The second Test between England and New Zealand is wide open at the end of day four after the Black Caps’ aggressive attempts to create a winning position backfired at times in their second innings at Trent Bridge.
New Zealand reached stumps on 7-224, with a lead of 238, after several batters gave away their wickets in a soft manner — including two sloppy run-outs.
The English lost their last five wickets for 23 runs to be dismissed for 539 before lunch and trail by 14 runs after the first innings. Joe Root’s brilliant innings ended on 176, the former captain one of Trent Boult’s five victims.
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Yet, they now have an improbable shot at the series-clinching victory in Nottingham, having won the first Test at Lord’s to start the three-match series. New Zealand made 553 batting first but, remarkably, might not win.
There have been only three successful run chases above 200 at Trent Bridge, the highest in 2004 when England’s 6-284 defeated New Zealand.
The onus was on New Zealand to win the Test, explaining its attacking mindset in the second innings that was exemplified by Michael Bracewell’s exhilarating 25 off 17 balls.
Will Young (56) and Devon Conway (52) made half-centuries and both will regret how they left.
Young was run out after a mix-up with Daryl Mitchell going for a single, and Conway top-edged a sweep to Jonny Bairstow coming in from square leg when his reverse-sweeping off-spinner Jack Leach had previously been so successful.
Tim Southee was the other batter run out after Mitchell turned and started to run blindly for a second, only to stop and leave Southee stranded.
“That is a terrible piece of running. Panic all over the place,” Mike Atherton said in commentary.
“Southee is the man that has to go but Mitchell at the non-striker’s end turned blind, didn’t look, set off, Southee responded and by the time he had looked up Mitchell, he realized there was no second run on.”
“New Zealand are imploding here,” Mark Butcher added.
The innings started with Tom Latham leaving a delivery from round the wicket from Jimmy Anderson that swung in and splattered the stumps, gifting the veteran paceman the 650th wicket of his Test career.
Mitchell was 32 not out and Matt Henry unbeaten on 8 at stumps.
Earlier, England added 66 runs to its overnight total of 5-473 as Boult, New Zealand’s left-arm fast bowler, claimed his 10th five-wicket haul in Test matches.
Root started aggressively, hitting a six from a reverse-scoop shot typically seen in white-ball cricket, before hammering Boult to Southee at short extra cover for 176. Root added 13 runs to his overnight score.
Mitchell took a diving one-handed catch at slip to remove Stuart Broad (9) off the spin bowling of Bracewell.
Ben Foakes was run out for 56 after a mix-up with new drummer Matthew Potts, who turned back after initially calling for a quick single.
Boult (5-106) completed his five-for by bowling Potts through the gate — half of his five-wicket hauls have come against England — and Anderson (9) was the last man out, stumped off Bracewell.
Playing his first Test, Bracewell had figures of 3-62.
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