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Cricket-We're in the driving seat, says Styris

06-11-2004 , 19:39© 2004 AFP

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Alessandro Abbonizio - (AFP)

- New Zealand batsman Scott Styris insisted his side were on top of England in the third Test at Trent Bridge.

England were pegged back to 225 for five at the end of the second day after Styris scored 108 to help the tourists reach a first innings total of 384 all out.

New Zealand are attempting to prevent a whitewash after a seven wicket defeat at Lord's and a nine wicket reverse at Headingley on Monday handed the series to England, and 28-year-old Styris reckons the Black Caps can spoil England's party.

"We're definitely in front," said the left-hander. "We would have taken 225 for five at the beginning of the innings.

"If we can get out there and take a useful lead, the wicket's only going to get harder to bat off. The sooner we get out there batting, the more crucial it is for us."

The Black Caps stunned England by taking the wicket off opener Andrew Strauss for a duck in the second over to leave the hosts one for one and followed it up with that of Butcher to make the score 18 for two.

Chris Cairns, playing his last Test for New Zealand on the Nottinghamshire ground where he made his name, was out for 12 attempting a lofted boundary but took three wickets for 61 runs to blunt England's attack.

"Two for 18 was probably beyond our expectations at that point," said Styris.

"We were excited to get in amongst them because we felt that we'd sold ourselves short a little bit by only scoring 380 and therefore we knew we had to get in early because we believe they've got a bit of a tail.

"Chris was always taking the new ball and in his last test I guess he just wants to run in there and do a job for us and he was brilliant for us today," Styris added.

Styris, who had managed just 44 runs in the previous two Tests, scored a chanceless first ton against England before succumbing to spinner Ashley Giles.

"I have mixed feelings with it. Any time you score a test hundred is pleasing but I haven't contributed. It was disappointing that it had to come in the dead rubber of the series."

England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff went for 54 just before the close of play, only five balls after making his half century, but that has not dampened the optimism of England opener Marcus Trescothick.

England sent in nightwatchman Matthew Hoggard to keep wicket-keeper and batsman Geraint Jones in reserve and Trescothick reckons that gives England plenty in the locker to swing the test in their favour.

"We're still in a good position because we've scored that fast that we've given ourselves a chance," said the Somerset batsman.

"Saturday morning is a big moment in the game because if we suddenly roll over pretty quick and find ourselves 100 behind then it will be a really tough game for us.

"Geraint Jones got a hundred last week, he's obviously in good form and you're looking at another batter coming in next. It's always nice to know you've got people in the hutch who can score big runs. It's just that extra bit of security.

"With him, Graham Thorpe and Ashley Giles, who's very capable of getting runs coming in, we've got every chance."

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