Sidebottom's 'greatest day'
Ryan Sidebottom admitted it was “the best day of my career” after inspiring an England fightback with a seven-wicket haul in the deciding Test against New Zealand in Napier.
The Nottinghamshire left-arm seamer took his tally for the series to 23 - the most by an England bowler in a series against New Zealand - by claiming 7-47 to spark an astonishing turnaround on the second day at McLean Park.
Sidebottom’s stunning spell, during which he bowled unchanged for 13 overs between lunch and tea, established an 85-run first-innings lead after New Zealand were dismissed for 168, having lost their last nine wickets for just 65 runs.
That lead was extended to 176 runs by the close with England reaching 91 for two thanks largely to Andrew Strauss’ unbeaten 42.
Sidebottom revealed: “It’s the best day’s cricket of my career.
“It was pleasing because our backs were against the wall at one stage. We lost some quick wickets this morning, but this has put us in a great position so it’s pleasing to do that.”
His latest haul took his tally since returning to England’s side last summer to a stunning 51 wickets in 12 Tests, and Sidebottom said: “Every dog has its day I suppose, but I’d like to keep it going.
“I’ve got a seven-for - a career-best in all cricket - so that makes it even more special, but also because it puts us in a good position over the next three days.
“Things can change quickly but if you keep putting the ball in good areas you’ve always got a chance.”
Disappointed New Zealand batsman Jamie How blamed “bad batting” for their collapse after they had reached a comfortable 103 for one shortly after lunch when they suddenly collapsed.
“The lunch was good, but after that there was some really bad batting,” he admitted.
“It’s a good deck and it will be throughout the whole match, so, while we’re really disappointed with our batting performance today, we’re still in the game.
“If we put in a good bowling performance, we back ourselves to chase anything on what will still be a good deck.
“There were too many soft dismissals today and there are a lot of batsmen in our dressing room not too happy how they went.”