New Zealand being blown away in a session, Nick Compton not making any runs and Nick Compton being extremely handsome: some things never change.
This was pretty much everything we (and the entire rest of the cricket world) predicted at the start of the series. The New Zealand bowlers completed a far from shabby effort in the first innings before their batsmen collapsed like men completely and utterly lost in Jenna Louise Coleman’s eyes.
The only real tension for the day came around England’s decision not to enforce the follow on. Quite why they chose to bat again is up for debate: was it to give the top order more time in the middle? Had they not understood the whole 200/150 bad weather follow on rule stuff? Or was Graeme Swann just completely knackered after bowling a whole nine overs?
Regardless of the reason, the one thing England didn’t want to see was Nick Compton fail again. And yet he did, in a horribly stodgy, one-paced way. While we’ve taken Joe Root to heart – plans to infiltrate and loot Scyld Berry’s shrine are already well underway – we’re not quite sure we want to see him opening in the Ashes when he seems so at home in the middle order. However, what we want doesn’t seem to carry much weight in English selectorial circles. Or indeed within our own office – you should see how old and tatty our gin glasses are.
It seems like forever since we last saw Graeme Swann strutting his stuff at Test level. It’s not actually been that long – it’s just that we struggle to remember what happened yesterday, let alone before Christmas – but it was reassuring nonetheless to see him actually doing what he does best:
escaping drink driving charges bowling. His brief spell ripped the heart out of New Zealand’s top/middle order, helped by some defensive techniques that could be generously described as flakey. Or possibly Australian. From there it was game over.
The main excitement for the remainder of this Test is around whether England can overcome the weather to seal victory. While the forecast for tomorrow is okay, the same can’t be said for Tuesday, when the apocalypse is due to reach Leeds. England already have a lead of nearly 300. How many more do they need before they let New Zealand chase? Common sense says they already have enough. Expect to see England batting until just before tea then.