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The Sporting Scoop: NZ Win Cricket Series

by Ian Little an unabashed supporter of British sport reports on a historic victory for NZ cricket and an ignominious defeat for England

First the numbers:

New Zealand first innings: 236 all out

England first innings: 153 all out

New Zealand second innings: 162 all out

England second innings: 162 all out

Result: New Zealand beat England by 83 runs

It was another see-saw match that now means England are the undisputed "worst Test team in the world".

The day started promisingly enough Graham Thorpe and Mike Atherton saw off an early onslaught from Chris Cairns and Dion Nash after England resumed on 91-2 chasing their victory target of 246 with plenty of time to spare.

But then Nash ripped through the wickets and England were 157-7 at lunch and the tail definitely did not waggle.

Three Nash dismissals in two overs, including Atherton and Mark Ramprakash, left England's second innings in tatters and when Alec Stewart miss hit a pull shot straight to square leg, England were facing another humiliating defeat.

Shayne O'Connor had started the rot when he dismissed Atherton's overnight partner Thorpe for 44 - ending England's dominant start to day four.

Ramprakash, one of the few English batting successes went first ball with wicketkeeper Adam Parore claiming another catch off Nash.

Atherton looked in impressive form as Thorpe made 44 and added 78 with Atherton for the third wicket - equalling the highest partnership in a see-saw match.

But once Atherton had gone the rest of the line-up spent less than an hour at the crease as New Zealand celebrated and England started the vicious repercussions that are the sporting world.



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