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New Zealand v England

Southee’s start, the birth of Broaderson and a KP classic: Revisiting the last time England won a Test in New Zealand

England is swamped by team mates after taking the wicket of Stephen Fleming
by Nik Anand 4 minute read

The birth of Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson’s partnership, the emergence of Tim Southee, and Kevin Pietersen doing what he does best – a look back at England’s victorious Test series in New Zealand in 2008.

The series was the last time England won a Test match in New Zealand and came after a slightly disappointing home summer in which England had won 3-0 to West Indies but lost 2-0 to India. Led by Michael Vaughan, they headed to New Zealand aiming to turn their fortunes around. They did that by some stretch, winning the three-match series 2-1 after victories in the second and third Tests.

The first Test in Hamilton left a lot to be desired for England fans. New Zealand won by 189 runs thanks to a captain’s performance from Daniel Vettori, who scored 88 runs in the first innings alongside a century from Ross Taylor to set a total of 470. The skipper also took two crucial wickets of Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen in England’s first innings to maintain a healthy lead of 122. England went on to lose the match by 189 runs after collapsing to 110 all-out in their second innings.


Steve Harmison struggled in the series opener, taking just one wicket in the match and going for 4.21 runs per over in the first innings, 6.00 per over in the second. There was some suggestion at the time that this may have been due to his decision to delay his joining the squad in New Zealand due to the birth of his child.

However, after day three Harmison defended his decision to Nasser Hussain on Sky Sports. “I want to play Test cricket. I love playing cricket … it’s my job,” he said. “I’ll try my nuts off every time. But I want to enjoy my family life as well. That’s the most important thing in my life. To spend nearly 10 or 11 months away from my family just doesn’t work.”

England had a big task ahead of them if they were to turn things around for the rest of the series. Heading into the second Test at Wellington both Harmison and Matthew Hoggard were replaced with Broad and Anderson – the first time the two played together in a Test match.

A ton from Tim Ambrose (what was to be his only in an England Test match shirt) helped England to score a first innings total of 342. Anderson then took five wickets in New Zealand’s first innings with Broad getting just one, but that of Brendon McCullum.

Some important knocks in England’s second innings from Alastair Cook and Paul Collingwood set New Zealand a target of 438 to chase. Another solid bowling effort from England then secured the win. Anderson and Broad took two wickets each, one from Monty Panesar and a Ryan Sidebottom five-for saw off New Zealand’s batting to level the series at one apiece.

After the win, Vaughan was quick to reassure that his England team still had work to do. “We were all desperate to win a game of cricket,” he said said. “We’ve not won many games and we’ve all been working very, very hard, but there’s still a long way to go before we can say we’re a proper team again.”

The final Test was set up for a beautiful showdown in Napier. Vaughn named an unchanged England XI while New Zealand brought in 19-year-old Tim Southee for his Test debut.

England looked shaky after electing to bat first, with the loss of Vaughn, Cook and Strauss for just five runs. But it was one man and one man only who came and sorted out England’s situation. Pietersen’s solo effort of 129 from 208, while others fell around him, pushed England to a competitive total. Throughout England’s innings, Southee threatened and ended up with an impressive five-wicket haul on debut, including Pietersen.

Broad shone with the ball again taking three wickets, but seven scalps from Sidebottom in New Zealand’s first innings restricted them to 168 before centuries from Strauss and Ian Bell set up a declaration for England. The home side fought back with a mighty 70 not out from Southee on debut down the order. But six wickets from Monty Panesar helped seal the historic win for England.

“Stuart Broad is a massive talent,” said Vaughn after the match. “Yesterday was a proper spell of bowling, on a pitch that was very, very flat. It’s always nice to captain someone who knows his game and gets on with it, and he also fields well and bats. Expect him to be around for a long time.”

As England are on the eve of another series in New Zealand, some things have not changed. Broad and Anderson are the most prolific seam bowlers in England’s history, and Anderson in particular shows no sign of slowing down at the ripe old age of 40. Tim Southee will lead this New Zealand side out as captain and is closing in on Vettori’s number of Test wickets, second in New Zealand’s overall standings.

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