Generated with Avocode. Generated with Avocode.
3rd March 2009

Mark Davies Laments Lions Luck

England had been in a strong position after declaring on 493 for five in their first innings, with Davies having accounted for opener Tim McIntosh before the close on day two.

But any hopes captain Rob Key had of forcing the follow-on were soon dashed as Jamie How’s unbeaten 161, along with notable contributions from Peter Ingram and James Franklin, saw the home side battld back strongly in Queenstown.

It was a long, arduous day – which was extended to 105 overs to make up for time lost to rain on the opening day – for England’s seamers with Durham’s Mark Davies claiming 2-48 from his 23-over stint while Worcestershire off-spinner Gareth Batty grabbed 1-62 from 21 overs.

“When we first arrived there was quite a lot of damp weather around so we looked at the wicket and it has seamed around a little bit with the new ball, but the sun has now been on it for the last two days and it’s now flattened out into quite a nice wicket,” admitted 28-year-old Durham seamer Davies.

“Having said that we did beat the bat a lot today, but unfortunately the nicks didn’t carry or we didn’t seem to find the edge. There were a lot of played and misses and not too many edges.

“It turned into a bit of mind games. You keep trying to truck in and hit your areas as hard as you can and hope the batsman gets bored and plays a shot that he shouldn’t have.

“Scoring opportunities were quite easy for them and the bowlers worked really hard to slow the scoring down as much as we could. It was quite a tough day because we’re playing 105 overs in the day to make up time so they are very long and hard days.”

For all England’s efforts, they were unable to dislodge How as he attempts to regain his place in New Zealand’s Test line-up and hit 20 fours and a six in his unbeaten seven-and-a-half-hour stay at the crease.

How forged an unbroken 139-run stand spanning 37 overs with international all-rounder James Franklin, who finished unbeaten on 83 including 13 fours and a six.

“I worked hard for little reward today,” claimed Davies. “I’m sure on a different day the edges would have come and I’d have ended up with more wickets and so too would a few of the other lads, but it just didn’t happen for us.

“Jamie How played really well and you have to give batters credit when they do play well and right from the first ball this morning he shaped up really well, but that’s what you expect from someone who is fighting for a Test match spot.”