Blackcaps vs England: Tourists hammered by British media after inept batting display

British media loves putting the boot into its sports stars when they're down - so imagine the field day it's having with the England cricket team right now.

The tourists, soundly beaten by Australia in the Ashes test series earlier this year, rediscovered their horror form in the long format on Thursday, stumbling to 58 all out against the Blackcaps at Eden Park.

Heralded by some as New Zealand's greatest day of test cricket ever, the reverse could be said of the English - and that's pretty much what their media are saying about them back home.

A Daily Mail headline urges its readers to "look away if you don't want to read about just how bad today was" and then delves into the gory details.

"The stats that shame England: Total of 58 was their sixth-lowest ever as five batsmen failed to score and their 10th wicket outscored their first nine".

The Brits really love a long headline.

"We thought we had seen the worst England could muster this winter during a miserable Ashes series that ended in a 4-0 thrashing," writes Paul Newman from Eden Park. "We were very, very wrong.

"This debacle, which at one stage saw the very real possibility of England registering the lowest test score by any team in history, was a new low, an abject display that raises huge questions over the direction of the team."

Also in the Mail, former England captain Nasser Hussain lays the blame at the feet of manager Trevor Bayliss, and a test build-up that consisted of almost two months of limited-overs cricket and a pair of contrived two-day games in Hamilton.

The Daily Telegraph exclaims: "England batted with flabbergasting feebleness and the naivety of schoolboys without a coach."

Another former England captain - they change their skippers fairly regularly - Michael Vaughan claims: "We should not be surprised by England's performance in Auckland.

"For the last two or three years, they have struggled as soon as the ball has started to move."

The Guardian observes: "It was as if the batsmen were playing blind man's bluff after someone had mischievously plastered glue on the soles of their boots."

England did manage to scramble past the world-record low score of 26 (held by New Zealand) and even avoided their own historical nadir - 45 all out against Australia in 1887.

In New Zealand's first-ever day-night home test, the Blackcaps will resume their first innings on Friday afternoon at 175/3, a lead of 117 runs with seven wickets in hand.


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