The England wicketkeeper hit an unbeaten 110 to frustrate the Kiwis, with Ian Bell and Stuart Broad chipping in with vital innings, as the three-match Test series finished all square.
Here is the best of the Twitter reaction from professionals, both past and present, to a magnificent recovery by the tourists.
Man-of-the-moment Prior (@MattPrior13) isn’t getting carried away with all the adulation: “Amazing day & amazing save from the lads! Well done belly, @joeroot05, @StuartBroad8 and of course @Montyp713! Now its #5pmsomewhereintheworld”
England youngster Joe Root (@joeroot05) lavishes praise on his senior: “Great effort today @MattPrior13 belly, @StuartBroad8 and the rest of the boys were awesome #digin”
All-rounder Broad (@StuartBroad8) reveals why representing your country is such a special feeling: “Love playing for England. The passion, honour, fight, pride and skill on show by the boys today was amazing. @MattPrior13 a hero.”
Broad also picked up a few tricks from his former team-mate Paul Collingwood: “ RT ‘@Colly622: @StuartBroad8 Loving the strike rate #pride’ > Right out the Collingwood school of blocking!!”
Collingwood (@Colly622) adds: “Just woke up to see @MattPrior13 is my ultimate hero. Proper balls for the team #teamman #nzveng… Oh apologies Belly is the b*****ks too!! Great character from all the boys #proud”
Injured batsman Kevin Pietersen (@kevinpp24) hails England’s result: “Jeez, that was brilliant from the boys today.. Prior – excellent! This morning proves yet again, the value of Test cricket.. NOTHING beats it! Separates the men from the boys..”
Luke Wright (@lukewright204) is impressed by Prior’s performance throughout the tour: “Great effort by the England boys to save that! Seriously good tour again by @MattPrior13. Didn’t know you had a defensive shot @StuartBroad8! Class.”
Former batsman Mark Butcher (@markbutcher72) felt the result was never in doubt: “Never in doubt.. Sensational from top #baldybeardy @MattPrior13 #virile”
Ex-England captain Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) wants to see Panesar knighted: “Surely @Queen_UK a knighthood awaits @Montyp713 arrival home from NZ…..”
Former Liverpool midfielder Didi Hamann (@DietmarHamann) enjoyed some great theatre: “Unbelievable stuff from England especially @mattprior13 …what a test match. Showed great resistance and character.”
Ex-England wicketkeeper Alec Stewart (@StewieCricket) believes it was a great advert for Test cricket: “Fantastic fighting effort to secure the draw. @MattPrior13 simply the best. Bell and Broad outstanding too along with Panesar #greatescape Test cricket is alive and kicking. NZ pushed Eng to the very end but couldn’t break the great @MattPrior13 Need to catch up on my sleep!! Surely @MattPrior13 has to be the star in the Great Escape re-make!”
Finally, legend Sir Ian Botham (@BeefyBotham) can’t resist a little dig at the Australians: “Great day England …. Matt the best!! Looking forward to seeing Australia Sky News this am…nothing to fear England losing. You did 4-0 !! Best moment of the NZ tour …… Monty’s dive for the quick single….eat your heart out Greg Louganis !!”
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