The first ball said it all, really. Trent Boult sent it down with a scrambled seam, it found the edge and Tom Blundell’s waiting gloves leaving Olly Stone, England’s last man out, visibly exhaling in deflated resignation to his side’s fate. And the Edgbaston clock hadn’t even ticked over to 11am on the fourth day yet.
The man at the other end, James Anderson, was into the changing room and straight back out again, producing a maiden first up. He wasn’t going down without a fight, even with a target of 38 to defend.
Nor was his old mate, Stuart Broad, who struck with the last ball of the following over when he removed Devon Conway, the man who had racked up 306 runs at 76.50 this series in the only two Tests of his career. Broad enticed Conway to nibble at one that pitched outside off and found an edge which James Bracey took behind the stumps.
With the visitors only needing 32 more for victory, it was all a bit of a moot point but England could rely on their two elder statesmen, who had bowled so well against stiff opposition in this match and who are consummate professionals, to keep competing to the last.
And they did, doing their best to make scoring slow-going for New Zealand but the tourists had all the time in the world, a tiny target and wickets in hand – everything – on their side.
It was England’s batters who had let them down, the second-innings capitulation for 122 could have been worse. They were 76 for 7 before an eighth-wicket stand worth 44 between Stone and Wood (who top-scored with 29).
Summarized scores: New Zealand 388 (Young 82, Conway 80, Taylor 80, Broad 4-48) and 41 for 2 (Latham 23*) beat England 303 (Lawrence 81*, Burns 81, Boult 4-85) and 122 (Wood 29, Wagner 3-18, Henry 3-36) by eight wickets