An opening stand of 149 between Tom Latham (83) and Devon Conway (61) helped New Zealand recover in their second innings after being made to follow on; Stuart Broad’s 4-61 helped bowl the hosts out for 209 in the morning; England still led by 24 at the close of day three
An opening stand of 149 from Tom Latham and Devon Conway helped dent England’s victory push after they forced New Zealand to follow on in Wellington on day three of the second Test.
New Zealand captain Tim Southee offered some bold resistance at Basin Reserve with an entertaining 73 from 49 balls as his side resumed on 138-7, but he became the first of Stuart Broad’s victims in the morning as the Black Caps were dismissed for 209.
England captain Ben Stokes had no hesitation in enforcing the follow-on with the hosts needing 226 just to make the tourists bat again, but openers Latham (83) and Conway (61) frustrated the bowlers in the second innings with their third century partnership in Test cricket.
Conway and Latham eventually departed in quick succession to spinners Jack Leach and Joe Root respectively soon after tea, with Will Young also being dismissed for just eight, but Henry Nicholls and Kane Williamson saw New Zealand through to the close at 202-3 – still 24 shy of making England bat again.
Story of the day
England began the morning of the third day needing just three wickets to bowl the hosts out, but Southee was determined to carry on where he left off the night before with some big-hitting – including bringing up his half-century with a six back down the ground in the sixth over of the day.
Broad removed the New Zealand skipper in his first over though when Southee popped one up to Zak Crawley at mid-on just one ball after being put down by Leach on the leg-side boundary. Leach made amends two overs later though when he caught Tom Blundell (38) at mid-on after the wicketkeeper had come galloping down the track to Broad.
Henry dismissal ensured the seamer, who had accounted for Michael Bracewell late on day two as well, finished with figures of 4-61 and left New Zealand still 226 away from making England bat again.
It was perhaps no surprise Stokes quickly chose to enforce the follow-on, but openers Latham and Conway combined some obdurate defence with judicious shot selection to mount an impressive response and ultimately ensure England would have to wait at least one more day to wrap up the victory in this game and a 2-0 series triumph.
Perhaps most frustrating for England’s seam triumvirate of Broad, James Anderson and Ollie Robinson was that they were finding edges and asking plenty of questions of the batters, although too often those edges failed to carry to the slips.
Latham, who passed the milestone of 5,000 runs in Test cricket during his innings, was the first to reach the half-century mark – his 26th 50 in Tests – the 41st over and Conway notched his sixth Test 50 the following over.
By tea, the duo had guided New Zealand to 128 without loss, but the combination of left-arm spinner Leach and close-in fielder Ollie Pope broke the stand four overs into the evening session as Conway popped one up to be caught.
Root’s off-spin accounted for Latham three overs later when he trapped him lbw and Young fell to Leach soon after courtesy of him being clean bowled from a sumptuous delivery which did the right-hander all ends up.
However, Williamson (25 not out) and Nicholls (18 not out) dug in to see New Zealand through to the close, with even England having the new ball for the final three overs of the day not being able to dislodge either of them.
‘It’s been an enthralling day’
England assistant coach Paul Collingwood speaking to BT Sport…
“They [New Zealand] fought really hard, it’s been an enthralling day. You’re going to have days like this – we’ve had everything today.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t get the wickets today, but they fought hard and we are in a good position still.
“I don’t think the skipper wasn’t thinking of not enforcing the follow-on. There was no doubt – he came in and said he wanted to win the game. It’s been hard toil; hopefully tomorrow morning we can take wickets.”
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