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Some Positives from England’s First Innings

England reached 364 all out in their first innings in the 3rd Test against New Zealand at Trent Bridge. This represents an excellent recovery from the depths of 86-5 which they plumbed just after lunch on the first day.

The recovery owes a great deal to Kevin Pietersen’s slowest test century (his 12th). He came in at 44-2, and by the time he was dismissed for 115 excellently crafted runs England were in a much better position. Whilst his knock was by no means perfect, it was achieved under great pressure, and particularly in the latter stages he was demonstrating the unorthodox shots that became his trademark in the first two years of his career, but which seem to have been kept hidden away under new coach Moores.

Tim Ambrose offered him excellent support in his 67, and they put on England’s 2nd highest 6th wicket stand against all opposition at this ground. By the close England were just 6 runs short of equalling the highest first class innings total at this ground all season.

Today, New Zealand will have wanted to wrap up the tail, and with Anderson batting at 9 (rabbit is an understatement) will have been confident in doing that. Instead though, Broad – who is rapidly maturing into a very well rounded cricketer – and Anderson hung about together until 20 minutes before lunch, each registering their highest test scores. When Anderson was finally dismissed for 28, they had put on 76 unlikely and essential runs together. Broad belied the fact that he is only in his 6th test by batting with skill, judgment and determination for his test best 64, and England are now firmly in the driving seat.

Anderson chipped in with two quick wickets, including danger-man McCullum to leave New Zealand reeling on 14-2 in the sixth over. The question now is whether England’s young bowling attack can maintain the pressure and remove New Zealand cheaply.