Cricket: Boycott slams Dunedin pitch

Steve Finn batted for 286 minutes in the second innings for a test best 56. Photo / Getty Images
Steve Finn batted for 286 minutes in the second innings for a test best 56. Photo / Getty Images

English commentator and former test great Geoffrey Boycott has slammed the University Oval pitch following the first test draw in Dunedin, saying similar pitches would kill test cricket.

The first ANZ test finished in a stalemate yesterday with England at 421 for six in their second innings - a lead of 128 runs with four wickets in hand.

Boycott, in the country commentating for BBC radio, said a match could last for 10 days on the University Oval pitch and still not get a result.

"If you get pitches like this it will kill test match cricket. You could play a timeless test on that. You could play for 10 days and not get a result," he said in a video interview on the Cricinfo website.

"There's no pace, no bounce, no spin, no seam, no swing, nothing. It's really that England played so badly in the first innings, they gave New Zealand a good sniff of a victory. I don't think their bowlers were just good enough to prise England out in the second innings. They slowly and surely got a wicket but they're really honest toilers, a lot of good hard work they put in but they lacked a little bit of quality to squeeze a win."

1048 runs were scored across the four days of play, with three players posting centuries, while 25 wickets fell in 341 overs .

But it was English night watchman Steven Finn's 286 minute long stay at the crease that Boycott believed was the perfect example the pitch was wrong.

Finn, who usually bats at nine for England, made 56 in the test, beating his previous best of 20 which came in the first innings.

"If the most amount of time he has batted is an hour and something and he bats for nearly five hours, it's a marvellous effort in this situation but it says everything about the pitch.

"He's supposed to bowl and get wickets and batters are supposed to get runs and they couldn't get him out, never looked like getting him out, until he got himself out."

Boycott, who played 108 tests for England, did have positive comments to say about New Zealand opener Hamish Rutherford who scored 171 on test debut, the second highest score by a Black Caps batsman in their first test.

"He played superbly and to think it was his debut test...wonderful. He won't get every pitch as flat and easy to bat on as that but you take the conditions you have to play in and he played marvellously. There was no fault at all."

- nzherald.co.nz

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