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McCullum rues another dark hour

Published: 9:14AM Monday May 20, 2013 Source: ONE Sport

Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum is lamenting another dark hour after his side's stunning capitulation to England in the first Test at Lord's overnight.

While New Zealand's second innings display of 68 all out, which resigned the visitors to an emphatic 170-run defeat, wasn't as embarrassing as the infamous 45 all out in Cape Town last year, this result was certainly more heart-breaking.

In a Test which ebbed and flowed like no other, an inspired Tim Southee claimed the last eight wickets for 54 runs to give the Black Caps a chance of only their fifth Test victory in England.

But any ambitions New Zealand had of chasing down 239 and upstaging their more-fancied hosts were quickly dashed in the face of a Stuart Broad clinic.

While most pundits were predicting that off-spinner Graeme Swann and celebrated swing bowler James Anderson would be the major threats, Broad delivered a devastating spell of controlled seam bowling to leave New Zealand reeling at 29 for six at lunch.
"It's pretty tough to explain at the moment," McCullum said. "Within an hour the game was turned on its head.

"Today was undoubtedly a step backwards for us but we can look back on what we did well. For a long time we competed strongly against a very strong team in England."

Of New Zealand's recognised batsmen, only Peter Fulton (1), who lamely edged a wide Broad delivery, could have claimed to have thrown away his wicket.

Otherwise it was a case of Broad, who claimed career best figures of 7/44, being a class above.

"Stu has done that for us on numerous occasions," England captain Alistair Cook said.

"They (Broad and Anderson) have played a lot of cricket and their experience is invaluable. They know how to get batsmen out in different conditions."

The second Test starts at Headingley in Leeds on Friday and McCullum said the New Zealanders would let the dust settle before considering their options.

Wicketkeeper BJ Watling suffered a knee injury at Lord's and spinner Bruce Martin a calf problem.

"We have plenty of options, the batters have done very well for us in recent times but not today, obviously," McCullum said.

"One poor performance doesn't make us panic," he added. "It would be foolish to throw everything away after one hour of mayhem. We need to make sure our confidence doesn't get too low because of what happened today."