Niall Anderson covers off what you may have missed with an extremely rare and admittedly obscure fielding report from day three of the second test between the Black Caps and England.
Rory Burns offered plenty of early chances in his 101, but as he started to look more confident on a pedestrian pitch, it turned out that runouts were the best chance of dismissing the England opener. He should have been out on 87 after a mix-up, but with Tom Latham waiting to whip off the bails at the non-strikers end, Matt Henry got in the way and butchered the chance, failing to haul in the throw. 14 runs later, BJ Watling had no such problems in finding Burns short of his crease after a sharp throw from Jeet Raval, but there was still a catch…
The Black Caps players went through a mini-emotional rollercoaster for Burns' dismissal. The appeal was relatively half-hearted and they appeared content to carry on, until the replay on the big screen led everyone charging over to Raval to celebrate. However, third umpire Bruce Oxenford took an eternity to make up his mind, being unable to differentiate the white bails from the white-clad Watling behind the stumps. In the end, he finally gave Burns out, and in a rare move, yellow bails were brought in for the rest of the day to solve his personal dilemma.
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Raval's runout would have been a great feeling considering his struggles in the field this series, which included dropping Burns at mid-wicket on 19 the day before. Similarly, Ross Taylor, who put down Burns on 10, somewhat made amends with a sharp grab at slip to remove Ben Stokes later in the day. Sure, Burns had made them pay with a century, but the mistakes weren't repeated, and they offered their side the smallest of chances to take back control of the test.
On test debut, Zak Crawley might have been a little nervous, so on his fifth ball, he took off for a quick single after a firm drive. However, Kane Williamson was lurking at mid-off, and delivered a direct hit. Despite some Black Caps excitement, Crawley was safe after unleashing the full-length dive – a hell of a way to get off the mark in your international career. Unfortunately for the 21-year-old, that would be the only run he'd earn, being caught behind off Neil Wagner the next ball he faced.
Who is on top?
Nobody. Tim Southee expressed confidence in his side's chances if they take some early wickets tomorrow, but even if they do, it's hard to see the Black Caps batsmen scoring at a quick enough rate to build a declarable total and put England under pressure on the final day. Similarly, even though England's tail order is strong and they could well score more runs, it would take something unseen yet this series for the Black Caps to collapse with the bat on the final day.
A draw looks highly likely.