New Zealand swing into action and regain control
AUCKLAND (AFP) –
New Zealand regained control of the deciding final Test against England, claiming three wickets with menacing swing bowling on the third morning at Eden Park on Sunday.
England went to lunch at 92 for five, still 351 runs behind New Zealand’s first innings 443 and with their last recognised batsmen at the crease. Joe Root was not out 15 with Matt Prior on 11.
After resuming the day at 50 for two, England lost three wickets for 42 runs as they struggled through 29 overs bowled in the first session.
Just as New Zealand batsmen yielded their wickets in the first two days with nicks to the keeper, England showed a penchant for leg before dismissals as they struggled with the swing bowling of Tim Southee and Trent Boult.
Southee started the rout when he claimed Nick Compton for 13 in the third over of the morning.
His appeal was initially rejected by umpire Paul Reiffel but overturned on review as replays showed the ball slamming into the pads before deflecting on to the bat.
England had flirted with danger from the start of the day, with Ian Bell taking an unnecessary second single off Boult in the second over and relying on a television replay to confirm he had narrowly escaped being run out.
But it was a short-lived reprieve after Southee tempted Bell with several wide deliveries and then surprised him with one that swung back to have him trapped plumb in front of the stumps for 17.
Jonny Bairstow, elevated to the team after Kevin Pietersen was sidelined with a knee injury, scraped his way to three before he became the third lbw decision of the morning.
Again umpire Reiffel turned down the appeal but again the review worked in New Zealand’s favour and England were 72 for five.
Boult has been the most successful of the New Zealand bowlers with three for 42 while Southee has two for 25.
After rain disrupted the first two Tests which were drawn, the weather is forecast to remain fine in Auckland for the third and final encounter.