England leave New Zealand at 414 for six at tea
AUCKLAND (AFP) –
England bowlers blunted New Zealand’s early domination of the third and deciding Test at Eden Park on Saturday, ripping through the batting to leave New Zealand at 414 for six at tea.
New Zealand resumed the day at 250 for one but lost five wickets for the addition of only 164 runs in the first two sessions on the second day of the series decider.
The overnight pair of century-maker Peter Fulton (136) and Kane Williamson (91) put on 181 for the second wicket and made the batting look easy on a placid wicket.
But following their removal no New Zealand batsman has been able to post a half century.
Captain Brendon McCullum, who survived a second-ball appeal, teamed with Dean Brownlie to add 68 for the fifth wicket and Tim Southee has provided lusty tail-end batting but otherwise the initiative has been largely with the bowlers.
At tea, Southee was on 35 with BJ Watling on 13.
McCullum advanced to 38 after his early life before he was eventually undone by part-time bowler Jonathan Trott attempting to clout the ball back over the bowler’s head and nicking it through to wicketkeeper Matt Prior.
James Anderson then claimed Brownlie who ran out of patience at the slow scoring rate and slashed at a ball well wide of the off stump and was caught low down by Nick Compton at backward point.
When Southee arrived in the middle, England targeted his weak point, dealing with the short-pitched delivery, only to see the plan spectacularly backfire as Southee cracked two sixes and three boundaries.
England took three wickets in the morning session starting with the removal of Williamson who moved briskly into the 90s and was in sight of his fourth Test century when he edged Anderson to Prior.
Fulton’s marathon innings came to an end at 136, after nearly eight hours in the middle, when he was removed by a spectacular one-handed catch by wicketkeeper Prior diving full stretch to his left.
Fulton had turned Steven Finn down the leg side and had every reason to believe his 16th boundary was on the way when the athletic Prior just managed to get a glove to the ball and make the catch stick.
Former New Zealand captain Ross Taylor had a brief stay in the middle cracking a quick 19 before he was caught and bowled by Monty Panesar in a good spell for England when they claimed three for 32.
James Anderson has the best figures for the tourists with two for 79 while Finn has two for 104 and Panesar and Trott have one wicket each.