All the action from day four of the second test between the Black Caps and England.



It took them long enough, but England have finally produced a dominant day of test cricket in New Zealand.

Such days have been few and far between for the visitors in this two-test series – indeed since England last won a test in this country, back in 2008. But, after centuries from Rory Burns and Joe Root progressed the visitors from 39-2 to 269-5 at stumps on day three of the second test in Hamilton, they could be well pleased with their efforts.

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It ultimately might not produce many rewards – their bowlers will have to shine for this result to be anything but a draw, especially after rain ended play an hour early – but England have at least warded off some of the doom and gloom surrounding their performances, and assured a competitive ending to the test.

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Their path to victory relies on their middle and lower batsmen standing up and offering support to Root, who delivered a captain's knock just when it was richly required, finishing the day unbeaten on 114, and looking impressive throughout.

He was aided by a Seddon Park wicket that didn't offer much to the New Zealand bowling attack, and is probably the biggest factor in the likely draw that awaits come Tuesday.

England's current deficit – still trailing by 106 runs – is also a significant factor, though. Bat all day tomorrow, and they could graft a lead to give their bowlers a crack on the final day. Collapse, and the Black Caps could have enough time to set a tricky chase come day five.

Anything else, and a draw is in store, which would give the Black Caps another series win, but leave them stuck on 99 test wins ahead of their daunting three-test series of Australia.

Burns and Root assured there wouldn't be any early success for the bowlers, as they soaked up 383 balls as part of a 177-run third wicket partnership. Dropped twice the night before, Burns remained streaky, offering several edges which flew past or landed short of fielders, but he also played some assertive shots to reach his second test century.

His stay ended a ball later, run out by an inch after sharp work from Jeet Raval, and that provided a small window for the Black Caps to fight back.

Ben Stokes came and went for 26 as Southee produced a perfect delivery to have him edging to Ross Taylor at slip, and Zak Crawley's test debut lasted six balls as Neil Wagner lured him into an edge to BJ Watling.

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Root remained though, and ensured there would be no sudden collapse as he reached his 17th test century. He did it in slightly nervy fashion – chopping a ball from Wagner just past his stumps and past Watling - but after 259 balls of impressive grind, his fist pump and mile-wide smile showed just what it meant.

A timely century for both captain and team alike – and unless there are further twists in England's tail, they may have just denied the Black Caps a century of their own.