Cricket: Still work to do for Black Caps

By Andrew Alderson

Joe Root of England plays the ball square during day three of the Third Test match between New Zealand and England. Photo / Getty Images.
Joe Root of England plays the ball square during day three of the Third Test match between New Zealand and England. Photo / Getty Images.

A riveting third day's play at Eden Park, where 11 wickets fell for 189 runs, has New Zealand in a strong position to push for a second home series victory in 18 attempts against England. The only other occasion it was achieved was in 1983-84.

Still, there is work to do.

England started the day on 50 for two. They were dismissed for 204 with Trent Boult taking career best first-class figures of six for 68. He snared three wickets in 13 balls after tea to scuttle the visitors. He was backed up by Tim Southee's three for 44 as he returned to form after a tough series.

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum chose not to enforce the follow-on, despite a lead of 239. That was followed by a top order hiccup where Hamish Rutherford, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor fell quickly. Broad dismissed Taylor (3) and Rutherford (0) to finish with two for seven off seven overs. Anderson bowled Williamson for 1. Peter Fulton (14) and Dean Brownlie (13) negotiated to stumps.

England, resuming after tea at 176 for six, hit 24 runs in the two overs after the resumption, before Boult had Broad caught at point, followed by Steven Finn edging to first slip and Jimmy Anderson caught behind.

Southee finished the innings by bowling Joe Root after he grafted 45 in 254 minutes.
New Zealand almost had reason to regret the third ball of the eighth over after lunch.

Southee lured Matt Prior into a drive, the ball edged low to Brownlie at second slip and... plop, down it went. Prior was 24. He eventually made 73. Before cricket's annals could reference Brownlie's spill as 'pivotal', Prior was pouched by Rutherford at point as he square drove Neil Wagner.

England had the better of the middle session. They had been flailing at 72 for five (losing three for 22 in the first hour) before Prior and Root combined for a century stand.
Bruce Martin is having an incremental impact. With the aid of footmarks created by left-armers Boult and Wagner bowling over the wicket, the odd ball turns and exhibits variable bounce. A further eye needs to be kept on him during the fourth and fifth days.

- NZ Herald

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