Cricket - Finn reveals incentives to succeed

The drinks will be on the 'Watford Wall' Steven Finn when he returns home after his nightwatchman heroics helped England salvage a draw in the first Test against New Zealand.

PA Sport
Cricket - Finn reveals incentives to succeed
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Steven Finn, right, was an unlikely star for England with the bat

Come what may in two more matches of a series England were expected by many to win easily, Finn has already earned rich reward from his team-mates for almost five hours of defiance on the final day at the University Oval in Dunedin.

For Finn, when the time comes to reflect on his significant part in the successful rearguard, he will be able to relax as well with more than a glass or two of white or red. "All I know is there will be a few cases of wine being sent to my house back in England," the fast bowler told www.ecbtv.co.uk.

Captain Alastair Cook and James Anderson, previous incumbent as England's resident nightwatchman, both promised to ship two cases of wine to Finn's house as an incentive during his maiden half-century - not just in Tests but any professional cricket.

Finn added: "I think it was a case of wine from Cook and a case from Jimmy, if I saw it through to lunch and then tea. So I've got four cases of wine coming my way, I think."

Shunted up from number nine to three, Finn made a nonsense of his previous first-class best 32 with a painstaking innings of 56 which delayed the Kiwis for 203 balls and allowed England to reach the safety of 421 for six - 128 runs in front thanks too to Cook's 24th Test century, fellow opener Nick Compton's first and 52 from Jonathan Trott.

It all means England can head after all for the second Test in Wellington still all square, despite their first-innings collapse to 167 all out. Cook, meanwhile, can consider his and Anderson's outlay well-spent - and he is already contemplating repeat tactics, should the situation recur.

"Bribing Steven seemed to work, so maybe we can apply that again," he said. "He gets well-rewarded for his efforts today. He's done very well out of a few of the lads."

Cook believes England too can take encouragement from their resilience after that worrying first-innings blip. "When you get bowled out for 160 in the first innings on a good wicket ... you're always facing an uphill battle just to save the game," he added. "We certainly felt after day one pretty much it was damage limitation from there on.

"It's very hard to come back in a game from there. But the character we showed to dig ourselves out of that hole is very pleasing. We've been lucky certainly, in one sense, to escape with a draw. It's a huge reminder that, if you don't perform, you don't deserve to win anything."

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