.

England's Ben Stokes, left, checks on New Zealand's Michael Bracewell after her was struck on the helmet by a ball on the second day of their cricket test match in Tauranga, New Zealand, Friday, Feb. 17, 2023. (Andrew Cornaga/Photosport via AP)
Image: England captain Stokes declared on day one at Bay Oval so he could put New Zealand in to bat under the lights

“There is a tactical thing around these day-night games, really looking to take advantage of the new ball under lights, when the ball does a lot more. The way we set the game up and the pace we scored at allowed us to get ahead of the game and we were able to inflict some hard damage with the new ball on day one.

“I am pretty blessed to be in charge of this bowling group at the moment. The idea is to take 10 wickets and that is what we are trying to do – taking the scoreboard away in any situation. As long as we are taking 10 wickets, it doesn’t really matter how many runs we go for. We have an ethos with the bat but also with the ball.”

‘This is some of the most fun I’ve had – I just tried to whack it!’

Harry Brook scores fifty on day of day-night Test against New Zealand (Associated Press)
Image: Harry Brook has passed fifty in six of his eight Test innings for England

Player of the Match, Harry Brook (89 off 81 balls and 54 off 41 balls):

“With the bat, I think it helped that New Zealand went to bumpers early as I felt I could get in earlier. I stuck to my strengths and just kept on trying to whack it. We just want to put the bowler under as much pressure as we can. This is some of the most fun I have had. Every time I go out to bat I am excited to do what I want. You feel like you can play however you want.”

Southee: England played well strategically

New Zealand skipper Tim Southee:

“It is disappointing but credit to England, strategically they played it pretty well. We were on the receiving end of a couple of night periods that obviously weren’t ideal.

“The style they play is going to present opportunities and we saw that in the first innings. We got nine wickets in the end and in the second innings we got all 10 – but it’s about stopping the bleeding in between.

New Zealand's Tim Southee appeals unsuccessfully for the wicket of England's Jamie Overton during the second day of the third cricket test match between England and New Zealand at Headingley in Leeds, England, Friday, June 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Image: Tim Southee’s New Zealand side will be looking to bounce back at Basin Reserve from Friday

“Also, credit to the way they bowled under lights last night – Broady was pretty impressive – but if we’d have got through last night, we knew there wasn’t any demons.

“We’ve got a couple of days now to look forward to a different challenge, back to red-ball cricket. The guys are looking forward to getting back there.”

‘Dominant display from England’

Former England captain Sir Alastair Cook, speaking on BT Sport:

“It was a brilliant performance over three and a half days. If you go back to the beginning of the Test, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson and Stuart Broad were moaning about the pink ball saying it wasn’t needed in Test cricket – maybe because England hadn’t played well in pink-ball Tests – but they might have changed their opinion a little bit now! It was a dominant display from England.”

England seamer Chris Woakes, speaking on BT Sport:

“England have won the parts of the game they needed to. They manufactured things a little bit to make sure they were bowling at the right times under the lights but they still showed that Bazball effect of scoring quickly to make sure they had that opportunity. Credit to them, they have had a great Test match.”


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