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New Zealand, England Find Themselves In A Gripping Finale In 2nd Test

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Both New Zealand and England are in with a chance to seal the second and final Test match at Christchurch. A good day’s batting stands in the way of the Black Caps and England need 10 wickets to win the match and level the series.
The Kiwis ended the day at 42/0 in pursuit of 382 runs before bad light stopped play costing 24 overs. A draw or a win could help the hosts seal a memorable Test series win against England since 1999.
A piece of history could await the Kiwis if they get the remaining 340 runs. They’ll hold the record for the seventh highest run chase in test history. If they crawl through the day and nab a draw – either route will seal New Zealand’s first series win just their fourth in history against the tourists.
England will back themselves to take the 10 wickets required to not only save the series, but to also end a 12-Test winless streak abroad, which includes their innings and 49-run pasting in the first test in Auckland.
The final day, therefore, presents a lot at stake for both sides.
The openers batted well in the final session to hang on and deny England any inroads. 42 runs in 23 overs is what they managed with a lot of grit and character. The task will be to build on the start on Tuesday and take as much time to keep the English bowlers at bay.
On the other hand, England will rue the chance James Vince bottled in the final session when he put down Latham – on 25 at the time – at third slip. But one can claim it was a difficult catch. England needs to break the partnership and then have a go at the middle-order.
The fact they lost 24 overs, will hurt England. But now they need to put it behind them and have a solid crack. Jack Leach saw some promising purchase off his three overs and he is the one that can give the visitors hope.Joe Root’s side are desperate and hungry for a rare away Test win and they will be on their toes in getting the job done.
A lot will depend on James Anderson and Stuart Broad, who were excellent in the first innings picking 10 wickets.
Root (54) and Dawid Malan (53) struck half-centuries as the tourists added 150 to runs to their overnight total earlier on Monday.The duo got the much needed impetus and added a 97-run stand to get their team to safety. After their dismissal, Jonny Bairstow found some support from the tail as England managed 352/9 before declaring.
Root has been amongst the runs off late although not going on to score big runs. He will feel reasonably happy with the innings and character he showed to jail his side out.
Colin de Grandhomme, playing on the same ground he took six wickets on during his test debut in 2016, was the pick of the Kiwi attack down on firepower with Tim Southee hindered by a viral illness. De Grandhomme finished with 4-94. His first scalp – Malan caught by Henry Nicholls at midwicket – ending a remarkable run in which the first 23 wickets in the match were snapped up by the four new ball bowlers.
The Black Caps would have been spared from Bairstow’s late flurry had they not wasted both their reviews in a desperate bid to take early wickets late on day three.
Trent Boult found the outside edge of his bat when he had just one run to his name, only for umpire Marais Erasmus’ finger to stay down. Bairstow went on to score 36 from 52 balls.

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