Vaughan Digs In For England

England

Michael Vaughan hit an unbeaten 44 to help England make a solid start in reply to New Zealand's 470 on day two of the first Test in Hamilton.

Michael Vaughan hit an unbeaten 44 to help England make a solid reply after their attack failed to halt New Zealand's progress to a major first innings total in the opening Test.

The England captain, whose time at the crease had been limited to just 31 minutes during last week's two warm-up matches, defiantly resisted the hosts' efforts to make early inroads into the top order on the second day at Seddon Park.

Vaughan showed no signs of rustiness and helped the tourists progress to 87 for two at the close, trailing New Zealand by 383 runs after England's attack failed to make use of the new ball earlier in the day.

The England captain survived two close calls during his innings of nearly two hours, edging off-spinner Jeetan Patel just short of slip on 23 and then being given the benefit of the doubt over a strong lbw appeal from rival captain Daniel Vettori on 44.

But his composure allowed the tourists to survive despite the loss of fellow opener Alastair Cook and nightwatchman Matthew Hoggard in the last five overs of the day.

The tourists had begun the day hopeful of wrapping up New Zealand's innings quickly when they resumed on 282 for six with the new ball only 10 overs old.

Instead, Ross Taylor progressed to his maiden Test century and forged a record 148-run seventh wicket stand against England with Vettori, who demonstrated his effectiveness at number eight by hitting a useful 88.

Their efforts frustrated England's wayward attack for 38 overs with only left-armer Ryan Sidebottom, who was watched by Dad Arnie in the crowd, showing any signs of form by finishing with four for 90.

Neither Matthew Hoggard or Steve Harmison, the only surviving members of England's successful 2005 Ashes attack, could find their rhythm and were restricted to 13 overs between them despite England taking 49 overs to finally finish off New Zealand.

Harmison will have been the bigger worry for England after failing to reach anything like his normal pace for the second successive day with both Taylor and Vettori batting against him with little trouble.

Hoggard was equally ineffective and conceded 27 runs in only five overs before Vaughan finally lost his patience with his two leading seamers and turned to the medium-pace of Paul Collingwood and the spin of Monty Panesar and Kevin Pietersen.

Taylor, who entered his third Test under pressure to score runs after a top score of 17 in his previous appearances, had effortlessly progressed to his maiden century before lunch by pulling Harmison for his 16th boundary.

Vaughan's decision to turn to Pietersen's occasional off-spin eight overs after lunch seemed a desperate measure with Taylor having reached 120 and seemingly in reach of a major score.

But he attempted to slog sweep Pietersen's second delivery and only succeeded in top-edging a return catch to end the record seventh wicket stand against England.

Vettori looked set to follow in reaching three figures but eight overs later edged Collingwood to Andrew Strauss at slip attempting a late cut.

Kyle Mills maintained New Zealand's resistance and hit five fours in his unbeaten 25, but the return of Sidebottom to the attack finally ended the innings when he had Jeetan Patel caught at slip and then with the next ball bowled last man Chris Martin to finish with four for 90.

England seemed as comfortable as New Zealand at the crease for the first 36 overs of their reply, but just five overs before the close opener Cook mis-timed an attempted pull off seamer Chris Martin and was caught in the deep by substitute fielder Nick Horsley.

Despite batting on one of the flattest pitches they could imagine, England decided to send out nightwatchman Hoggard but it backfired when he edged to slip seven minutes later.

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