By Andrew Alderson at Headingley
Cricketing miracles do occur at Headingley.
Before the final dead-rubber test started between New Zealand and England, the Herald gave three examples where matches diverted course at the Yorkshire ground.
Let's refresh... in 1948, Don Bradman's Australian Invincibles chased a then-world record 404 to beat England by seven wickets in the fourth test.
In 1981, Ian Botham's 149 and Bob Willis' eight for 43 enabled England to follow-on and win, one of three examples in 2467 matches.
In 2019, Ben Stokes' 135 and Jack Leach's one, helped England beat Australia by one wicket with an unbeaten stand of 76.
The Black Caps need to perform a similar sort of conjuring trick tonight as the hosts evangelise the merits of Baz-ball under new coach Brendon McCullum.
Such a performance is within the realms of belief for the world champions, but faith is fading with England 183 for two needing 113 runs for victory.
The hosts have outwitted New Zealand across the series as they look to triumph 3-0 by adding a chase of 296 to hauls of 277 and 299.
Two areas highlight how England have orchestrated the triumph.
First, the use of spin.
Jack Leach got concussed chasing a ball to the boundary at Lord's and returned three for 226 at Trent Bridge, yet trust ensured he kept delivering.
He has repaid the faith with a maiden 10-wicket haul in his 25th test, taking 10 for 166. Yes, most were lower order players, but confidence helped him to tempt out victims.
Leach offered a bizarre admission to contrast the new era with the past.
"You'd give up the win quite early in the game potentially, whereas now it feels like the situation's never too bad."
Speaking of 10-fors, left-arm orthodox spinner Ajaz Patel is sitting in the pavilion. The third man in test history to take 10 wickets in an innings last December against India at Mumbai, albeit in a losing cause, has bowled two overs in seven tests since his 14-225 match feat.
Instead the onus went on off-spinner Michael Bracewell to extract the increasing turn and variable bounce in the second innings. His figures of one for 70 from 11 overs at stumps on the fourth day showed England targeted him as a vulnerable link.
The idea of anointing him to scythe through the opposition order in his second test was queried by fans, given he had 30 first-class wickets at an average of 46.83 heading into the match. Still, an almighty story awaits if the enthusiasm, energy and mana which Bracewell brings to his craft can find a way through.
Wellington teammate Tom Blundell is backing him.
"He's played a lot of first-class cricket so he's experienced in that regard.
"You look at the opportunities we created with 'beast', if one of those goes to hand it could be a different story.
"The wicket is deteriorating, and there's variable bounce. It looks like it might be hard to drive with the older ball so hopefully we can use that."
The second area is the top order batting, which can be calculated on numbers alone.
England's first four have made 887 runs – with potentially more overnight from Ollie Pope and Joe Root – at an average of 36.96 against a swinging Duke ball.
By comparison, New Zealand's quartet had made 534 runs at 22.50, exposing the middle order prematurely to the ball's shine. That's disappointing for them, given the calibre of Tom Latham, Will Young, Kane Williamson, Devon Conway and, at Trent Bridge, Henry Nicholls.
Fortunately, in the interests of a competitive series, Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell constantly eked out runs.
Mitchell's 538 at an average of 107.60 are the most by an overseas cricketer in a series of three matches or fewer in England. That's some feat when you consider tests have been played in the country for 142 years.
The pair faced the second most deliveries of any partnership during a test series. Their 1417 balls is only bettered by Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Carl Hooper's 1511, also across six innings when India visited the West Indies in 2002.
The pair's fourth resurrection of a New Zealand innings on tour brought them into exulted company.
Four other duos have had as many or more century stands in a series. David Boon and Mark Waugh combined five times for Australia in the 1993 Ashes; Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe completed the feat four times for England in the 1924 equivalent; Vijay Hazare and Rusi Modi did likewise for India against the West Indies in 1948; and Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan were equally prolific against India in 2006.