England Favourites for Second New Zealand Test

By Mark RawlinsonIndian Premier League

After their demolition of New Zealand at Lord’s last week, England will be hoping to win the final of the two tests this weekend as preparations continue for the Ashes series this summer.

England’s domination of the first test saw them romp to a 170 run win over the Kiwis on Sunday and are big favourites to win the concluding test, with Bet365 offering the best odds at 8/13.

It didn’t seem as though England would be so much stronger than New Zealand after the first innings when they were bowled out for only 232. Jonny Bairstow was the highest scorer whilst youngster Joe Root made 40 and Jonathan Trott made 39.

But excellent Bowling from James Anderson restricted New Zealand to only 207 runs in their opening innings. The Lancashire right-hander collected five wickets in that innings, the second dismissing Peter Fulton for four, was his 300th wicket in test cricket, becoming only the fourth Englishman to achieve such a feat. Also on the list are other English cricketing legends Sir Ian Botham, Bob Willis and Fred Trueman.

Williamson and Taylor were the only men to achieve more than fifty runs in the innings as England remained on top.

Trott and Root impressed for England early on in the second innings, making 56 and 71 respectively but the lower order struggled as the tourists dismissed the last four batsmen in under an hour with England finishing the innings on 213.

But more inspired bowling, this time from Stuart Broad, saw the Nottinghamshire fast bowler claim seven wickets as New Zealand were bowled out for 68 in only 22 overs with only two players making it into double figures for the Black Caps.

The 26-year-old finished the test with excellent figures of 7-44 and he is at 9/4 with William Hill to be England’s best bowler in the second test, whilst James Anderson is at 7/4.

Ian Bell is expected to be fully fit for the second test which starts at Headingley, Leeds on Friday morning. The Warwickshire batsman suffered a bout of tonsillitis during the first test which kept him off the field for the majority of the match but he is now fully recovered and is included in Andy Flower’s unchanged 12-man squad from the Lord’s test.

Yorkshire players Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root are both hoping to be included in the finalised squad and play in a national test at their home ground for the first time in their careers.

New Zealand will be without wicketkeeper BJ Watling after he injured his knee in the first test, with captain Brendon McCullum deputising behind the stumps, for the first time in a full test since 2010. Spinner Bruce Martin will also be absent from the Kiwi’s side with a calf injury and Daniel Vettori is expected to replace him after flying in on Wednesday.

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