Cricket

McCullum ecstatic as NZ bounce back

2015-06-02 22:54
(Jon Super, AP)

Leeds - New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum on Tuesday praised his side's resilience after they bounced back from a heavy defeat to square their Test series with England.

The Black Caps completed an emphatic 199-run win in the second Test at Headingley to end the two-match series level at 1-1 just over a week after their 124-run defeat in the first Test at Lord's.

England, set what would have been a new fourth innings Test victory total of 455, resumed on 44 without loss on Tuesday but collapsed to 62 for four before lunch and were eventually bowled out for 255.

Entertaining cricket

Part-time off-spinner Kane Williamson, primarily a batsman and once barred from bowling in international cricket because of a suspect action, was one of New Zealand's bowling heroes with three for 15 in seven overs.

"We bounced back after Lord's," said McCullum at the presentation ceremony.

"Obviously with a two-Test series we had to force the pace and I thought the guys bought into that and we played a really entertaining brand of cricket," added McCullum after leading New Zealand to just their ninth win in 101 Tests against England.

Williamson made a fine century at Lord's but managed just six runs in total at Headingley, where he previously played for Yorkshire.

"There's instinct and then there's pure gambling I think....Kane's got a bit of a knack," said McCullum.

"He's one of those guys who if he's had a quiet Test match you can be pretty sure that he's going to get involved somehow.

"He was outstanding for us with the bat at Lord's and I know he was a bit frustrated with his dismissals in this Test, but he played such a crucial role for us - three for 15 - on the last day of a Test match as a part-time spinner, he just allowed the other guys to be able to settle into their work."

McCullum also singled out man-of-the-match BJ Watling who, playing as a batsman only after a knee injury suffered at Lord's prevented him keeping wicket, justified his inclusion with a second-innings 120 that enabled the tourists to build a decisive lead after both sides made 350 in their first innings.

"I thought BJ Watling was outstanding, we love him," said McCullum.

"He's a tremendous player, he's got a big heart and he's a guy that you can build your team around."

Flurry of wickets

Meanwhile England captain Alastair Cook was left to rue another missed opportunity as, for the second series in a row following their drawn campaign in the West Indies, his side were pegged back after going ahead.

"It was a disappointing day today (on Tuesday). After halfway we were right in the game but credit to New Zealand," said Cook, who surpassed Graham Gooch as England's all-time record Test run-scorer on Sunday.

England had been 215 for one in their first innings before losing a flurry of wickets while their fallible close catching - several chances went down - was shown up by New Zealand's excellence in the field.

"As always against a good side, if you're not 100% on your A game you get found out so credit to Brendon and his team," added Cook, England's man of the series after the left-handed opener's 162 at Lord's was followed by two fifties at Headingley.

"They deserved the win."

Read more on:    england  |  new zealand  |  cricket
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