Birmingham: New Zealand are set to wrap up the second and final Test against England, and with it the series, after their bowlers triggered a collapse in the second innings on the third day on Saturday. At stumps, England were 122 for nine wickets, just 37 runs ahead, and one wicket left.
With two full days to go in the match, New Zealand, who made six changes in the XI for this match, have all the time in the world to complete the formalities in the first session of the fourth and penultimate day on Sunday at Edgbaston.
So far, the highest score of England’s second innings has been Mark Wood’s 38-ball 29 (5x4s, 1×6) while Ollie Pope is second with a 20-ball 23 (3x4s). At stumps, Olly Stone was batting on 15 off 53 balls (2x4s), showing the more established batsmen of his team how to bat in such conditions, while James Anderson was yet to open his account.
For New Zealand, left-arm pacer Neil Wagner and speedster Matt Henry bagged three wickets each while left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel captured two.
Earlier, New Zealand took a crucial 85-run first-innings lead, thanks to meaningful knocks from Will Young (82), Devon Conway (80) and Ross Taylor (80). However, the New Zealand lower-order batsmen did not contribute much and their last seven batsmen, barring wicket-keeper Tom Blundell (34), did not add much to the total.
At tea, England were 18 for two wickets in six overs. Pacer Matt Henry removed both openers, Rory Burns (0) and Dominic Sibley (8), with the total being 17. After the interval, New Zealand bowlers dismissed seven England batsmen and took their team closer to victory.
The first Test had ended in a draw.
England: 303 and 122/9 wkts (Mark Wood 29, Ollie Pope 23, Neil Wagner 3/18, Matt Henry 3/36, Ajaz Patel 2/25); New Zealand: 388 (Will Young 82, Devon Conway 80, Ross Taylor 80, Stuart Broad 4/48).