NZ vs ENG: 2nd Test Day 4 Review- Match poised for a thrilling finish

NZ vs ENG: 2nd Test Day 4 Review- Match poised for a thrilling finish

All three results are possible in the final day's play

New Zealand team
New Zealand team celebrates a wicket. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

England have been shown extreme determination after their abysmal performance in the opening Test. The advantage rested with the visitors at the start of the fourth day of the fourth Test at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch. Meanwhile, New Zealand were desperate for some wickets at the start of the day’s play. Nevertheless, Joe Root’s men  racked up runs with ease and piled on the agony for the Kiwis.

Root and Malan carries England forward

Dawid Malan and Joe Root were the overnight batsmen and the partnership carried on to frustrate the hosts. They eventually put on 97 valuable runs for the fourth wicket. Meanwhile, Root notched yet another half-century to help England extend the lead. Nevertheless, the visitors were dealt with a couple of body blows with both set batsman perishing in a space of three balls.

Colin de Grandhomme scalped Malan when the left-hander unsuccessfully tried to flick the leather over the mid-wicket region. To add to England’s agony, Joe Root perished soon after as Neil Wagner pouched his first wicket of the innings. The English skipper would be disappointed for the fact the he perished yet again after doing the hard yards. However, by lunch, England led by 307 runs.

Frequent wickets, but England ahead

England lost wickets at regular intervals in the post lunch session. Ben Stokes scorched a couple of boundaries, however, became de Grandhomme’s second victim. Stuart Broad threatened in his brief knock, but couldn’t continue the assault for long as he was scalped by de Grandhomme as well. Mark Wood played a stupendous hand in the first innings, however couldn’t repeat his heroics this time around.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Bairstow played expertly and scored 36 useful runs lower down the order. Nevertheless, slowly, but surely, he was running out of partners. When the ninth wicket fell, England were 341 runs ahead and still required few runs to get themselves in a safer zone. Bairstow was joined by Jack Leach and they stitched together a stand of 40 runs, which propelled the hosts’ lead to 382 runs.

Bad light leads to frustration

However, following Bairstow’s dismissal by Neil Wagner, England declared their innings. At the start of the fourth innings, both teams had equal opportunities to emerge triumphant. The Kiwis started the session cautiously having scored 34 runs in 12 overs. The openers in Tom Latham and Gujarat-born Jeet Raval put a price tag on their wickets and staved off the English attack.

Nevertheless, gloomy atmosphere and bad light played spoilsport to the final session’s play. Only 11 overs were possible in which New Zealand scored eight runs. The hosts require a further 340 runs in the final day while England need ten wickets to win the game and draw level in the series. Meanwhile, the match is poised for an exciting finish provided bad light doesn’t lead to stoppage in play.

Brief Scores

England: 307 all out  in 96.5 overs; Jonathan Bairstow 101, Mark Wood 52; Tim Southee 6/62, Trent Boult 4/87

New Zealand: 278 all out in 93.3 overs; BJ Watling 85, Colin de Grandhomme 72; Stuart Broad 6/54, James Anderson 4/76

England 352/9 dec in 106.4 overs; James Vince 76, Mark Stoneman 60; Colin de Grandhomme 4/94, Trent Boult 2/89

New Zealand 42/0 in 23 overs; Tom Latham 23*, Jeet Raval 17*; James Anderson 0/9, Jack Leach 0/4

New Zealand need 340 runs to win

Stumps Day 4  

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