Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Broad and Swann Strike but England's Victory Bid Is Held Up by the Rain

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Broad and Swann Strike but England's Victory Bid Is Held Up by the Rain

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse Cricket Correspondent at Headingley

ENGLAND were today hoping to beat the Leeds weather and complete a 2-0 Test series victory over New Zealand.

After the start was delayed, England dismissed Brendon McCullum and Tim Southee in the 47 minutes' play possible before the rain returned. It left them needing two more wickets to win, with New Zealand 249 runs short of their nominal fourth-innings target of 468.

Umpires Steve Davis and Marais Erasmus signalled an early lunch and England were studying the weather forecasts to see if they would be able to finish the job during the afternoon.

Stuart Broad took a superb return catch to remove McCullum, before he was forced to leave the field shortly afterwards, flexing his knee. And after Tim Southee and Doug Bracewell had built a boisterous stand of 50 in just 35 balls, Southee was dismissed by Graeme Swann.

Jonathan Trott's catch at slip gave the off-spinner his fifth wicket in the innings and his ninth in the match.

It brought relief for both men, as Trott had dropped Southee in identical circumstances in Swann's previous over.

When Southee despatched the next ball for six over cow corner, Swann's frustration boiled over and he turned the air blue. The bowler would have the final word but Southee's was a richly entertaining innings, featuring four fours and two sixes.

The first six was another example of pure force, a short ball from Steve Finn bludgeoned over the deep square-leg boundary. Southee's assault clearly provided inspiration for Bracewell, who was the next to attack with a maximum similar to that of Southee.

As the teams headed off for lunch, Cook would have been hoping his cautious tactics on the third and fourth days would not deny his side victory.

If the rain continued, England faced the prospect of having to settle for a draw from a game they have totally dominated. …

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