England & New Zealand – A Tale Of Trent Bridge

The legendary home ground of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, Trent Bridge, will host the second of the three-match test series between England and New Zealand starting this Friday. The hosts won the opening game after a magnificent unbeaten century from former captain Joe Root on what was Ben Stokes debut as skipper.

New Zealand have played nine test matches at the famous old ground since 1969, with one of the most memorable meetings being in August 1986 when the Kiwis won their one and only test on the ground so far, inspired by a certain former county favourite, Sir Richard Hadlee.

Batting first, England mustered just 256 runs with Hadlee taking six wickets for 80 runs in 32 overs. He then compiled 68 runs as New Zealand replied with a formidable total of 413 runs, mainly due to John Bracewell hitting a maiden test century batting at number eight.

England, who were captained by Mike Gatting, had no answer in their second innings as they were bowled out for 230. Hadlee returned figures of 4-60 to give him ten wickets in the match. The visitors then easily reached their target off 74 runs for the loss of only two wickets on the fifth day.

With the other two matches drawn, New Zealand thus managed to win their first test series in England. The first ever meeting between the two sides at Trent Bridge came in 1969 in a dull draw affected by rain. The first positive result came four years later when England won by a narrow margin of 38 runs after a memorable and titanic struggle.

The home team put up just 250 in their first innings despite being 92 without loss at one stage. New Zealand were then dismissed for a paltry 97 runs in just 41.4 overs. Hadlee, who had taken no wickets in the England innings, was bowled for a second ball duck. Seam bowlers Tony Greig, John Snow, and Geoff Arnold shared the wickets.

England decided not to enforce the follow-on and accumulated 325 for eight in their second innings, after superb centuries from opener Dennis Amiss (138 not out), and Greig (139), who put on a double century partnership. Needing a nigh impossible 479 to win in over two days, the Kiwis were soon in trouble at 16 for 2.

At 130-4, Vic Pollard joined his captain Bev Congdon and the two put on 177 for the fifth wicket before the skipper was bowled by Arnold for a marvellous 176. Pollard (116) fell with the total on 414, and the eventual total of 440 was one of the highest in the fourth innings of a test match. Arnold, Greig, and Snow again shared the ten wickets to fall.

The next two meetings saw England obtain easy victories with Ian Botham starring in the two matches, with nine wickets in the first win and then a run-a-ball century in the next game.

England have actually won the last three games at the ground, two by an innings, with the last meeting in 2008. The home side put up one of the highest totals on the ground in 1994 with a match-winning 567 for 8 declared. Opener and captain Mike Atherton scored a steady hundred, and in partnership with Graham Gooch, who scored a rollicking 210 with 29 boundaries, the two accrued 263 runs for the second wicket.

Current England fast bowler James Anderson will be hoping to repeat his heroics from 2008 when he took a stunning 7 for 43 as the Kiwis were bowled out for 123 in their first knock. He captured the first six batsman before taking the tenth and final wicket.

England will be looking to wrap up the series here in Nottingham, whereas New Zealand will be looking for only their second victory at Trent Bridge in a bid to try and level the series with one after to play, at Headingley in a fortnights time.

*Article provided by Hitesh Darji (Cricket Correspondent)

*Main image @cricbuzz home favourite Richard Hadlee inspired New Zealand to their only win at Trent Bridge in 1986.

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