England four wickets away from another win – 2nd Test vs. New Zealand
New Zealand 174 and 6-158 (Ross Taylor 70, Hamish Rutherford 42, Graeme Swann 4-61) require another 310 runs to win vs. England 354 (Joe Root 104, Jonny Bairstow 64, Trent Boult 5-57) and 5-287 (Alastair Cook 130, Jonathan Trott 76, Kane Williamson 3-68)
Alastair Cook led his side from the front by smashing 25th Test ton and Graeme Swann once again bowled excellently vs. New Zealand who faces another defeat.
England hammered 354 runs in their first innings and declared the second at 5-287 after 76 overs. New Zealand managed 174 runs in their first innings and was in deep trouble after losing six wickets for 158 in the second while utilising 54.4 overs.
The fourth day of the match concluded on Monday, May 27, 2013, at Headingley, Leeds.
Earlier, England went into bat in the morning at 1-116 in 41 overs whereas their captain, Alastair Cook, and Jonathan Trott were unbeaten for 88 and 11 runs respectively. The beginning was a bit slow as they scored 20 runs until the end of the 47th over. Cook thrashed his 25th Test century on the first ball of the next over with a four as Trott hit 4 fours in the coming overs. The first carried on with his aggressive batting and Jonathan Trott dispatched his 16th Test fifty in the 60th over. The Black Caps got the first breakthrough when Alastair Cook was caught by Tim Southee at mid-off at the bowling of Kane Williamson for 130 from 190 balls with 18 fours.
Ian Bell was gone for just six runs and was replaced by Joe Root who hit 3 fours on the first 14 balls he faced. Jonathan Trott was caught behind by Brendon McCullum off Neil Wagner for 76 from 164 deliveries with 8 fours. Joe Root became the next Victim for 28 as the hosts lost their fifth wicket at 268 in 74.1 overs. Jonny Bairstow and Matt Prior secured their end with 26 and 4 runs as Alastair Cook declared the second innings at 5-287 in 76 overs after gaining an overall lead of 467 runs.
Kane Williamson was the highest wicket taker with three whereas Neil Wagner held two.
The Kiwis required 468 runs to win the game and their second innings was opened by Peter Fulton and Hamish Rutherford. They scored 20 runs in the initial seven overs as Fulton was caught by Bell off Stuart Broad for 5. Kane Williamson was declared leg before wicket off Graeme Swann for 3 as Ross Taylor joined in with Rutherford. The run rate picked up a bit when Hamish Rutherford became the third batsman who went back to the dressing room for 42 off 51 with 6 fours.
Dean Brownlie was the next batsman in as Taylor preferred to attack and was sending the ball out of the ropes regularly. The visitors went past the hundred runs mark in the 29th over and Ross Taylor attained his 19th Test half century in the 39th over. Brownlie kept on creeping at his end and the pair added 9 runs in the 42nd over with a couple of fours. Taylor was given caught behind at 60 and survived after he took a review instantly. Dean Brownlie was caught by Bell at gully off Steven Finn for 25 and Matin Guptill surrendered for just three runs.
The miseries for the Black Caps were multiplied when Ross Taylor was clean bowled by Graeme Swann for 70 off 121 balls with 9 fours. The visiting skipper, Brendon McCullum, and Tim Southee were struggling at 0 and 4 runs when the play was called off for the day as they reached 6-158 in 54.4 overs.
Graeme Swann got another haul of four wickets in the match whereas Stuart Broad and Steven Finn shared one wicket each.
England is in commanding position as New Zealand requires another 310 runs to win with just four wickets left. The tourists face a certain defeat in the second Test and they will look towards the clouds to save them from another humiliation.