England Seal Series WinPosted on: 10 June 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves
Ryan Sidebottom inspires England's cricket team to a second successive series win over New Zealand.
England secured victory in emphatic style in the final Test against New Zealand, sealing a 2-0 series triumph.
Going into the fourth day’s play at Trent Bridge, England needed barely an hour to capture the remaining five Kiwi wickets to seal victory by an innings and nine runs.
New Zealand needed just 64 to make England bat again and the tourists added some quick early runs to the scoreboard through Jacob Oram.
Oram reached 50 not-out but couldn’t halt the slide in the tail-end as Ryan Sidebottom grabbed four of the wickets finishing with figures of 6-67.
But it was man-of-the-match James Anderson’s ninth wicket that settled matters.
Anderson claimed the man of the match award after taking 7-43 in New Zealand’s first innings, while Andrew Strauss was nominated as England’s man of the series by Kiwi coach John Bracewell.
The hosts nominated New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori for their man of the series after taking two five-wicket hauls.
It was England’s second series win over the Kiwis in six months and gives them much needed confidence going into the summer months.
England’s series victory moved them up to third in the ICC’s Test rankings, one point above South Africa and just one point behind second-placed India.
Michael Vaughan’s men will move up to second if they beat the South Africans later this summer and India fail to win their forthcoming series in Sri Lanka.
First England face the Kiwis in a one-off Twenty20 match before the one-day series but Vaughan is expecting a far greater task in overcoming South Africa in the upcoming Test matches.
“That will be the ultimate test of where we are at,” says Vaughan.
“I never envisaged winning against the Kiwis by an innings but full credit to the way we’ve played our cricket.
“The catching was very good but we also know there are areas to improve.
“We’ve got a good squad together, a settled squad and everybody is fighting for their places.
“You only want to look at the names not involved to see that.”
Controversial all-rounder Andrew Flintoff is one of those on the sidelines through injury but a return in time to face South Africa is not out of the question.
Vaughan is hopeful Flintoff will recover from his side strain in time to play.
“Everyone knows that, if he is fit, I would love to have him in the team,” says Vaughan.
“He’s extremely influential with bat and ball and it would be a shame if he missed out again.”
The first Test starts on 10th July at Lords.
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