England’s bowlers dragged their side back into the third and deciding Test against New Zealand as they reduced the hosts to 35-3 in their second innings at the close of play on the third day at Eden Park yesterday.
New Zealand had dismissed England for 204 after tea on the back of Trent Boult’s first five-wicket haul, but chose not to enforce the follow on after they held a lead of 239 runs after making 443 in their first innings.
Stuart Broad and James Anderson then ripped the top off New Zealand’s batting, reducing them to 8-3, before Peter Fulton (14) and Dean Brownlie (13) blunted the attack, settled the innings and increased the lead to 274 runs.
The first two Tests resulted in rain-effected draws and the hosts had been looking to score at least close to 200 in their second innings to give themselves a strong chance of their first series win over England since 1999.
However, Broad removed Hamish Rutherford for a third ball duck, Anderson forced Kane Williamson to chop on for one before Broad had Ross Taylor trapped in front for three to swing the match back on a more even keel.
Seven wickets actually fell in yesterday’s final session after the visitors had resumed after tea on 176 for six, before Boult had Broad caught for 16, Steven Finn for a duck and Anderson for four to give him career-best figures of six for 68.
Tim Southee bowled Joe Root for 45 to end the innings.
“It was a pretty cool feeling out there in the middle when I got the fifth one, so obviously to get six was pretty special,” Boult told reporters. “There is a little bit of swing out there which is pretty nice. Coming out here we knew that it was going to swing and we put the ball in the right areas for long enough and picked up the rewards.”
Matt Prior and Root had earlier combined for a 101-run partnership to rebuild England’s innings, but the wicketkeeper fell just before tea to hand the advantage back to New Zealand.