Broad’s best secures crushing win


In a destructive spell of pace bowling, Stuart Broad blew away New Zealand with career-best figures of 7 for 44 as England surged to a 170-run victory at Lord’s. A Test that had begun at a cautious pace hurtled to a conclusion less than hour after lunch on the fourth day with New Zealand dismantled for 68.

Broad took the first five of his wickets in 5.4 overs before lunch to crush New Zealand’s hopes that would have been reasonably high just an hour earlier after Tim Southee, with just the second ten-wicket haul by a New Zealander at Lord’s, had instigated another collapse, England losing their last eight wickets for 54 dating back to Joe Root’s dismissal on the third evening. Yet, to show that days of hard work can be undone in the blink of eye, they went to lunch six down having lost their captain, Brendon McCullum, on the stroke of the break to give Broad his eighth five-wicket haul and remove their last hope of making a dent in the target.

History was still weighted against New Zealand at the beginning of their pursuit of 239. Only two sides had chased more to win at Lord’s: West Indies against England in 1984 and England against New Zealand in 2004. Still, with the sun peeping through and the day a touch warmer they might have been expected to get closer than they did.

Instead, Broad produced one of the eye-popping bursts that have been dotted through his Test career and which make it all the more exasperating when he appears to divert from the full length that makes him such a threat. The only wicket he took with a short ball was when Southee dimly pulled to deep square-leg. When he bowled Bruce Martin, who was suffering a calf strain that could end his tour, he had his second haul of seven at Lord’s following his previous career-best against West Indies last year.

For the first time since 1936, England had just two men bowl unchanged through a completed all-out innings, although Broad and James Anderson did not quite share all ten wickets. The last fell to a chaotic run out after one of the substitute fielders, Adam Dobb, had not quite been able to gather a top-edged hook from Neil Wagner, who then ended up in the middle of the pitch. It was New Zealand’s sixth-lowest total against England.

After bringing some solidity back to their batting, this was a reprise of the efforts that haunted New Zealand on the tour of South Africa. Peter Fulton played a big hand in his demise when he fiddled outside off to a delivery he should have left alone, completing a match that made his twin hundreds in Auckland feel a lifetime ago. Hamish Rutherford, though, could do little about the ball he received, which seamed away off middle and extracted the off stump.

Two deliveries later Broad added another, the key wicket of Ross Taylor, whose aggressive approach knocked England off their stride in the first innings, with a ball that seamed away and was edged low to first slip where Alastair Cook took an excellent catch. Like Fulton, Taylor may consider that he did not need to play but the early adrenalin of an innings can be difficult to control.

Broad’s next success came in slightly more unconventional fashion for an opening bowler against the top order when Kane Williamson, the epitome of technical correctness and calmness, drove a fierce catch to catch to extra cover, which knocked Steven Finn off his feet.

Anderson compounded New Zealand’s problems by producing one of the dismissals of the match. After hooping a delivery viciously back between Dean Brownlie’s bat and pad – unplayable was a term not out of place – he then made the next delivery hold its line outside off stump and the batsman edged to first slip. McCullum tried to make a statement by not resisting his shots but was taken on the pad; he used the DRS – he had to – but the impact was just in line with off stump.

The final outcome was tremendously tough on Southee, whose six second-innings wickets had come in the space of 52 balls from late on the third day and placed him alongside Dion Nash on the ten-wickets honours board. In a hint of what was to follow over the next three hours, Finn (who would never have believed he would not be needed with the ball) edged the fifth ball of the day into the slips to begin a procession of 14 batsmen falling for 101.

Southee’s five-wicket haul came when Ian Bell, still suffering from tonsillitis, edged loosely to third slip but his personal success will be scant consolation after what followed.