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Cricket: Black Caps v England final day



England’s Harry Brook is run out without facing a ball.
Photo: Andrew Cornaga/

New Zealand are just one wicket away from an improbable and historic test win in a nail-biting finish in Wellington, though England are down to their last few runs to win.

England need just seven runs to win the second test against New Zealand; the Black Caps need just the last wicket with the English tail now batting. Ben Foakes has just been dismissed after leading the English batting with a crucial 35.

England are 251 for 9 after a collapse which saw four quick wickets falling at the Basin Reserve, but they went to the lunch break at 168 for five.

Root put the pressure back on the Black Caps with an unbeaten 74 from 74 balls, while an ailing Stokes, battling an apparent knee problem, was 20 not out, the pair having put on 88 runs for the sixth wicket.

New Zealand’s attack were a bowler down, with pace bowler Matt Henry forced off the field with a back problem late in the session.

England resumed on 48 for one in the morning, needing another 210 runs for victory, and were rocked by two wickets in the opening half-hour.

Nightwatchman Ollie Robinson was out for two trying to pull a Tim Southee delivery well wide of off-stump.

He sent a top-edge high behind the slips, with Michael Bracewell jogging back to take the catch.

Opener Ben Duckett was out for 33 three overs later as he went on the attack, caught behind slashing at a wide Henry delivery.

Neil Wagner, on the receiving end of some punishing spells from England’s batters this series, dismissed Ollie Pope for 14, the number three steering an edge straight to Tom Latham in the slips.

England’s man of the moment Harry Brook came to the middle but was run out without facing a ball as Root made a shocking call for a single after pushing a Southee ball to the gully.

Bracewell swooped from the slips and threw to the stumps where wicketkeeper Tom Blundell whipped off the bails with Brook well short of his ground.

England captain Ben Stokes.

England captain Ben Stokes.
Photo: Andrew Cornaga/

New Zealand introduced spin before the drinks break, with Bracewell coming into the attack but the tactic backfired as Root clobbered a six and two fours in successive balls in the all-rounder’s first over.

Stokes was lucky at one stage, with Henry finding the shoulder of his bat, but the ball pinged harmlessly off Blundell’s gloves.

England won the first test in Mount Maunganui by 267 runs and victory in Wellington will secure their first test series win in New Zealand since 2008.

If New Zealand win, this will be only the fourth time in test cricket that a side forced to follow on have pulled off a win. Two tests – England taking on Australia at Edgbaston in 1981 and India against Australia at Kolkata in 2001 – have become sporting classics.


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