England in Control of Second Cricket Test; Swann Has Surgery

England reduced New Zealand to 66-3 after half-centuries by Matt Prior and Kevin Pietersen lifted the touring team to 465 batting first in the second cricket Test in Wellington.

Fast bowler Stuart Broad ended day two at Basin Reserve with 2-18 after removing Hamish Rutherford and Ross Taylor in successive deliveries in the final session. Dean Brownlie fought off the hat trick ball before reaching 8 not out at stumps, with Kane Williamson on 32.

England, seeking its fourth straight series win against the Black Caps, lost five wickets for 112 runs in the afternoon session to be dismissed on the stroke of the tea interval. All 10 batsman got out to catches, including top scorer Jonathan Trott, who failed to add to his overnight score of 121.

Prior was the second-last man out after hitting 10 fours and two sixes in his 99-ball innings, while Pietersen added 73. England had resumed at 267-2 following centuries by Trott and Nick Compton on day one.

Spinner Bruce Martin finished as New Zealand’s best bowler with 4-130 from 48 overs. Williamson, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner each took two wickets.

The series-opener in Dunedin ended in a draw. New Zealand, which has lost eight of its past 12 elite five-day matches, last won a Test series against England 14 years ago.

Swann Operation

England spin bowler Graeme Swann faces about two months of rehabilitation after “an uncomplicated operation” to remove excess bone formation in his right elbow, the England and Wales Cricket Board said.

The 33-year-old Swann, whose 212 Test wickets are the second-most by an England spinner, flew to the U.S. for the surgery after being ruled out of the current series last week.

“Swann will now commence a 6-8 week rehabilitation and back-to-bowling program before returning to competitive cricket early in the summer,” the board said.

England is scheduled to host New Zealand in two Tests starting May 16 before back-to-back five-Test Ashes series, in the U.K. beginning July 10 and then in Australia from Nov. 21.

The third Test between Australia and India began in Mohali after the first day was rained out. Ed Cowan scored 86 as Australia reached 273-7, with Steven Smith 58 not out at stumps and Mitchell Starc an unbeaten 20.

Opening Pair

Cowan and David Warner had an opening partnership of 139, Australia’s highest in a Test in India, before Warner was caught by MS Dhoni from Ravindra Jadeja for 71. Jadeja, who took 3-56, then dismissed captain Michael Clarke to start an Indian comeback.

Trailing 2-0 in the four-match series, Australia made four changes with Brad Haddin, Steve Smith, Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc coming in for Matthew Wade, Shane Watson, Glenn Maxwell and James Pattinson, respectively.

Australia only had 12 players available for selection after Watson, Pattinson, Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Johnson were suspended for failing to submit feedback on how they and the team could improve. Wicketkeeper Wade was ruled out because of an ankle injury.

India, which would regain the Border-Gavaskar trophy by avoiding defeat in either of the remaining two matches, handed opening batsmen Shikhar Dhawan his Test debut in place of the dropped Virender Sehwag and picked Pragyan Ojha ahead of Harbhajan Singh.

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