New Zealand have it all to do tomorrow

MARK GEENTY
Last updated 18:16 15/03/2013

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New Zealand face a big Saturday to try and stave off defeat in the second cricket test after a Stuart Broad double strike put England in a powerful position in Wellington.

The hosts went to stumps on the second day 66-3 in reply to England's first innings of 465 at the Basin Reserve. 

Kane Williamson, who secured a draw with a century against South Africa on this ground a year ago, carries New Zealand's hopes again on 32, with Dean Brownlie unbeaten on eight. Their first target is 266, to avoid the follow-on.

New Zealand got the expected pace barrage from James Anderson, Steven Finn and Broad in the late afternoon gloom, with the latter causing the most damage.

The Peter Fulton-Hamish Rutherford opening partnership which put on 158 in their first test innings together in Dunedin, wasn't so good this time. Both perished to poor shots, feet anchored and wafting at wide deliveries.

Fulton (1) hung the bat out to Anderson then debut centurion Rutherford, who batted 94 minutes for 23, tried to thrash Broad through the covers and touched an edge to Alastair Cook at first slip.

Former skipper Ross Taylor was the prized scalp for England. First ball, he walked past a little outswinger from Broad (2-18) that hit the top of off stump, reducing New Zealand to 48-3.

Brownlie survived the hat-trick ball, and a further 11 overs to stumps. Williamson was brave and composed, facing 72 balls and playing the pacemen well off the back foot. But more tough toil is required tomorrow with New Zealand Cricket expecting a full house of 8000.

New Zealand's bowlers will sleep well tonight after wheeling down a combined 317 overs, including five new balls, across their past two test innings.

It took them until the penultimate delivery of the 147th over to dismiss England for 465, moments before tea. In the drawn first test in Dunedin they laboured nearly two days trying to dismiss England a second time on a flat pitch.

The tourists resumed today on 267-2 and looked a good bet to top 500 before New Zealand hauled it back in the first session, largely through the efforts of spinner Bruce Martin in his second test.

The left-armer removed Ian Bell (11), Joe Root (10) and Kevin Pietersen (73), either side of lunch on the way to figures of 4-130 off 48 overs.

Martin generated occasional turn and bounce on an otherwise docile Basin Reserve pitch as Bell and Root perished to reckless drives.

Pietersen looked poised to become England's third centurion of the innings after Nick Compton and Jonathan Trott, who was dismissed for 121 to the first ball he faced today from Trent Boult.

But he tried one too many big shots off Martin, advancing and skying a catch to deep mid off. His 73, after a lean run of form, spanned 207 minutes and 149 balls.

Wicketkeeper Matt Prior averages 43 in test cricket including six centuries, and he lived up to his billing to frustrate New Zealand.

After the hosts hauled the innings back to 374-7, Prior and Finn added 83 for the eighth wicket.

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Prior had some luck when he was given out lbw to Martin for 48 and reviewed umpire Asad Rauf's decision, with replays confirming an inside edge.

It denied Martin a fifth wicket, and a chance to become the first New Zealand spinner in six years to take a five-wicket bag at the Basin, after Daniel Vettori's 7-130 against  Sri Lanka in December 2006.

Finn (24) was finally caught to short cover off Wagner, ending 83 minutes of more stubborn resistance after his half-century heroics in Dunedin.

Prior cracked 82 off 99 balls, including 10 fours and two sixes, before he was caught trying to reverse sweep Williamson's part-time spin.

Neil Wagner (2-122) and Trent Boult (2-117) were the other wicket-takers as all 10 England wickets fell to catches.

Senior paceman Tim Southee, who had Pietersen dropped a tough chance by a leaping Watling on 40, sent down 32 overs and had 0-77.

- Stuff

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