Black Caps in control but batsmen wobble

07:51, Mar 24 2013
Third test: NZ v England
New Zealand's Peter Fulton on day one of the third cricket test against England.
Third test: NZ v England
New Zealand's Hamish Rutherford avoids a ball in the face.
Third test: NZ v England
New Zealand's Hamish Rutherford plays a ball against England.
Third test: NZ v England
Reece Walters, age 14, hands New Zealand's captain Brendon McCullum the coin for the toss.
English players celebrate taking Hamish Rutherford's wicket.
English players celebrate taking Hamish Rutherford's wicket.
Peter Fulton
Peter Fulton makes a run past England's James Anderson.
Third test: NZ v England
England's Monty Panesar bowls on day one of the third cricket test.
Peter Fulton
Peter Fulton is congratulated by Kane Williamson on scoring a century.
Third test: NZ v England
Ross Taylor slips one towards the boundary during his short innings on day two.
Third test: NZ v England
England celebrate the wicket of Kane Williamson, out for 91.
Third test: NZ v England
Brendon McCullum plays a shot on day two of the third and final test.
Tim Southee
Tim Southee plays a shot against England on day two of the third test.
NZ vs England, 3rd test
England captain Alastair Cook congratulates Steven Finn on the wicket of Tim Southee.
Black Caps
New Zealand's Trent Boult appeals lbw for England's Jonathan Trott.
Third test: New Zealand vs England
New Zealand's captain Brendon McCullum (right) reacts on day two of the third cricket test match.
NZ vs England, 3rd test
England's Jonathan Trott and Nick Compton await an appeal decision.
Third test: NZ v England
Tim Southee celebrates the wicket of Ian Bell.
Third test: NZ v England
Jonny Bairstow walks off after being dismissed LBW by Trent Boult.
Third test: NZ v England
Trent Boult in action on day three.
kane out
Kane Williamson heads back to the dressing room on the third day.
Third test New Zealand v England
Dean Brownlie ducks underneath a bouncer.
Peter Fulton
Peter Fulton
Peter Fulton
Peter Fulton brings up his second century of the test.
Tim Southee
Tim Southee takes the wicket of Nick Compton.
New Zealand v England third test
New Zealand celebrate after taking the wicket of Alastair Cook.
Tim Southee
Tim Southee is the centre of attention after taking a catch close in to dismiss england batsman Steven Finn.
Tim Southee
Tim Southee is the centre of attention after taking a catch close in to dismiss england batsman Steven Finn.
Black Caps v England
Kane Williamson plays a pull shot on day four.
Peter Fulton
Peter Fulton is congratulated by Kane Williamson after scoring 100.
New Zealand v England third test gallery
Joe Root plays a shot as Brendon McCullum looks on.
England v New Zealand third test gallery
Joe Root plays a pull shot as New Zealand wicketkeeper BJ Watling looks on.
New Zealand v England gallery
Ross Taylor and BJ Watling celebrate the wicket of Jonny Bairstow.
NZ vs England 1
England batsman Matt Prior avoiding a short ball that came close to hitting the wicket.
NZ vs England 2
New Zealand's Bruce Martin misses a difficult catch off Matt Prior.
NZ vs England 3
Tim Southee reacts to getting the decision from the umpire for an LBW against Matt Prior. It was then over-ruled by the third umpire.
NZ vs England 4
New Zealand's Neil Wagner celebrates the wicket of Ian Bell just before tea.
NZ vs England
New Zealand's Neil Wagner, centre, and his Black Cap teammates celebrate Wagner's wicket of Ian Bell, top left.
Third Test: New Zealand v England
Frustrated Black Caps show their emotions as test victory slips away.

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.

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Trent Boult
WICKET: Trent Boult celebrates the wicket of Jonathan Bairstow early on day three.

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