August 17, 2022
Cricket set for a tight finish- BPN TODAY

Cricket set for a tight finish

Root, no longer incumbered by the captaincy, was at his imperious best as he took away the early advantage from the tourists, who had England teetering at 69-4 before tea when seamer Kyle Jamieson made early breakthroughs.

Root and his successor Ben Stokes put together a 90-run partnership to turn the tide with the new skipper scoring 54 before being caught behind, the only wicket to fall after tea.

But there was good fortune for Stokes on his 31st birthday. He was bowled by Colin de Grandhomme for one run, only to be called back to the crease after a belated no ball call from the third umpire that was greeted by an approving roar from the partisan crowd.

He took advantage of the let-off and is now in a strong position to win his first test as England captain.

Jamieson snagged four wickets, bowling opener Alex Lees (20) and Jonny Bairstow (16) and having Zak Crawley (9) caught behind before snagging Stokes.

Root, edging closer to the milestone of 10 000 test runs, also featured in an unbeaten 57-run partnership with Ben Foakes, who played a supporting role and resumes on Sunday on nine not out.

Earlier, England took six wickets to dismiss New Zealand in their second innings after they resumed on 236-4 overnight with Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell both in the 90s.

Mitchell reached his century in the first over of the day, but Blundell fell agonisingly short on 96 as Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad took the second new ball and swept through the tourists batting order.

Three wickets fell in a single over while Broad was bowling. Mitchell edged to Ben Foakes off Broad for 108 as his partnership with Blundell fell five runs shy of 200 runs.

De Grandhomme was out next ball as he was run out from third slip by Pope, caught out of his crease as he watched the umpires reaction to a leg before appeal by Broad.

Broad then dismissed Jamieson first ball as New Zealand slumped from 251-4 to 251-7 by the end of the over.

Blundell was trapped lbw three overs later to Jimmy Anderson, caught plumb in front of his wicket to miss out on his ton.

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