Live Commentary: New Zealand vs. England: First Test, day five - as it happened

England's Nick Compton celebrates his century against New Zealand on March 9, 2013
© PA Photos
Sports Mole's live text commentary of the fifth and final day of the first Test between New Zealand and England as it ended in a draw.

England went into day five of the first Test against New Zealand having clawed their way back into the game thanks to Alastair Cook and Nick Compton's centuries.

Compton fell early in the day for 117 but England managed to get into the lead and slowly build up the runs thanks largely to Steven Finn's excellent 56.

Kevin Pietersen and Joe Root fell in quick succession, but Ian Bell and Matt Prior guided the visitors to 421 before New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum offered the draw.

The series stays tied at 0-0 with two matches left.

Read how the action unfolded below with our live text commentary.


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8.31pmHello everyone and thanks for joining me for the final day of this Test match as England look to salvage the draw.

8.34pmAfter a day of rain New Zealand were on top for the following two which left England with a huge task yesterday to play themselves into it. Alastair Cook and Nick Compton - the latter still not out - did exactly that, and England will resume on 234-1.

8.37pmSo 59 are needed for England to level the scores. That should be the case by lunch and England will then begin the slow process of building a lead. Of course, there's no chance of a result if England still have the majority of their wickets in hand by then.

8.40pmCompton will resume with nightwatchman Steven Finn when play starts in around 20 minutes time. Finn will probably be out before too many overs are up, but England's top order still have a big point to prove and they will all want to score runs.

8.44pmWith teams chasing draws on final days of Tests, it's not always gripping cricket. New Zealand simply must take some early wickets. If they can get England out before the final session, with Brendon McCullum in the side you just never know. As I've said, however, a result is hugely unlikely.

8.48pmCertainly England wouldn't even have considered taking a win from this after day three. The 10-year wait to win an opening Test in an away series will continue.

8.52pmLess than 10 minutes now until we get back underway. There's sun visible, so here's hoping for a full day of cricket. There's been heavy rain on two days, one a complete washout, which was an awful start to the Test.

8.55pmLooking at the odds, as you'd expect the draw is odds-on favourite at 1/12. Fancy England to somehow win? 100/1. Let me know if you do! New Zealand are out at 12/1.

8.59pmAlmost ready. My prediction is England to lose two wickets until lunch. A little bit nervy afterwards but for it to be a draw. I know... risky prediction!

ENG 236-1Tim Southee takes the ball for the first over of the day. Finn glances off his pads to get himself underway nicely. Southee gets a good hint of swing with this second new ball, and Finn edges to slip but it just didn't carry.

ENG 236-1Trent Boult comes in from the other end. He gets some early reverse swing and Compton is alert to get bat in front of pad. It's not very lively in terms of pace, however, and is barely carrying to Watling. Compton dabbles at one on a great line but it just skips past the edge. Very good over from Boult; a maiden.

ENG 241-1Southee continues. Finn swipes at a slight outswinger and gets a very thick edge through point and gully for four. He goes after another one with a slightly wider line but misses completely. He incredibly decides to pad away an inswinger that's almost right in front of his pads! He gets away with it just as it's just missing off stump. Really good bowling from Southee but no reward for him as Finn clips to leg for a single off the last ball.

ENG 245-1Boult has an over at the nightwatchman Finn. The batsman gets a thick edge over cover point for another four to move him on to 11, before he reads a bouncer well and gets under it. Boult then gets one right through the gate, but Finn survives another over.

ENG 249-1Compton gets off the mark for the day with a wonderful cover drive that he steps right into and punches to the boundary. Those are the only runs from another good Southee over.

ENG 249-1Finn hangs in for another over with some blocks and some good leaves. There's still some slight swing for Boult, but his line wasn't quite right there to tempt Finn into any wild shots.

ENG 249-1England's stall is set out just right to claim the draw. They're leaving anything that's not straight or full. It won't be pretty, but it's what's needed, and Compton is just the sort of batsman needed.

ENG 249-1Another maiden goes by and it's a while since there's been a run.

ENG 255-1Finally some runs. A couple from Compton and they were so long in coming that his bat broke in surprise. He christens the new bat with a four through square leg from a poor attempted yorker from Southee. Solid defence from Compton to finish the over. England now trail by 38.


ENG 255-1Finn goes after a wider one from Boult and attempts to push through covers, but it's stopped. The rest of the over is defensive and it's yet another maiden for the day. I feel I'll be saying that plenty of times.

ENG 255-1Neil Wagner comes into the attack now, replacing Southee. He's not very quick, but is certainly accurate. Compton is blocking confidently, however, and sees out, that's right, a maiden.

ENG 256-1Boult is given another over by McCullum to get the pesky nightwatchman out. Finn moves on to 12 with a single clipped to long leg and Compton leaves the final ball. Still 37 to get level.

ENG 256-1Wagner continues and yet again, no runs from the over. Just 20 have been scored in almost an hour's play so far. England's aim is clear, and I'm afraid it won't be gripping viewing.

ENG 257-1Compton looks for the boundary with a shot to mid-off, but his timing isn't right and gets just the one run. The remainder of the over is careful leaves. No need to play those outside the off stump.

ENG 264-1A good piece of fielding on the deep cover boundary stops Compton's drive reaching the boundary. It's only three, but four come from the very next ball as Finn edges at a catchable height between slips and gully.

ENG 265-1McCullum introduces some spin as Bruce Martin replaces Boult. Just one from the over, the last ball as Compton retains the strike.

ENG 265-2WICKET! Compton (117) lbw b Wagner

ENG 265-2Well, Finn was expected to be the first man to go today, but it's Compton. Wagner catches him plumb in front and Finn says it's not worth the review so Compton walks. It was a good innings, but it's a little troubling for England as he was doing a good job of seeing out the overs, but not getting many runs. Jonathan Trott in.

ENG 270-2Trott is immediately in the runs, clipping two shots to leg side and getting a couple of runs for each effort. He retains strike off the final ball. New Zealand will surely get Finn out soon, they'll fancy their chances of getting England out today and chasing a target. Currently they're still 23 ahead.

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ENG 275-2Trott is taking this to the Black Caps. That's a lovely drive right back past Martin for four runs. Once again Trott retains strike with a single. He's keen to get England ahead. That's the first drinks break of the day.

ENG 280-2After the break Wagner continues and Trott nicks a single to leg side. Finn to face his first ball since before Compton was out. He thick inside-edges one, but then takes two with a good shot to the off side. Wagner comes round the wicket and Finn gets another two with a cover drive to move on to 20.

ENG 281-2Martin continues with his spin and Trott takes a single off the first ball. It's the only one from the over as Finn sees out the remainder. Finn is playing really well and there haven't been any close shaves, really.

ENG 289-2Wagner gets another go at Trott, who picks up a single with a neat clip off his pads. Finn plays well again, keeping his bat low to a bouncer that was about chest-height. He knows how to play an overpitched one, too, and claims three to the off side. That puts him on 23, his highest in Tests. Trott gets on strike and hammers a four through mid-on. Expensive over, that.

ENG 292-2Finn looking really solid on defence too, getting down well to a fullish Martin delivery. He goes after a wider one, however, and just gets his toe down before the bails are whipped off. He then sweeps really well, but it doesn't go all the way, just three.

ENG 297-2Finn picks up a couple to the leg side, and England lead! Finn hammers towards the boundary, picking up another three runs. A close one past the edge of Trott ends the over with England four ahead.

ENG 300-2Finn gets down well to sweep for a single, before Trott brings up England's 300 with a couple of his own. It's taken 110 overs for England to get in the black. A long haul, and now every run makes it harder for the Black Caps to win.

ENG 304-2Finn gets another four from Wagner's next over. It wasn't timed and instead he thick edges a cover drive through the gully region, but wide of the fielders and to the rope.

ENG 307-2Trott flicks a three off his pads from another over of Martin spin, and they are the only runs from the over as Finn continues to be solid at the other end. He's 14 away from his 50 now; a 50 that he deserves.

ENG 308-2Wagner continues for another six balls. Trott, after his quick start, has just slowed down a little and is more than happy to leave from the left-armer. Just one wide from the over.

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ENG 308-2Martin goes again to try to get the wicket of Finn, but the tall seamer is still surprisingly equal to it, getting down well in front of his pads. No runs from the over, but not much danger of a wicket, either.

ENG 313-2Very fluent shot from Trott as he takes one step forward to drive Wagner through deep cover for four. The pair then run an easy single to get Finn back on strike, but there is no further action in terms of runs or wickets.

ENG 314-2McCullum sticking with this pair, as Martin is tossed the ball for another over. Trott quickly gets of strike with an easy single and Finn again comfortably sees off the rest of the over without any trouble. There's little spin and hardly any bounce and Finn has 36.

ENG 316-2Southee is reintroduced to the attack, replacing the expensive Wagner. Again Trott takes a single early in the over before Finn leaves a slight inswinger that ends up millimetres from his off stump!

ENG 319-2Finn gets another thick edge and this time it goes through slips but stops short of the boundary for three runs. He's now on 40. No runs for Trott as Martin continues to struggle to get anything out of this pitch.

ENG 324-2Finn defends and Trott sends him on his way for a quickly run single. That's why; Trott clips fine off his legs and the ball races for four. There's another edge, this time from Trott, but it drops short once more. The pitch is flattening by the over.

ENG 324-2A maiden over from Martin flashes by as Finn comfortably deals with it.

ENG 324-2Southee continues and he is still getting a touch of inswing, but not enough to damage Trott. It's the second maiden in a row as the pace drops to a snail's.

ENG 329-2LUNCH: Martin comes in again. Finn gets off strike with a single before Trott pushes a half-volley through extra cover for a lovely boundary. Overpitched, yes, but well dispatched nonetheless.

11.32pmWell, job done in that session for England. I thought there would be a wicket, but I didn't expect Finn to still be there. As it is, he's on 42 while Trott has moved quickly to 37.

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11.33pmJoin me again in around 35 minutes for the second session.

12.08amHi all and welcome back to our coverage of this final day of the opening Test match between New Zealand and England at Dunedin.

12.10amIt was slow progress, as expected, from England in the opening session. One wicket fell, but it was Compton and not Finn. For a reminder of what happened, read our lunch report.

ENG 334-2Suthee starts with the ball after lunch and immediately catches an inside edge from Finn, but it goes safe for a run. Trott catches a straight one far better and sees it race to the leg side boundary for four. The lead is 41.

ENG 334-2The economical Boult comes in from the other end and Finn tries out his defensive shots after lunch. Solid, it seems. Boult comes around the wicket and it's the same story, until Finn swings wildly at a shorter one off the back foot but it misses the edge. None from the over.

ENG 339-2Trott clips to leg and despite Martin getting there first he fields poorly and it goes for four. One more single comes from the over and Trott is moving towards his 50. These are perfect conditions for him, in terms of the pitch and match situation.

ENG 340-2Trott moves three away from his 50 with a quickly run single. Finn stays seven away with a series of leaves from Boult. Another very low-scoring over for the Black Caps bowler.

ENG 344-2FIFTY FOR TROTT: Another fantastic piece of timing from Trott as he plays late to the leg side and the ball races to the midwicket boundary. It's quick for him, too, coming off just 79 balls.

ENG 345-2Finn, meanwhile, moves on to 44 with a single from Boult's next over. Trott is back on strike and he goes for a shot down the ground but it's well stopped. He defends and leaves the remainder of the over.

ENG 348-2Finn works two runs to long leg but is then stopped from getting his 50 with a superb stop from Hamish Rutherford. Finn settles for the single and now requires three for his first 50 in Tests.


ENG 348-2Still Boult continues and still Finn waits patiently for his 50. He's getting no room whatsoever from the left-armer and another maiden goes by.

ENG 350-2Martin returns to the attack, replacing Southee. A single for each batsman takes England to 350, which more importantly is a 57 lead. A good over from Martin, albeit without much threat of a wicket.

ENG 355-3WICKET! Trott (52) c&b Wagner

ENG 355-3Successive bowling changes for New Zealand as now Wagner comes in for Boult. Straight away Finn edges but it goes through the slips and to the boundary for four, and with it Finn's half-century! Great stuff from him, can he get a ton? However, Trott clips one back into the air for Wagner to catch, which somewhat takes the edge off Finn's achievement as England are another man down. Kevin Pietersen in, can he be disciplined enough here?

ENG 355-3Southee returns after an over of spin. Finn slashes at and misses a very wide one, before brilliantly digging out a superb yorker. He's outlasted two teammates here and is batting very sensibly. A maiden over, so now Pietersen will face his first delivery.

ENG 358-3Pietersen flicks off his pads for an easy two to get immediately off the mark and avoid the king pair. He then wheels around to a short one and clips an easy single. Wagner gets one to swing nicely away from Finn, but there's no edge and he survives another over.

ENG 361-3Pietersen is a little edgy to Southee, but he grabs a couple and then gets himself off strike with a clip off his legs. Just those three from the over and it's time for drinks on what is now a very warm afternoon.

ENG 366-3Drinks are over and Pietersen faces Wagner. A slightly loose one is sent right where it belongs by KP, who gets his first four of the day through point. He gets off strike with a single edged to the off side and Finn leaves the rest of the over.

ENG 367-3McCullum calls back Martin straight away to have a go at Pietersen. How can he deal with the left-arm spin today? He gets forward well and out of the line to defend and gets off strike with a single and Finn blocks the last ball well.

ENG 367-3Wagner has another go at Pietersen. The batsman doesn't have his eye in quite yet as he miscues a shot down the ground before defending solidly on the last ball for a maiden over.

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ENG 367-3Martin gets an over at Finn now and he deals with it really well. Mainly the deliveries in the over were wide of off, but any straight ones Finn swatted away with ease. Incredibly slow run-rate now.

ENG 367-4WICKET! Pietersen (12) c Watling b Wagner

ENG 367-4Pietersen never looked comfortable out there and now he's gone. Wagner moved over the wicket and pitched one slightly straighter; Pietersen played around it and caught the inside edge trying to bring his bat back through. Easy take for Watling, Ian Bell is in. A bit of pressure now for England.

ENG 367-4Bell leaves Wagner's final ball, which means Finn will face Martin.

ENG 367-4Finn showing real composure to not slog at Martin, even when it's pitched up to him. Another maiden goes by in the blink of an eye. They have wickets in hand, but England should still score more runs.

ENG 369-4Bell plays at Wagner with an angled bat and gets two runs to the off side. Wagner tries the same tactic by coming over the wicket to Bell, but he leaves it well instead of playing at it. Just the two runs.

ENG 371-4Finn continues to play the spin of Martin well and flicks away fine for two runs, but there was no bat and they're given as leg byes. Those are the only runs from the over and England's lead is now 78.

ENG 375-4Bell looking very solid on defence. He's got a good technique, really getting himself behind the ball. However, anything short and wide he'll cut, and he does nicely to the point boundary for four.

ENG 375-4Martin given the ball again and the Black Caps are still being frustrated by Finn. He starts the over round the wicket, switches to over but there's just no way through as yet. Finn sees out the over for a maiden and England are another few minutes nearer to the draw.

ENG 376-4Bell stays watchful and pinches a single with a push to short cover. Finn has been in for long enough that he's not about to play at short, wide ones from Wagner. He does get back on a straighter one but there's no run available.

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ENG 377-4There is a bowling change for the Black Caps as Boult comes back into the attack to replace Martin. Bell clips one to the leg side but there's not time to come back for a second run.

ENG 379-4Martin comes back at the other end and Bell clips him to midwicket for two runs. Just those two from another very pedestrian over.

ENG 380-4Finn gets his first runs for more than an hour. Well, run, just a single. With the end of that over it's 150 gone and England lead by 87.

ENG 382-4TEA: Finn's runs are just piling up now! He picks up two with a nice clip to leg. Once more, just one scoring shot from the over. Just 53 from the session and less than 150 for the day so far.

2.13amThere are still 32 overs left so England aren't quite out of the woods, but a draw looks the only result as it has all day. Joing me again in about 20 minutes for the final session.

2.30amWelcome back. The players are coming back out for the evening session. For a reminder of the action in the second session, read our report.

ENG 386-4It's spin to start the session, with Kane Williamson. Bell smacks the second delivery of the over back past the bowler for four straight down the ground. The over goes by quickly and just that boundary from it.

ENG 386-5WICKET! Finn (56) lbw b Martin

ENG 386-5Spin from both ends as Martin bowls. Maybe McCullum just wants these overs gone as quickly as possible now? Either way Finn has finally gone! He gets down to sweep but misses the ball completely and is caught plumb in front. England are effectively 93-5 now as Joe Root comes to the crease.

ENG 390-6WICKET! Root (0) run out Southee

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ENG 390-6Williamson comes around the wicket to Bell; he drops one short and leg side, which Bell sends packing to the boundary. Then it's suicide! A terrible run when you're hunting a draw and Root is caught short by a direct hit from Southee. New Zealand can sense it now as Matt Prior, England's last batsman, comes to the crease.

ENG 394-6Now England are 101-6 as Martin bowls to Bell. The batsman sees out five balls before slapping a short one to the boundary. With every run and over that goes by England edge to safety, but they cannot take risky runs like in the last over.

ENG 394-6Prior faces his first deliveries from Wagner's next over, who has come in to replace Williamson. Wagner again mixes up coming around and over the wicket and really pegs Prior back. He cannot score and it's a maiden for Wagner.

ENG 394-6Martin hurls down another maiden and this time it's Bell who cannot dig out any runs. I think England will essentially just block the remaining 20-odd overs.

ENG 400-6Prior finally gets himself some runs with a very nice pull shot to backward square. Wagner didn't commit to the bouncer there and it was a good height for Prior. Two more bring up England's 400, although it's really 107-6.

ENG 401-6Martin continues with two overs left until the third new ball. Bell clips a full toss off his pads for a single and defends the rest of the over.

ENG 410-6That's quite a risky shot from Bell, who just avoids the fielder's dive at cover with a drive slightly in the air. He's looking to attack, though, to take the game away from the Black Caps. Prior then finds the boundary with a lovely square cut.

ENG 410-6New Zealand take the third new ball and give it straight to Southee. He gets a shade of swing but Bell plays the over smartly, leaving most deliveries although he did go after one that he should probably have left alone.

ENG 412-6Boult, who has fantastic economy in this Test, is given the ball from the other end. Prior shows him the full face of his bat with some solid defensive play, before clipping to square leg for a couple to end the over.

ENG 412-6Southee carries on, but he won't get wickets bowling short and wide. Bell will leave those every time; he has to make him play. Bell almost catches an edge with a delivery slightly down leg side, but he escapes and it's a maiden. Unless the rest of the England wickets are taken in about two overs, this one will be a draw.


ENG 412-6Boult starts with a much better line to Prior, forcing the batsman to tuck in to defend, but then goes wider where there's no threat of Prior swinging at it. Better, fuller bowling finishes the over and it's Boult's 12th maiden.

ENG 414-6Bell and Prior exchange singles at the start of the over. Southee tightens up his line, bowling much more full and on off stump and no further runs come from the final four balls.

ENG 418-6Boult putting everything into trying to get that wicket, and as such he drags a delivery leg side that Prior flicks away fine for four.

ENG 418-6Another maiden passes by from Southee and both sides know now that there won't be a result in this one. I expect before too long the teams will agree to end it as a draw.

ENG 419-6McCullum gives Wagner another pop at getting a wicket. Huge appeal for a catch behind on Prior; Asad Rauf says not out so New Zealand go upstairs. I've no idea why they were so confident as Prior's bat is several centimetres away from the ball. A single for Prior ends the over with England's lead 126.

ENG 420-6Martin is back into the attack; McCullum still thinks they can get the wickets. Just one run - or walk, it was so leisurely - from the over.

ENG 421-6Prior does well to keep a Wagner bouncer down and away for a single. The over ends with Wagner catching Bell out with a bouncer, but the England man does well to duck on the back foot. That's drinks, still no calling time on it! Only about 15 overs left.

ENG 421-6MATCH ENDS AS A DRAW: I was wrong, McCullum went over to the umpires, then the batsmen, and called it a day.

3.48amSo the series stays at 0-0. England did really well in their second innings to grind out the draw, but it has to be asked how they only managed 167 on this pitch in the first innings. From their point of view at least it wasn't a defeat and there are still two matches to win the series.

3.49amThanks for joining us for this first Test match and stick with us when the second gets underway on March 13. Goodnight!

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