Strauss century helps England beat New Zealand in Test

May 26th, 2008 - 11:08 pm ICT by admin  

London, May 26 (IANS) Andrew Strauss struck a century to guide England to a six-wicket victory over New Zealand on the fourth day of the first cricket Test at Old Trafford Monday. England comfortably chased down 294, the highest fourth-innings run-chase at the ground, to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

It was an impressive performance by England batsmen, who were knocked over for 202 in their first innings. Strauss’ (106) 12th Test century and solid contributions from captain Michael Vaughan (48) and Kevin Pietersen (42) ensured that England reach the target without any hiccups.

New Zealand were certainly in the driver’s seat after their first innings 381 that gave them a lead of 179-runs, but their second innings collapse for a paltry 114 proved costly.

The visitors were relying on their skipper Daniel Vettori to spin magic with his left-arm spin after Monty Panesar (6-37) got enough purchase from the track Sunday and brought England back into the match.

But Vettori, who was tackled well by Strauss, proved harmless and his 35 overs cost 111 runs and returned only one wicket.

New Zealand could have put England in more trouble had not Iain O’Brien not dropped two catches. The visitors’ fielding was also not up to mark.

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