OVER 6: ENG 16/0 (Burns 9* Sibley 8*)
Boult switches to around the wicket to the right-handed Sibley and it caused a few problems immediately. The batsman plays and misses outside off, getting stuck in his crease. A short-ish ball rears up at Sibley as it raps him on the gloves and falls short of where silly mid off would be. England trail by 245 runs.
OVER 3: ENG 9/0 (Burns 3* Sibley 6*)
Sibley nudges two off his legs off a fairly uneventful Southee over. 25 overs left today, 90 tomorrow. 115. Score at three an over for 100 and that gets them to 300, a lead of 38. NZ would then have 13 overs to get them, which they would do fairly easily. As I said, a simpler equation is just to think that England have to bat all of these overs.
OVER 2: ENG 7/0 (Burns 3* Sibley 4*)
Trent Boult opening the bowling from the other end. A little bit of variable bounce first up as one keeps low to Burns. Boult then draws the outside edge of Burns but it drops short of the slips by a yard or so! England have 26 overs to survive this evening after this one. How many wickets will they lose by stumps?
OVER 1: ENG 7/0 (Burns 3* Sibley 4*)
Yeah. Predictably after a thousand overs of the ball doing NOTHING, Southee rips one past Burns’s outside edge first ball up. There is a pause in play as the umpires attend to a problematic stump. It will not go down far enough in the ground to make it level with the other two, leaving a lop-sided set of stumps. Out comes the groundsman with a bottle of water and fresh, soft soil. It’s all sorted in the end.
Burns pushes one off his legs for three as Wagner saves four diving across the turf, great commitment there. Sibley punches one through midwicket for four. Overpitched and straight from Southee and that’s easy runs for any opening batsman.
END OF INNINGS: NZ 615/9dec lead England by 262 runs after the first innings
This is going to be a bit of a test for England until the close of play. That took five or six overs out of play for 25 runs. I do not think that was the smartest move by NZ but it may well end up not making a blind bit of difference. England are going to have to face around 117 overs to draw this match.
There’s a chance they could save it by facing a few fewer overs if they score at a decent enough rate but I think the simple equation is just lasting those overs. Scoring at 2.6rpo from here would give them a lead of 40 or so if they lasted them all.
OVER 201: NZ 615/9 (Wagner 11* Boult 1*)
I had just loaded up the CricInfo page of longest innings by balls faced in Tests. Watling was about 30 balls away from making his way into it, but still, it was looooong.
Wagner gets down on one knee and slog sweeps Leach for six over midwicket. He follows it up with a reverse sweep for four. Stunning stuff. 12 from the over. And finally NZ declare.
OVER 198: NZ 590/7 (Watling 200* Southee 2*)
We are into the final over before tea, Watling has 200 but the double centurion isn’t exactly at the shot-a-ball stage. Neither is Tim Southee, mind you. NZ now lead by 237 runs. There are going to be 32 overs in the final session and a further 90 tomorrow. A possible 122 for NZ to bowl England out and then chase whatever’s left, if anything is left. A maiden ends the session for England. That’s tea.
OVER 197: NZ 590/7 (Watling 200* Southee 2*)
A push off the legs from Root gets Watling to a maiden double hundred. Absolutely superb. 460 balls. 655 minutes. 23 fours and a six. SR of 43.5. The first NZ wicketkeeper to score a Test 200. He has put NZ in a commanding position.
Root thinks Southee has glanced one off his legs and to Buttler behind the stumps but the umpire says no. Nothing really on hotspot or Snicko, though. Nothing within a mile of conclusive anyway. No reviews left, though, so it stays seven wickets down for NZ. Should be one more over before tea.
OVER 196: NZ 589/7 (Watling 199* Southee 2*)
Curran resumes to Southee, who takes a single to get Watling back on strike on 198. Curran bowling around the 70mph mark at the moment. Taking the pace off, intentionally, I assume. Watling surely needs to get his 200 before tea or he should be declared on. He scampers a single off the final ball of the over and dives to make his ground!
Maybe another two overs left in this session but he’s on 199 now. Surely he’ll get it before tea.
OVER 195: NZ 587/7 (Watling 198* Southee 1*)
Watling racing towards his 200 now. He backs away to Root, flaying a short-ish ball through the off side for four. He goes to 197, one boundary away from 200. About 10 or 12 minutes until tea. Get your 200 BJ and then it’ll be a shot a ball and a declaration at tea.
There is an argument to be made for not declaring at tea, making England bowl another three or four overs and then declaring but I think given the state of the pitch and the time left in the game losing six or seven overs for that would not be wise.
England have a shout for a stumping but no. Watling is safe.
WICKET! Santner b Curran c Pope 126
ENGLAND HAVE A WICKET! Santner has a swipe off Curran, it’s not that well hit, high in the air and Pope takes a fairly easy steepler at long on. Santner goes for a brilliant 126 off 269 balls with 11 fours and five sixes. Super innings. That ends the 261 run partnership. It lasted for a mammoth 122.5 overs. FOW 577/7
OVER 192: NZ 569/6 (Watling 185* Santner 124*)
Ahhhh. This is just cruel now. Watling pulls behind square for four to take the partnership to 251. Watling within 15 off his double hundred. Suspect the declaration will come at tea as long as Watling gets to 200. Another 25 minutes until tea, perhaps six overs. Six times five is 30. That takes NZ to near enough 600 and a 240 run lead…
OVER 189: NZ 551/6 (Watling 176* Santner 117*)
Joe Root returns for his 14th over. After grinding England into the ground for nearly five sessions NZ have moved up a couple of gears. Watling unfurls a reverse sweep for four before another two wides follow as Root fires one down the leg side. Brilliantly stopped at fine leg by the diving Curran.
I think England will be batting by the start of the final session here. NZ now lead by 198 runs.
OVER 188: NZ 542/6 (Watling 171* Santner 116*)
With 44 overs left in the day we are into “thinking about the declaration” territory. 40 minutes or so left in this session and I think NZ will want to bat all of them. At this rate the lead will be 220-240 by tea. Santner plays a few of shots off the returning Sam Curran. One is brilliantly cut off at the deep midwicket boundary before the next is punched powerfully down the ground for four. Then he swats a full ball over deep midwicket for six. He’s motoring now and England are in trouble.
This is now the highest ever seventh wicket partnership for NZ in Tests.
OVER 187: NZ 529/6 (Watling 170* Santner 104*)
There it is! A swivel pull from Santner off Stokes races down to the fine leg boundary…it’s cut off by the fielder but they sprint two. A first Test century from the number eight. Brilliant. Well deserved. He repeats the feat next ball but finer and this one does go for four as Crawley can’t cut it off. England are going to have some work to do today and tomorrow.
OVER 186: NZ 523/6 (Watling 170* Santner 98*)
A single for Watling off Leach brings up the 200 run partnership and it is swiftly followed by another charge down the wicket six from Santner to take him to 97. A single moves him to 98…he has batted brilliantly and doggedly, going from determined to free-flowing this session. He’ll have the strike next over, just two from a maiden Test ton.
OVER 185: NZ 515/6 (Watling 169* Santner 91*)
Another rank wide ball down leg from Stokes and this time it goes for five wides. Watling ducks under it as it flies over Buttler’s head. Not sure if this is a tactic to stop runs but it’s not working. England have had a tendency to be toothless with the ball in recent years. These two have batted superbly, mind you, as did Watling with de Grandhomme yesterday.
An hour gone since lunch and that’s drinks. 63 runs scored in the first hour of the session in 14 overs. 4.5rpo. A bit more intent from NZ though it hasn’t turned yet into full-blown slogging.
OVER 184: NZ 507/6 (Watling 167* Santner 90*)
Santner again charging down the pitch to Leach and this one is his biggest hit of the lot. Swings his arms and mullers it over long on for six. Huge! 500 up for NZ. He moves into the 90s next ball with a single. Watling retains the strike with another one off the final ball. England are just waiting for the declaration here. NZ haven’t exactly run away with this but the lead is now over 150.
OVER 183: NZ 499/6 (Watling 166* Santner 83*)
Ben Stokes bowls a horribly wide one down the leg side and it is rightly called wide. A textbook Watling punch through the covers off the back foot gets the keeper another two.
“Absolutely dire,” is Stokes’s comment heard on the stump mic after the over. Frustrating.
OVER 182: NZ 496/6 (Watling 164* Santner 83*)
Santner fairly keen to get on with this and again uses his feet to charge Leach and blasts him for six over the long off boundary. Caught in the crowd at the second attempt. 44 runs scored in the 50 minutes since lunch. Beats the 54 scored in the two hours of the morning session. Proportionally.
OVER 180: NZ 485/6 (Watling 160* Santner 76*)
180 overs in the field for England. 180 overs for six wickets. Quick maths shows that as a wicket every 30 overs or every 180 balls. Not much in the pitch but that is quite disappointing. Three of Leach’s latest over. Santer moves to within 24 of a maiden Test century. Very easy for them at the moment.
OVER 179: NZ 482/6 (Watling 159* Santner 74*)
Ben Stokes returns.Another 53 overs in the day. If New Zealand bat for another 30 of them and go at 3rpo that takes then to 213 runs ahead and leaves England 113 overs to bat. Could be about the equation they are after. It could come a little sooner than that, though, and it’ll be worth NZ having a go at these tired England bowlers. Go at a higher run rate and they might have a similar lead and another 10 or 15 overs at England. A 200 lead could be the magic number.
A scampered single through the off side takes Santner to 74 and his highest Test score. Well batted. Looked troubled by the short pitched ball early on yesterday but has upped his scoring a bit in this session.
OVER 178: NZ 480/6 (Watling 158* Santner 73*)
Jack Leach returns for his 41st over. Just the one wicket for the Somerset spinner. You would think now would be a good time for either of these two to attack the slow bowlers but no aggression yet, really. Having said that, Santner comes down the wicket and drives Leach for four through the covers. He moves to 73, equalling his highest Test score. Just the four from the over.
OVER 177: NZ 476/6 (Watling 158* Santner 69*)
Archer resumes having brought up his century. 0-102 now. He sneaks into the 140s at the end of the over. A maiden. The game has been drifting away from England for four sessions now. How long will they have to bat to save this Test? At least three sessions, maybe three and a half.
OVER 176: NZ 476/6 (Watling 158* Santner 69*)
Difficult to believe that NZ started yesterday’s play on 140-odd for four. Just two wickets taken since then. A firm pull from Santner off Broad goes through midwicket for four and brings up the 150 partnership for these two. It is now a record seventh wicket partnership for New Zealand against England. Santner crunches Broad through the covers for four for the second boundary of the over! NZ playing their shots now. A third boundary comes with a clip off the legs from Santner for four. Acceleration time…
There are no demons in this pitch at the moment, it looks very placid. But it could be a very different story when England come into bat.
OVER 175: NZ 464/6 (Watling 158* Santner 57*)
Jofra Archer into his 40th over. He’s still running in with decent pace, in the mid 130s. He continues with the short stuff. Watling is more than equal to a short-pitched one on the off side as he uses the pace to guide it over the third man boundary rope for six! This really has been a masterful Test innings.
OVER 174: NZ 458/6 (Watling 152* Santner 57*)
When does it become shot-a-ball territory for NZ here? Just another single from Broad’s latest over. Even with a real collapse here NZ are going to end with a 120-130 run lead. I suspect their tactic is just to bat and bat and bat. England are then out of the game. There isn’t a huge amount of time left in the game, though.
OVER 173: NZ 457/6 (Watling 151* Santner 57*)
Mitchell Santner’s highest Test innings is 73. He’s currently on 56. He has a couple of First Class centuries, though. Reminds me of the days when another bespectacled left-arm spinner used to bat at eight for the Black Caps. BJ Watling’s substantial innings continues as he moves to 150 with three off his legs off Archer. He also moves into the top 10 Test run scorers for NZ with 3430. Another 19 and he’ll be up to ninth.
OVER 172: NZ 453/6 (Watling 148* Santner 56*)
Broad resumes and with five dot balls to start off. Leaking runs has not been a problem for England today, with the run rate just 2.62. I suppose when it comes to them not losing the game that is important, actually. A single for Santner off the final ball of the oval takes NZ to 453/6 and a lead of 100.
OVER 171: NZ 452/6 (Watling 148* Santner 55*)
Sharp bumper to Watling who took evasive action – matrix style.
Archer then hits him on the head with the next ball. Archer loves finishing a session with some short stuff.
Watling is okay but the break to check on him will ensure this is the last over of the session.
Archer goes short-ish again and Watling blocks from the back foot.
Watling dispatches the last ball of the session for four – that ball was quick and dealt with.
OVER 170: NZ 448/6 (Watling 144* Santner 55*)
Curran is into his 29th over. I reckon there should be some spin before lunch. One over from Archer, one from Leach or even Root.
Watling drives for two runs which takes him to his high score in test cricket!
He follows it up with a sharp single.
Play and a miss from Santner to end the over.
OVER 169: NZ 445/6 (Watling 141* Santner 55*)
Archer is back into the attack – he has already bowled 36 overs with 0 wickets taken.
He has started very full to Santner. Can he get his pace up? Only 10 minutes until lunch.
Better. The ball nips away from Archer off a length forcing a play and miss. He follows it up with a bouncer.
OVER 168: NZ 445/6 (Watling 141* Santner 55*)
Santner hits the first ball of the over right in front of the stumps – but was it pad first? No interest from the umpire, looked the right decision.
Curran gets one past Santner’s defences as the ball cannons into his thigh pad. It then ricochets past Joe Root in the slips for four runs.
Santner takes a single.
OVER 165: NZ 433/6 (Watling 134* Santner 54*)
Interesting, Stokes to take the new ball from the other end.
Good carry and a little bit of movement away from the off stump. Watling drops and runs to the offside – good running.
Santner plays and misses. Stokes’ first over has been more dangerous than Curran’s was.
Santner then punches through the offside for two.
OVER 161: NZ 425/6 (Watling 132* Santner 48*)
Watling strokes the ball down to long on for one.
Root drops short to Santner who carves it away through point for four more. Runs starting to flow for the home side, finally.
Root slides one on which hits Santner – big appeal but it is given not out. England have new reviews so that will be over. It might have been sliding down leg – yep, just missing.
OVER 160: NZ 420/6 (Watling 131* Santner 44*)
Only four overs until the new ball. Can Leach get a breakthrough?
Watling uses his feet and they pinch a single to mid-on – they had to hurry there, a direct hit would have been close.
Santner dances down the pitch and nails a drive through extra-cover for four. Beautiful shot.
OVER 159: NZ 415/6 (Watling 130* Santner 40*)
Root on at the other end – double spin. Someone shouts ‘come on the golden arm’. Worked yesterday when he first came on.
Darts to start.
Root almost sneaks one past Santner – some turn there but it spins past off stump. The next ball slides on. Good start from the part-timer.
OVER 158: NZ 415/6 (Watling 130* Santner 40*)
Spin! Leach is on for the first time today. Will there be any turn on day four?
Watling uses his feet nicely, driving Leach through extra-cover but Root gets down well limiting it to one.
Santner drives back past Leach for a single out to long on. Gentle start from the spinner.
OVER 157: NZ 413/6 (Watling 129* Santner 39*)
Stokes continues – the game has not moved on this morning. Will New Zealand look to accelerate or are they happy to just bat time?
A good bumper from Stokes is well avoided by Santner. Stokes then hits him on the thigh pad as the Durham all rounder’s pace has started to increase. Maiden.
OVER 154: NZ 409/6 (Watling 128* Santner 37*)
Sam Curran is into the attack – double change. New Zealand now lead by 54 after a slow but sensible start to the morning from the home side.
First ball keeps a tad low from the left armer, the second is clipped away by Santer for one.
Watling plays and misses as the ball shapes away instead of coming back in. Well bowled.
Watling then flicks a ball from outside off stump to a diving Archer at mid-on who keeps it down to a single.
OVER 153: NZ 407/6 (Watling 127* Santner 36*)
And here is Ben Stokes. Can England’s star man make something happen? England desperately need it.
Full and straight to start, with a little shape in to the right handed Watling.
Stokes drops a little short and Watling cuts him away for four – shot of the morning (there wasn’t much competition, in fairness).
Four from the over.
OVER 152: NZ 403/6 (Watling 123* Santner 36*)
Stokes is getting loose but it is Archer to continue.
Archer is round the wicket to Santner- surely a few bouncers are coming?
He has been full in the first three balls of the over. And the fourth.
There it is! Santner ducks out of the way but the short ball made him think. Archer follows it up with a yorker which is just met on the full by Santner.
OVER 150: NZ 402/6 (Watling 123* Santner 35*)
All New Zealand’s eight runs have been streaky in this first 30 minutes or so as England have contained well.
Watling flaps at a short ball outside off stump but the ball is past him before the shot was completed. Archer was not impressed with that shot.
Maiden – the morning’s order is restored.
OVER 149: NZ 402/6 (Watling 123* Santner 35*)
Rory Burns will not field for England after an injury he sustained yesterday – Zak Crawley is on the field. Burns will still open the batting.
Santner continues to block the ball to the fielders before he gets a thin edge through to Stokes but it falls well, well short of the slip fielder.
Broad follows it up with a bouncer which is evaded unconvincingly. Santner chases a wide ball and edges through the vacant fourth slip area. The run of maidens is over. 400 up!
OVER 147: NZ 398/6 (Watling 123* Santner 31*)
Broad continues round the wicket to Santner. The dot balls continue to build as the England side have stuck to a disciplined line and length.
Broad draws a play and miss as a ball nips away from Santner from around the wicket. Well bowled.
Five maidens in a row! Box office stuff.
OVER 146: NZ 398/6 (Watling 123* Santner 31*)
The weather is splendid again, fine batting conditions as it has been throughout this match.
Watling hits a nice drive through extra-cover but it is fielded by Broad. 21 dot balls on the bounce.
Watling looks to take a quick single but is sent back – he gets back in time but maybe the lack of scoring is getting to the wicket keeper.
Four successive maidens.
OVER 143: NZ 398/6 (Watling 123* Santner 31*)
It will be Broad from the other end. Santner blocks the first three balls of the over solidly. Make that the first four.
The left hander looks composed this morning – he will be pleased that Archer is not going after him to start the day like he did last night.
Can England keep New Zealand’s lead under 100?
The home side currently lead by 41 with four wickets remaining. Early wickets and England are right in this match, but if New Zealand carry on like they batted yesterday then a draw may well be the best outcome Joe Root’s side can hope for.
As ever, the first hour is crucial.
England are still on a learning curve after day three
Head coach Chris Silverwood admitted England are still learning how to get the best out of Jofra Archer after a day of toil in the first Test against New Zealand at Mount Maunganui.
Expectation on Archer has risen significantly since his standout roles in the World Cup and Ashes, but he has been unable to consistently reach the speeds in the last couple of days that saw him become a breakout star for England.
There was a brief, sharp burst as he topped 94.4mph on day three against the Black Caps but he remains wicketless so far in his first overseas Test and only his fifth in total.
New Zealand only lost two wickets all day as BJ Watling’s patient 119 not out ushered them to 394 for six and a first-innings lead of 41 on a slow surface where Archer’s pace and aggression was expected to make a difference.
Silverwood said: “He’s still very young in his Test career. At the same time, Jofra’s learning about himself and the game of Test cricket and equally Joe (Root) is learning to captain him as well.
“From a holistic point of view we’re growing together, really. It’s a learning curve for us. How do we take 20 wickets abroad? This is part of the process and we’re building from it.”
Archer was overlooked at the start of play as well as with the new ball, with Root preferring left-armer Sam Curran and veteran seamer Stuart Broad on both occasions.
Late in the day, Archer was awarded an lbw verdict when Watling was on 113 but a review highlighted a faint inside edge on Hot Spot, reprieving the New Zealand wicketkeeper as he batted all day.
Silverwood added: “Jofra creates problems. He was unlucky not to get an lbw, there was a faint tickle on that one. He’s learning ways to operate when he’s out there and the one thing we know he has is a ferocious bouncer.
“There’s a very simple theory behind the new ball and that was we wanted to give Sam the best chance of swinging it. We’ve seen when he’s swung it, in this game as well, that he’s been dangerous. Nothing more to it than that.”
Watling was reprieved on 31 when Ben Stokes dropped a slip catch off Root, while Rory Burns was unable to cling on to a more difficult chance as Colin De Grandhomme had a let-off on 62 during a 119-run stand with Watling.
Burns spent the remainder of the day off the field because of a small split on his right thumb although De Grandhomme added only three runs to his score after Dom Sibley pulled off a wonderful low catch at gully.
Silverwood added: “You’ve probably seen on a morning that we are doing a lot of catching so we know that we’ve got to try to get better and we’re trying very hard to do that. I think the more we practice, the better we’ll get.”
As for their day in the dirt, Silverwood was characteristically upbeat, as he said: “The thing I enjoyed is that we gave time for the plans for work.
“I thought we showed a great attitude and put a lot of effort into it. It’s been a good hard-fought day of Test cricket.”
Watling showed customary tenacity after his drop to reach three figures off 251 balls and revealed afterwards he knows his limits, adding his innings was motivated by a desire to avoid returning to field.
He said: “I know I didn’t want to field (on Saturday) so that was driving me.
“I just think I’m very limited and I try to play how I know works best for me. I take a few shots away that some of the big boys do and I definitely can’t.
“I try to stick to a game-plan and hopefully it pays off.”