Close New Zealand 37 for 3 trail England 325 for 9 dec (Brook 89, Duckett 84) by 288 runs
Another day, another display of genre-busting Test cricket from England's incorrigible Bazballers.
Which aspect of this latest instalment most tickles your fancy? The idea that either or both of Ben Duckett and Harry Brook could, and maybe at least one of them should, have crushed Gilbert Jessop's 121-year-old, 76-ball, record for the fastest England hundred? Or what about the sight of Joe Root, England's modern great Test batter, being caught at slip while attempting a ramp shot on the first afternoon of a Test?
Or how about Ben Stokes' latest captaincy pièce de résistance - a first-innings declaration after a mere 58.2 overs, the second-quickest such gesture in Test history? England by that stage had romped along to a typically freestyle 325 for 9, at a rate of 5.77 an over, and with arguably only Ollie Pope the victim of anything that could conventionally be described as old-school bowling "pressure". When your minds are as free as lads on a golfing holiday, an attack featuring two nervy debutants holds few fears, notwithstanding the enduring class of Tim Southee and the indefatigable Neil Wagner.
Unlike the New Zealand bowlers, the England pacers bowled with a lot of discipline and reaped the rewards. Anderson and Broad reunited and were on the money but it was Ollie Robinson who provided the breakthrough as Latham was caught at short leg. Anderson, in his first over of his second spell, should have had Conway caught on 9 but Crawley put down a sitter at second slip. The veteran, unhindered, picked two wickets in his following two overs. He trapped Williamson lbw and then induced the outside edge of Nicholls with a beautiful delivery. Conway and nightwatchman Wagner ensured no further setbacks till the end of play but it's the visitors who are on top at the moment. Can the Kiwis make a comeback tomorrow? We'll find out. For now, it's goodbye....
'Bazzball' has arrived in New Zealand! Excellent performance from the visitors! Inserted to bat, they lost Crawley cheaply but his opening partner dominated the proceedings in the morning session. Ben Duckett struck 14 boundaries in the first session of the Test before missing out on a ton by 16 runs. New Zealand fought back in the second session by removing Pope and Root in quick succession but Harry Brook counterattacked and stitched a couple of fifty partnerships enroute to his fifth 50+ score in as many Tests. The Kiwis resorted to the short ball tactic in the final session and that worked as England lost a flurry of wickets under lights eyeing some quick runs. At 325/9, England declared their innings to have a crack with the new pink ball under lights.