AND began the summer of Test cricket with a resounding 170-run victory over New Zealand at Lord’s yesterday, thanks to a frenetic fourth day that saw 14 wickets tumble.
A blistering return to form for captain Alastair Cook’s top seam bowlers bodes well for the Ashes series against Australia, commencing in July.
But first they must overcome New Zealand in a two-Test series which England now lead 1-0.
The hosts started yesterday on 180-6 in their second innings, yet lost Steven Finn in the first over of the morning. Ian Bell, who had been suffering flu-like symptoms, was soon dismissed for just six runs.
Stuart Broad added 26 runs to the total, with England bowled all out for 213, leaving New Zealand needing 239 to win. The match seemed to be in the balance, yet any hopes of success for the tourists were dashed as six wickets fell in the 12 overs before lunch.
Broad struck with only his third ball of the day, and in the sixth over took two more, including a stunning delivery that sent Hamish Rutherford’s off-stump cartwheeling through the air.
Three more wickets fell in the three overs leading up to lunch, a further three tumbling in the 10 overs after the break – James Anderson claiming two, to add to Broad’s seven.
And New Zealand’s torrid day was soon over, ending all out on 68 after a farcical run-out of Neil Wagner.
SIX OF THE WORST
Lowest Test scores at Lord’s
■ India, June 1974 – 42 runs
■ New Zealand, June 1958 – 47 runs
■ West Indies, June 2000 – 54 runs
■ South Africa, June 1912 – 58 runs
■ New Zealand, August 1978 – 67 runs
■ New Zealand, May 2013 – 68 runs
*Excludes 19th century