Despite centuries to Joe Root and Rory Burns, England expressed disappointment at stumps on day 3 of the second Test against New Zealand after losing late wickets in Hamilton yesterday.
England captain Root ended his run drought with an unbeaten 114, while Burns rode his luck to 101.
However, after they took England to 201-2, the tourists were 269-5 at stumps and still trailing New Zealand by 106.
“I enjoyed the fact I got it , but at the same time disappointed me and Rooty couldn’t stretch our partnership and get us deeper into the game,” Burn said. “We’re disappointed to lose a couple of wickets at the back end as well.”
With only five wickets remaining and 16 overs washed out by rain in the final session, England’s vision of building a healthy lead was rapidly fading. The tempo swung away from England when Burns was run out, and New Zealand followed up with the quick wickets of Ben Stokes and Zak Crawley.
“The run out got us going,” said paceman Tim Southee, who accounted for Stokes.
New Zealand never gave up hope, despite the 63 overs it took to break the Root-Burns partnership, he said.
“We hung in there for long enough and we were able to get those rewards late in the day for all the toil we put in, Southee said. “If things aren’t happening, you keep on trying.”
With Root and Burns putting on 177 for the third wicket, England found the “bat-long” partnership they had been searching for in their attempt to follow the same recipe New Zealand used to win the first Test.
However, following the dismissal of Burns, Stokes was gone for 26, while Crawley made 1 on debut. Root was under added pressure to not only guide England to a position of strength, but also to end his own run dearth amid suggestions the pressure of captaincy was affecting his form.
To that end, he was in no mood to take risks as he faced 258 deliveries in six hours to reach 99, before his century came on a surprise mistiming that saw an inside edge fly past the wicketkeeper to the boundary.
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