In Review

Sloppy England bowled out for 167 by sharp New Zealanders

England played with the 'brains of a chocolate mouse' says Geoff Boycott at end of humiliating day of cricket

ENGLAND suffered their most humiliating day in years as they were made to look like amateurs in the first Test of the three-match series against New Zealand in Dunedin.

With the first day's play lost to rain, the tourists were still confident of victory against the eighth-ranked side in Test cricket. Instead they were humbled, bowled out for 167, before New Zealand raced to 131 without loss at the close of play.

"England were sloppy, careless and I feel there's almost a holiday atmosphere," was BBC commentator Geoff Boycott's analysis of Alastair Cook's side. The commentator then accused the tourists of playing collectively with the "brains of a chocolate mouse".

Few England fans will take exception to Boycott's pithy remarks and perhaps it's the kick up the backside the team needs with the Ashes series just four months away. Last winter's Test series victory in India – England's first in 28 years – may have bred a complacency that was ruthlessly exposed by a well-organised and tenacious New Zealand.

Nick Compton's poor run of form continued with the opener dismissed without scoring before captain Cook became the first of four wickets for Neil Wagner. Only Jonathan Trott offered any resistance with a doughty 45 from 121 balls. Elsewhere England surrendered meekly to Wagner and Bruce Martin, the 32-year-old left-arm spinner who finished with figures of 4 for 43 on his Test debut.

It would have been worse for England but for a battling ninth-wicket partnership between Steven Finn and James Anderson. The two fast bowlers added 47 runs before Finn was dismissed for 20 and Anderson then quickly followed, the last man out for 23.

England's woes then increased as Hamish Rutherford and Peter Fulton made the tourists' bowling attack look ordinary, the pair taking New Zealand to 131 without loss at the close, with debutant Rutherford on 77.

"You've got to respect the game and today England didn't respect the game," said former England captain Michael Vaughan. "They took the Mickey out of Mr. Cricket. England's mindset has been over-confident. They weren't prepared to do the hard yards."

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