The Middle-order Collapse

It was all going so well. Forrest was playing beautifully, seeing the new ball off and settling into a supporting role for Charlie who was scoring freely at the other end. He looked set for a fifty before nicking one behind for 43, but he had helped create a great platform for us to go on to win - before another sad middle-order collapse. Ben Rhydding mirrored what England had done in the test match against New Zealand. I guess no team is immune.

I don't think I've ever delighted in an England loss as much as the one in the second test of what was a sadly short series. I love the way the Kiwis play their cricket. They enjoy themselves. They express their love for the game on the field with heroic performances. For so long England seem to be driven mostly by a desire to avoid defeat. The New Zealanders are driven by a pure desire to win. If they lose, they lose in style, and to my mind there is no crime in that. There has also been a reminder that there is no better contest than that between two closely matched teams. I fear the entertainment won't be so great when it comes to the Ashes. Let's hope I'm proved wrong.

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