Panesar heads England fightback

Monty Panesar took a Test best 6-37 to lead an astonishing England fightback on the third day of the second Test against New Zealand at Old Trafford on Sunday.

After dismissing the Kiwis for just 114 in their second innings, England were 76-1 in their second innings, needing a further 218 runs to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.

The highest fourth innings total to win on the ground is England’s 231 against West Indies four years ago.

Left-arm spinner Panesar’s eighth five-wicket haul in Tests turned the game around after England were bundled out for 202 in their first innings in reply to New Zealand’s 381.

New Zealand captain and left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori claimed 5-66 after the home side resumed at 152 for four, exploiting a pitch offering increasing bounce and turn. Seamer Iain O’Brien’s accurate line and length brought him 3-49.

At 180-9, England were still two runs short of avoiding the follow-on when Stuart Broad struck a defiant 30.

Panesar, bowling from the same end as Vettori, removed Jamie How (29), James Marshall (28), Brendon McCullum (0), Ross Taylor (15), all lbw, and had Vettori (4) and Kyle Mills (8) caught. Taylor’s wicket was his fifth in the innings and the 100th victim of his Test career.

The downfall of McCullum, who scored 97 in the drawn first Test at Lord’s, typified the Kiwis’ batting. He tried to hit his first ball for six ad nsurvived a vocal lbw appeal, misjudged his second delivery before missing another swipe to the on-side on his third ball when he was given out.

Jacob Oram (7) batted at number eight after staying back in the dressing room with a shoulder and neck injury sustained in practice on Sunday morning. Daniel Flynn, who retired hurt after he was hit in the mouth by a James Anderson bouncer on Friday, did not bat. — Reuters

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