New Zealand lead England by 137 runs going into day four of the third Test at Headingley though crucial wickets near the end of the day could ultimately prove crucial for the hosts (Match Betting – England 8/13, New Zealand 19/10, draw 15/2).
England started the day at the crease at 264-6, trailing by 65 runs, with Jonny Bairstow continuing to lead the way having had brilliant support from debutant Jamie Overton with the pair having shared a partnership of 209 on Friday.
Overton was the first man out, dismissed for 97 to fall agonisingly short of a century on debut, caught by Daryl Mitchell to give Trent Boult his fourth wicket of the match.
Bairstow eventually fell for 162 and was applauded off by everyone at Headingley – his second century in as many Test innings.
England were eventually all out for 360 to establish a first-innings lead of 31 runs, something which looked hugely unlikely at 55-6.
New Zealand looked more assured in their second innings with Tom Latham enjoying by far his best innings of the series.
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New Zealand had reached 125-1 after the early dismissal of Will Young (8) but a strong showing with the ball in a rain-interrupted final session saw England wrestle back control.
Latham made 76 before falling victim to Overton while Joe Root removed Devon Conway for 11 thanks to a sharp catch at short leg from Ollie Pope.
Captain Kane Williamson went for 48 thanks to Matt Potts, who dismissed the Black Caps captain for a third time during the Test series, before Jack Leach took a catch off his own bowling to dismiss Henry Nicholls for seven.
Daryl Mitchell (19/10 to score a 50) and Tom Blundell are together once again at the crease, seeing New Zealand through to an early close, thanks to rain, without further loss but at 168-5, leading by just 137 runs, there is plenty of work for the tourists to do.
Durham seamer Potts, who has impressed in his maiden England series, says he is enjoying life in an England shirt and revealed he and his team-mates looked to use the crowd to their advantage to try and rattle the tourists.
“I am really enjoying wearing the England shirt,” said the 23-year-old. “Every time I wear the cap I wear it with pride. I’m relishing every chance I get.
“The Western Terrace might had a few too many beers at the backend. They were very ramped up and we tried to use it to our advantage. You know as a batsman, when the crowd’s against you, it can be a hard place to be.”
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