New Zealand on top after England batsmen fail

Updated: Mar 07, 2013, 13:11 PM IST

Zeenews Sports Bureau

Dunedin (New Zealand): England`s start to the Test series in New Zealand has started off in the most disastrous manne possible. After being dismissed for a paltry 167, the second day`s play ended with the Kiwi openers unbeaten with the team at 131/0.

The English batsmen got themselves out on a decent pitch, with some rash strokes and mindless shot selection, as debutant Bruce Martin and Neil Wagner picked up four wickets each.

The Kiwi openers showed that the University of Oval pitch was, indeed, conducive for good batting as Hamish Rutherford, making his Test debut, ended the day unbeaten on 77 while Peter Fulton finished at 46 not out.

The first day`s play was abandoned due to bad weather conditions, so this was effectively the first day of a four-day Test and the English will already be hoping for more rain to help them hang on in this match. Jonathan Trott was the only Englishman to make a half decent score, gathering 45 runs. Nick Compton and star batsman Kevin Pietersen flopped majorly, making ducks with the latter getting a golden one, while Cook was unusually unimpressive, making just 10.

The rest of the innings followed the trend in spite of a fighting fourth wicket partnership of 46 between Bell and Trott. At a stage England were down to 119-8, but Steven Finn (20) and James Anderson (23) added valuable runs at the tail-end to take the total past 150.

When the Kiwi batsmen took the crease, runs were suddenly far easier to come. Rutherford, the son of former New Zealand captain Ken Rutherford, brought up his half century off 65 balls, smashing eight fours and a six straight down the wicket in a quick knock.

England`s misery was compounded when Broad missed a caught and bowled opportunity off Rutherford just after he`d reached his fifty, and Pietersen dropped the man again when he was on 64.

After day 2, New Zealand are just 36 runs behind England and will look to put up a big first innings lead and go for the kill in the final two days.