New Zealand’s exciting emerging talent Ross Taylor hit a career-best 154* that took the visitors to a competitive 381 in their first innings of the second test at Old Trafford. In reply, England appeared to have their innings under control through a good partnership for the 2nd wicket between Strauss and Vaughan. But towards the end of the day, the Kiwis fought back to have England at 152 for 4.
The 24-year-old Ross Taylor had started the day on a personal score of 67 with NZ at 202/4. Just when things started to be going alright, the Kiwis lost two wickets in succession through the run outs of Jacob Oram (38) and Skipper Daniel Vettori to reduce the score at 250 for 6. However, England failed to deliver the knock out punch in bowling out the Kiwis and were made to wait and wait by a fighting partnership between Taylor and Kyle Mills.
Coming in at no.9, Kyle Mills didn’t find any trouble at all and went onto register his maiden half century and in the process helping Ross Taylor get his second Test hundred. The pair went onto take NZ to 339 for 7 before Mills had been cleaned up by Anderson after lunch. Mills made 57 from 78 balls with 7 fours and a six. Some quick runs from Ross Taylor got Kiwis to 381 before the inevitable happened to the no. 10 and no. 11 batsmen. Ross Taylor stayed unbeaten on 154 which came in just 176 balls with 17 fours and 5 sixes. James Anderson was the most successful bowler for England taking 4 for 118, but at the same time leaking his runs at an expensive economy rate of 5.75!
England lost an early wicket in the form of Alastair Cook, who was trapped in front of the stumps by medium pacer Iain O’Brien in the 10th over. After that, it was all about Strauss and Vaughan steadying the innings until O’Brien and Vettori got these two batsmen back in the hut. Both Strauss and Vaughan were on the slower side and didn’t really get the scoreboard moving to keep the pressure on New Zealand. Strauss was the first to depart after making his 60 from 140 balls with the help of 5 fours. Vaughan was too cautious as well as he played 133 balls scoring just 33. At stumps, England got to 152 for 4 in 59 overs with Pietersen on 22 and Bell on 4.