How the English media reacted to the Black Caps' stunning day four of their test against England.

England horror show continues after Joe Root's men lose three wickets in their bid to chase down New Zealand's huge total on day four - By Lawrence Booth of The Daily Mail

"They have never conceded more against New Zealand than 615 for nine, never allowed an opposition wicketkeeper to score more than Watling's 205. No number six batsman, meanwhile, had made more against them since Don Bradman.

"Then, to put the seal on a day that will surely take its place in England's crowded Chamber of Overseas Horrors, they contrived to lose three late wickets to the left-arm spin of Mitchell Santner, who was fresh from celebrating his maiden Test hundred.


"The brutal truth is that England remain a painfully raw Test nation when the sticking plasters of the Dukes ball and helpful home pitches are peeled away.

"Throw them the Kookaburra, show them a grassless surface, and they shrink in stature. Time and again, there is only one reasonable conclusion: their batsmen lack the discipline to post match-defining scores, and their bowlers the cutting-edge to overcome adversity."

"It was one of England's most painful lessons. Every minute, for 668 minutes, which was the length of time that Watling batted, they had in effect to write out: "I shall not give my wicket away." All of England's top six had given their wicket away to some extent in their first innings, whether in attack, or defence, or - in Root's case - neither.

"All of England's bowlers were exposed. Archer tightened up to bowl five consecutive maidens at the start of day four, and hit Watling on the helmet when he had scored 144. But Watling was content to bide his time - and to limbo-dance. Being a short and supple, traditionally-shaped keeper, Watling was expert in bending his knees to let the short ball fly past - until he upper-cut Archer to hit his sole six. Watling, 34, only played the shots that he wanted to play, never the shot that the bowler wanted him to play."

Mitchell Santner and teammates celebrate the wicket of Burns on Day 4. Photo / Photosport
Mitchell Santner and teammates celebrate the wicket of Burns on Day 4. Photo / Photosport

England battling to avoid first Test defeat after BJ Watling's 205 - By Ali Martin of The Guardian

"With its stunning coastal views, buzzing hipster nightspots and beach lifestyle, Mount Maunganui on New Zealand's North Island makes for an unlikely place to find a torture chamber. Yet at the seemingly pleasant Bay Oval Joe Root's tourists were given the Iron Maiden, the Heretic's Fork and the Scold's Bridle all in one. BJ Watling's 205 –the first Test double century by a wicketkeeper against England – and Mitchell Santner's 126 – his first century in Test cricket – made you wonder whether the Black Caps might be rebranded as the Black Hoods."

Joe Root's side were 'flat' and got their tactics wrong - By Mark Ramprakash of the BBC

"It was a flat day, you can't get away from that.


"It has been an area England have struggled with for a number of years because of the number of introverted, quiet personalities they have - sometimes they lack a spark visually.

"The pitch was benign but somehow you need several people to create a bit of spark.

"We know the natural psyche of this team is if they are behind and concede a lead the batters don't react well to that because their natural game is to attack. It will be a big test for them."