Daniel Richardson

Daniel Richardson is a Wellington-based sports journalist for NZME. News Service.

Cricket: Prior keeping his goals humble

Matt Prior is happy to leave other people to debate where he stands in the pecking order of England's greatest wicketkeeper-batsmen.

The 31-year-old carved out an impressive 82 for England yesterday as the visitors took control on day two of the second cricket test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve.

Prior, who is unwanted in the limited overs formats for his country, has forged on as a test specialist behind the stumps recently and his record is exemplary.

His 188 dismissals in tests are the fourth most by an Englishman, only behind Godfrey Evans (219), Alec Stewart (241) and Alan Knott (269).

Prior has also made 3454 runs from 64 tests at an average of 43.72 since his debut for England in 2007.

"I've got a long way to go yet," he said. "Things like that are for other people to say, not for me to worry about. As far as I'm concerned those guys [Knott and Stewart] are legends of the game and I have a long way to go to class myself alongside them. Fingers crossed maybe one day I can say 'yeah I had a good influence on the team', but right now I'm just taking each game as it comes and performing as best as I can."

Prior said he looked up to Knott and Stewart as two of the best stumpers to pull on the whites.

"Yeah, I have done a bit of work with Knotty. And as you say you look at these guys and as you know Stewy has been a mentor of mine for many years, so you look at the guys, the stats and the games they played and all those things. Yeah, they're distant goals but I made the mistake of looking too far ahead once before and I'm not going to do that again. I take each game as it comes and as long as I'm performing well for the team that's all I'm worried about."

He and Steven Finn (24) added 83 runs for the eighth wicket in quick time after lunch, which pushed England past the 400 mark.

Prior was eventually out to a cheeky reverse sweep from the part-time off-spin of Kane Williamson and in typical Prior style he was simply trying to add to the team total rather than play his way to what would have been his seventh test hundred.

- APNZ

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