England captain Alastair Cook hailed an on-form Stuart Broad as “an absolute nightmare” for batsmen after his career-best figures blew New Zealand away to claim the first Test Lord’s.
Three days of nip-and-tuck cricket between the sides ended in a surprisingly emphatic 170-run win for England as Broad claimed figures of seven for 44.
With Broad irresistible, the Black Caps managed just 68 all out in their second innings, leaving Cook to sing Broad’s praises.
“He’s got all the attributes of being a world-class bowler and when he gets it totally right like he did today he’s an absolute nightmare (to face),” said Cook at the post-match presentation.
“He bowls in the mid to high 90s and swings it away...it’s hard to face.”
Broad was modest in his assessment of the match, declaring that his man-of-the-match award should have gone to new ball partner James Anderson, who took seven wickets in the match and passed 300 Test scalps along the way.
“This award should have gone to Jimmy, he was fantastic in this Test, he picked up his 300th wicket and he’s a pleasure to bowl with,” he said.
“We knew there was enough there for the bowlers. We talked about getting it full enough to give the ball a chance.
“I like Lord’s, I like the Nursery End. It can be a great place to bat but when conditions are in your favour it can be a great place to bowl.”
The margin of victory suggests England go to next week’s Test at Headingley in rude health, but Cook concedes there have been times at Lord’s when the hosts have not been at their best.
He added: “We’ve got to look at the really good things we’ve done. A 170-run win is a big win in Test cricket, but we’ll look to improve and there are areas we can do better. When we didn’t do as well as we’d like we had the character and skill to put it right.”
Sheffield’s Joe Root played a great part for England in his first Test on home soil.
He made up his 40 in the first innings in which Yorkshire colleague Johnny Bairstow was top scorer with 41.And his 71 in the second - part of a century partnership with Jonathan Trott, 56 - was just three short of his Test best.
And just to complete the family joy Joe’s brother Billy was called into duty as 12th man after Ian Bell became ill.