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Test Match: New Zealand v England

edited February 28 in Not Football

Woke up 2.50 am. Wonder how Test Match going. Switch on iPhone? Better not, England will probably be eight down needing eight runs to win. Oh, come on, have a quick look. England are eight down needing nine to win. Foakes 33 not out, adds a couple but gets out hooking (sic). Leach on 0 after facing 25 balls finally gets a single. Anderson in. Hits a 4. 2 to win. Seems an age before score is updated. It eventually is (I’ve now been awake for 20 minutes). Anderson out and New Zealand win by 1 run after just short of five days of a match in which 1383 runs have been scored. Great game, cricket !!

Now, if Stokes hadn’t enforced the follow-on…….

Stokes’ enforcement of the follow-on
  1. Should he have enforced it ?21 votes
    1. Yes
    2. No


  • Follow on was a fine decision, would question some of the shot selection towards the end though - Foakes in particular. Obviously love the gung ho approach we are taking to test cricket but with so few runs needed but into the tail I'd have thought a little bit of control would've been sensible.

  • I think the follow on was (in hindsight) a risky decision but one that Stokes felt was worth taking given the overall approach England have adopted. Sadly the bowlers got a little lost in NZ's follow on innings allowing them to get a decent score & therefore put pressure on England, this coupled with some poor shot selection in England's second innings led inevitable to defeat.

    Having said all of that it was a cracking game of cricket & either team could have come out victorious up to the final delivery.

  • edited February 28

    Broad and Anderson are still excellent bowlers and Ollie Robinson has improved his fitness and stamina over the past six months or so but the first two are hardly in the first flush of youth and Stokes himself is barely able to bowl at all with his ongoing left knee problem. It was no great surprise therefore when New Zealand, in probably the best batting conditions of the match, posted one of their highest scores against England in recent history.

    So England had been toiling in the field for the best part of another two days when they started their second innings. If they’d not enforced the follow-on, they might well have knocked up a further 300 plus runs before lunch on day four on what was clearly a good batting surface, New Zealand would then have faced a target of over 500 on a deteriorating pitch against bowlers who would have had at least a day’s rest and recuperation.

    Ben Stokes has been an absolute inspiration since he took over tha captaincy but, very sadly, must be a serious doubt for the forthcoming Ashes series. I’ve no idea who would replace him as captain although there is a fair number of candidates to replace him in his all-rounder capacity.

    What do folk think?

  • You know what you get with the new England, boom or bust, but it has been boom until now, no complaints from me. Enforcing the follow on was entirely in keeping with the new thinking. Lots of 'what ifs' but if Root had, uncharacteristically, not got Brook run out, it probably would have worked out just fine.

  • I agree, enforcing the follow on was the right decision, but it just happened to not work out this time.

  • Hell of a game that,

    The lack of a fourth pace bowler did mean the other three really toiled in the heat. I think that was crucial in the momentum swinging to the Kiwis

    That said, if Root hadn’t run out Brook for a duck, I think we would have reached the target quite comfortably. Tough to criticise him though seeing as he averaged over 250 on the match!

  • Yes, our (the world's??) most inform batter not facing a ball certainly wasn't ideal!

  • With the way that most of the England test matches have gone and how Australia are performing in India at the moment, I'm nervous that I won't get to see much on the 3rd day at Edgbaston this summer as it'll be all over!

  • I’m at Edgbaston on day 3 too!

  • Day 4 for me🙈

  • edited February 28

    I think the follow on was the correct decision. The way we play now we don't die wondering, which is great. So many decisions they have made over the last year have led to us winning matches, so we can't all start moaning when we lose the odd one. It's great to watch which Is what test cricket needs. Had Brook not been run out without facing we'd probably have won easy and not even be talking about it.

    Bring on the Ashes ! Must admit I'm also slightly worried about Stokes fitness though, wrap him in cotton wool until the Aussies come over !

  • I think the follow-on was the wrong call, and a really poor decision. Mainly because of the make up of the current attack and the fact the Basin is well known for being a good pitch to bat on Day 3 and 4.

    With a 40 year old Anderson, 36 year old Broad, Robinson still working on his overall fitness and Ben Stokes unable to bowl, I thought it was a really poor decision. With none of those having a significant point of difference e.g. hostile bowling or out and out pace, it was naive.

    The maximum amount of time you want your team to be in the field is ideally four sessions or 100-120 overs. Having spent 52 overs in the field in the first innings, it was unlikely we would bowl the current test world champions out again in such a short period of time.

    Some of the reports were that England would enforce the follow-on as Day 5 was meant to be rain interuptted. Again a poor decision if the weather was the deciding factor.

    All in all, an entertaining game of cricket and the 2nd closest match in Test history. A great deal of credit must be given to New Zealand for their 3rd and 4th innings performances. Realistically, there was only really two results possible at the end of NZs first innings, if England had batted again. By not doing so, they gave NZ a way back into the game. Winning is the best form of entertainment, we should have won a series in New Zealand and had a seventh win on the spin.

  • You do indeed know what you’re going to get with the present England setup. I don’t think Stokes knew (or expected) that a pretty ordinary New Zealand side would score nearly 500 runs in their second innings !

    @Commoner, in echoing my sentiments and reinforcing the contraindications in his second paragraph, underlines the risk (foolhardiness even) of Stokes’ decision.

  • I didn't like the follow-on at the time, and still don't. England score so quickly that getting a result was never going to be the issue - it was maximizing the chances for that result being a win. Batting NZ more or less out of the game with less pressure on us was my preference at the time, not just in hindsight. As it is, we brought pressure on our own batters by falling behind, and there were a lot of errors on the final morning.

  • Talking of tight finishes, Spain bowled out the Isle of Man for 10 runs in a T2O on Sunday. They promptly rattled off the runs in two legitimate balls - a no ball followed by a couple of sixes.

  • A good friend was the scorer in that match! He said it was a once in a lifetime thing. Played out on the top astro pitch at La Manga Club.

    Another friend runs a T20 tournament there every year, and we've been a few times. Sadly cannot get the numbers together anymore but always a great tour. Perhaps the gasroom should send a team over!

  • I’ll open the bowling.

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