Prior and Broad keep control for England

A cavalier 82 from Matt Prior completed England's 465 all out before twin breakthroughs from Stuart Broad reduced New Zealand to 66 for three – on day two of the first Test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on Friday.

A cavalier 82 from Matt Prior completed England's 465 all out before twin breakthroughs from Stuart Broad reduced New Zealand to 66 for three – on day two of the first Test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on Friday.

Contrasting half-centuries from Prior (82) and Kevin Pietersen (73) ensured the tourists cashed in on day two of the second Test against New Zealand after Jonathan Trott and Nick Compton's centuries on Thursday.

It nonetheless seemed England's bowlers would need plenty of stamina, as well as skill, on a benign pitch as the Kiwis responded to 465 all out with impressive resolve against the new ball.

First-change Broad, in fact, was already into the sixth over of his spell before he saw off Hamish Rutherford and then clean-bowled Ross Taylor first ball as the hosts scrambled to 66 for three at stumps.

Cloud replaced sunshine almost as soon as England's innings was done at teatime, but there were no immediate gains for either James Anderson or Steven Finn.

Anderson did have his 293rd Test wicket, in his fourth over, when Peter Fulton fenced a catch to first slip.

But Rutherford, a revelation with his century on debut in last week's Dunedin stalemate, and number three Kane Williamson then dug in for more than an hour.

England continued to bowl well, but were met with accomplished defence until Rutherford succumbed – also edging to Alastair Cook at slip, in a near mirror-image replay of his opening partner's departure.

In awkward light, Broad then produced the perfect delivery to a new batsman, full-length swing bursting through Taylor's static attempt to protect his stumps.

England's earlier consolidation with the bat had been far from straightforward, after Trott fell to the first ball he faced this morning.

Pietersen's painstaking half-century was the slowest of four in the innings, and also his first significant contribution of the tour.

Then the ever reliable Prior upped the ante with a 77-ball 50, and an eighth-wicket stand of 83 with Steven Finn. Trott's was one of three wickets before lunch, and England were wobbling when Pietersen and Broad went in successive overs in early afternoon.

Bruce Martin finished with four for 130 after 48 overs of honest toil on a surface offering little to the seamers but increasingly hints of spin for the slow left-armer.
It was Trent Boult's left-arm pace which did for Trott, though, when he got a thin edge behind to a delivery slanted conventionally across him.

With a rainy forecast still in place for the final two days here, there was an obvious temptation for England to try to press on in this middle match of three – with the series level at 0-0.

Pietersen gave an indication of his intent when he greeted the introduction of Martin by going up the wicket and hitting him for six over long-on first ball.
Ian Bell, however, could never get going and managed only 11 from 46 balls before he revisited the most infamous aberration of his international career.

His attempt to hit Martin over the top resulted in a skewed drive high to wide mid-off – an uncanny repeat of his golden duck at the hands of Pragyan Ojha in Ahmedabad four months ago – and Fulton made Bell pay again with a fine catch.

Pietersen survived a caught-behind chance, mishooking Tim Southee over the head and through the gloves of BJ Watling on 40, then completed his 50 with a back-foot force off Martin for just his fourth boundary from 112 balls.

But Joe Root soon fell to the spinner, caught behind trying to drive a wide ball that turned and bounced a little, and Pietersen's dismissal was a near repeat of Bell's – save the fact he tried to do his hitting from the crease.

Broad soon edged Boult behind off the back foot. But Prior found an in-form partner in Finn, fresh from his famously determined maiden half-century last week.

The wicketkeeper dominated their partnership as his innings went from worthy to expert, particularly with two straight sixes off the pace of Neil Wagner.

England's last three wickets fell in the space of 11 balls, Finn driving Wagner to short extra-cover and Prior's reverse-sweep failing to clear short thirdman off Williamson.

The part-time off-spinner doubled up too when Monty Panesar was last out edging to slip, and England's bowlers had a full session to test the Kiwi top order.
They needed most of it, before Broad got them up and running.