New Zealand win series after 2nd Test finishes in draw with England squandering their chances

England and New Zealand might have needed a boundary count-back to split them in one day cricket, but when it comes to Test matches the Blackcaps are streets ahead.

For the second time in the space of 20 months the Kiwis completed a 1-0 series win over England in their own backyard.

A tame, rain affected draw in Hamilton came to a soggy conclusion with New Zealand sitting comfortably on 241-2 and with their two best batsmen Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor each collecting hundreds.

They were the fourth and fifth Kiwis to score hundreds in the series, equalling their national record, while England had just the two.

Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor both scored hundreds

In fact in every measure the New Zealanders were ahead, runs scored, century makers, fifty makers, wickets taken, five wicket hauls, boundaries hit, catches taken.

England definitely put themselves ahead on worst catch dropped in the series though when Joe Denly put down a chance that had to be seen to be believed.

Jofra Archer had tried everything to get a wicket and finally one of his tricks worked as he bowled Williamson a knuckle ball that comes out slower, and he also kept his left arm down by his side as he bowled – something Andrew Flintoff used to do at times.

Williamson turned the ball softly in the air to mid-wicket where Denly didn’t have to move as it landed in the perfect spot around his waist.

Jofra Archer wheels away in delight thinking he has taken a wicket
Joe Denly cannot believe he has dropped a simple catch

Archer wheeled away in delight at getting his reward, while others around him held their hands to their faces in horror at the ball landing on the floor.

It took Archer a little while to notice what had happened, but when he did the poor bowler didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

It was one of the worst drops if not the worst in Test history, it was that bad.

Williamson had also survived an earlier chance when Ollie Pope put down a simple legside catch off Ben Stokes’ bowling.

Any keeper worth his salt should be taking that chance, but England did not have a Test quality keeper behind the stumps thanks to their own hubris.

Archer smiles ruefully at another chance going down
(Image: Michael Bradley)
Ben Stokes shows his frustration after Williamson was dropped

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In the end none of these mistakes would have made the blindest bit of difference on a lacklustre pitch that suited bat alone.

They should be mistakes that demand remedial action on and off the field for England though, because their stated aim of becoming the best Test side in the world is as far away as ever.

And after failing to win an of their three completed Test series this year for the first time this century, a draw in Hamilton only reaffirms the need for some serious improvement during the rest of the winter.

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