New Zealand dominate, England dig deep on Day 3
Williamson, 92 not out overnight, quickly completed his 10th Test century before going into attritional mode. (Source: AP)
Alastair Cook and Ian Bell survived a torrid final session to guide England to 74 for two on the third day of the first Test against New Zealand on Saturday but the hosts still face a tough task to save the match.
England trail by 60 runs after New Zealand were bowled out for 523, Kane Williamson contributing a patient 132.
England lost debutant opener Adam Lyth for 12, caught by Tim Southee in the slips off Trent Boult, and Gary Ballance was bowled by Southee for a duck to give New Zealand a scent of victory.
But Cook (32 not out) and Bell (29 not out) mixed watchful defence with a few crisp boundaries to settle England nerves, defying a pumped up New Zealand attack supported by an ultra-aggressive field including a five-man slip cordon.
Williamson, 92 not out overnight, quickly completed his 10th Test century before going into attritional mode.
Ross Taylor was out for 62, wicketkeeper Jos Buttler taking an acrobatic catch after the batsman gloved a Stuart Broad delivery down the leg side.
The explosive Brendon McCullum joined Williamson at the crease and immediately signalled his intent by flashing his first delivery through the covers for four.
Williamson played more conservatively and was content to watch as McCullum flayed England’s attack all around the ground in an entertaining cameo of 42.
However, he attempted one big shot too many and was well caught on the long leg boundary by Joe Root to give Mark Wood his first Test scalp.
Rain forced the umpires to call an early lunch which New Zealand took on 407 for four.
Corey Anderson was caught by Buttler off Wood for nine and Williamson’s 262-ball vigil finally ended when he was caught by Ballance at short leg off spinner Moeen Ali. He hit 15 fours in an innings spanning more than six hours.
“It is nice to get your name on the board but at the same time I was disappointed to get out at the stage I did,” Williamson told Sky Sports.
“With the conditions and the rain around, it was a different type of game.
“I wanted to bat longer than I did today, hence my frustration. It is important that we are patient and the bowlers stick to their areas. There is still something in the wicket and hopefully it will make for a challenge for the opposition.”
Moeen trapped Mark Craig lbw for nought and Southee, on 11, skied James Anderson to Wood in the deep before BJ Watling’s unbeaten 61 took New Zealand past 500.
Broad, Wood and Moeen took three wickets each while a subdued James Anderson, England’s leading wicket-taker, struggled to obtain his usual movement and claimed only one victim.
Source:: Indian Express