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NZ collapse hands England control of Test

New Zealand’s hopes of squaring the two-Test series against England virtually disappeared on Sunday after being outplayed on the third day in Leeds.

 
 

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NEW Zealand’s hopes of squaring the two-Test series against England virtually disappeared on Sunday after being outplayed on the third day in Leeds.

In another poor batting performance, New Zealand were dismissed for 174 in 43.4 overs, ceding a first-innings lead of 180.

By stumps at Headingley, the hosts were 1-116, a lead of 296 after reaching 354 in their first innings and in a strong position to push for a sweep of the series.

England’s bowlers were again too good for a New Zealand side who at least improved on their second-innings 68 in the 170-run first Test loss at Lord’s.

Offspinner Graeme Swann took four of the eight wickets to fall in the second session as the New Zealand middle order succumbed after a solid opening stand of 55 between Peter Fulton (28) and Hamish Rutherford (27). Both fell to Steven Finn (3-36) just before lunch.

The last eight wickets fell in the space of 22 overs and it took last-wicket fireworks of 52 runs blasted off 27 balls between Neil Wagner (27) and Trent Boult (24 not out) to restore some respectability to the score.

Swann, who had tied the New Zealanders in knots during his nine overs, had his figures spoiled by Boult who struck him for three sixes, and ended with 4-42.

Ross Taylor (6) became Finn’s third victim before Swann bowled Dean Brownlie (2) and Martin Guptill (1) in each of his first two overs.

Kane Williamson (13) was trapped lbw by Swann before Brendon McCullum (20) and Tim Southee (19) put on 37 in 41 balls for the seventh wicket.

First-Test hero Stuart Broad removed both before Doug Bracewell (1) became Swann’s fourth victim.

England captain Alastair Cook was in a position to make New Zealand bat again as the follow-on mark was 205 – within 150 of the first innings score rather than 200 due to the first-day washout.

However, he elected to bat again and had reached an assured 88 himself at stumps, alongside Jonathan Trott (11no) after Nick Compton fell to spinner Williamson for seven.

Left-arm seamer Boult left the field with a side strain after bowling just two overs in the second innings.

His involvement in the remainder of the Test is in doubt and will depend on how he responds to overnight treatment.

Earlier, England’s first innings ended at 354 after their last three wickets fell for 17 runs in five overs.

Boult finished with 5-57 off 22 overs, his second-best Test return. All five wickets came in his last seven overs, for 24 runs.

 

 
 

 
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