Black Caps in control but batsmen wobble

MARK GEENTY IN AUCKLAND
Last updated 18:17 24/03/2013
Sky Sport

A gripping final two days of cricket loom as NZ's batsmen face a fired-up England pace attack.

Third Test: New Zealand v England
JOHN SELKIRK/Fairfax NZ Zoom
Frustrated Black Caps show their emotions as test victory slips away.
Trent Boult
Getty Images
WICKET: Trent Boult celebrates the wicket of Jonathan Bairstow early on day three.

Related Links

Third test: New Zealand vs England Black Caps keep their eyes on the ball Test starts to swing back Black Caps' way Eden Park - a test ground worthy of its status Black Caps take two late wickets on day 2 Black Caps chasing rare test series victory Black Caps look for weekend of judgement NZ v England - Day 3

Relevant offers

Cricket

Clarke re-injuring hamstring Australia's 'biggest fear' Legspinner Ish Sodhi the man for Black Caps Success no guarantee of Twenty20 job security Black Caps left reeling as the top order fails Siddle among world's best bowlers - McDermott Hickey and Wilson get Northern Knights callup Otago lack the right voltage against Kings Live cricket: Day 4 - Black Caps vs Pakistan Border urges Clarke to quit ODIs after CWC Amir return exposes Pakistan team to 'virus'

A gripping final two days of the third and deciding cricket test looms in Auckland after New Zealand's batsmen got the late wobbles against a fired-up England pace attack.

New Zealand enter day four still in charge, but their dominant position eased late on the third day at Eden Park when wickets tumbled again and paceman Trent Boult took a career-best 6-68. The hosts went to stumps on 35-3, leading England by 274 after home skipper Brendon McCullum chose not to enforce the follow-on.

Opener Peter Fulton, fresh from his maiden test century on Friday, was unbeaten on 14 with Dean Brownlie on 13 as the pair averted any further calamity in 23 overs before the close.

It all added up to 22 wickets falling in the past two days after New Zealand racked up 250-1 on day one.

With a first innings lead of 239, New Zealand needed a safe start then quick runs to set England a tough target of 400-plus and plenty of time to dismiss them again.

Suddenly they were 8-3 and the familiar third innings jitters were on.

Stuart Broad (2-7) enticed a looping edge from Hamish Rutherford (0), Kane Williamson (1) couldn't cover one from James Anderson (1-11) and chopped on from the bottom edge, and Ross Taylor (3) was trapped in front by Broad. Taylor challenged via the decision review system but never looked a chance of getting it overturned.

McCullum opted to bat again despite England falling short of the follow-on target. It offered the home bowlers some welcome rest as they prepare to chase New Zealand's first series win over England in 14 years.

Boult's haul was the eighth-best by a New Zealand bowler against England. The left-armer's previous best from 12 tests was 4-42 against Sri Lanka in Colombo in November which was New Zealand's most recent test victory.

He started the ball rolling in England's innings yesterday when he knocked over the big wickets of Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott to reduce them to 50-2 at stumps.

And he carried on this morning as he and the rejuvenated Tim Southee (3-44) took three wickets between them in the first hour as England slumped to 72-5.

Boult was aggressive and got the ball to swing prodigiously throughout his 25 overs at the bowling crease.

After Neil Wagner removed Matt Prior for the top score of 73 before tea, Boult took three wickets in succession after the interval then Southee finished the job by bowling Joe Root for 45.

Boult had Stuart Broad caught at short cover, then nicked out Steven Finn and James Anderson with the second new ball as England lost their last five wickets for 31.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should Brendon McCullum open for the Black Caps?

Absolutely. He's the best option.

He's got my support but not for the long-term.

No. He's better suited down the order.

I'd like to see Rutherford get another go.

Bring back Two-metre Peter.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content