Kiwis tighten noose around England
Auckland (AFP): Two crucial wickets to part-time spinner Kane Williamson put New Zealand firmly in charge of the final Test on Monday as England,...
Auckland (AFP): Two crucial wickets to part-time spinner Kane Williamson put New Zealand firmly in charge of the final Test on Monday as England, facing a world record target of 481, slumped to 90 for four at stumps. On a day that belonged to the Black Caps, with recalled batsman Peter Fulton blasting his second century of the match, England made a disastrous start to the daunting run chase on a turning Eden Park wicket. By the close of play they were batting for survival with any hope of an unlikely victory long gone, and even a draw looking improbable.For England to win, they would have to post the most successful fourth-innings chase in Test history. The current record is held by the West Indies, who scored 418 for seven to beat Australia at Antigua in 2003. But that never looked likely as Tim Southee claimed Nick Compton for two in the second over and Jonathan Trott followed for 37, caught behind off Neil Wagner, to have England at 60 for two.A Captain Alastair Cook, who was dropped on one, set about consolidating the innings with Ian Bell as they put on 30 runs in 25 overs. But in the dying moments of the day occasional tweaker Williamson claimed two wickets in four balls as Cook went for 43 and nightwatchman Steven Finn failed to score. Bell, intent on preservation, was not out eight after facing 89 balls in nearly two hours - in sharp contrast to the lusty batting spree earlier by Fulton and Brendon McCullum who mocked the England attack. Brief Scores: New Zealand 443 & 241/6d; England 204 & 90/4