England takes a big lead, Cook fails yet again

Kristopher Nichols
April 2, 2018

England have lost 10 and drawn two of their last 12 away tests. For the second time, he has taken five wickets in an innings and made a half century.

Broad captured his 16th five wicket bag in Tests when he dismissed Ish Sodhi (1), giving Bairstow his fifth catch of the innings, and Trent Boult (16) to end the innings.

England's all-time record Test runscorer has mustered just 23 in his four innings in this series - a personal low.

Vince has been criticised for innings that are more style than substance, while before Sunday, Stoneman had reached fifty four times but failed to push on.

Vince's cover drives proved as aesthetically pleasing as ever, while Stoneman was strong square of the wicket as he registered his Test best score.

However, they fell in similar - and frustrating - fashion.

Dawid Malan departed for a golden duck in Boult's following over, trapped plumb LBW, before an awkward 111-ball vigil from opener Mark Stoneman (35) ended when he snicked Southee to second slip.

It took the second new ball for England to dismiss the duo, with Watling (85) sent back to the pavilion after a gem of a delivery from James Anderson (4-76) smashed the stumps.

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Southee added 40 in the morning session, to bring up his fourth-Test 50 from 48 deliveries before he was bowled by Anderson with a similar delivery to that which claimed Watling.

Neil Wagner (24 not out) and Boult (16) then rode their luck in a 39-run final-wicket stand.

That gives the tourists a lead of 231 runs with two full days to play leaving the Blackcaps in desperate need of wickets early doors.

"It's turned into a very nice batting track, there's a lot of wickets for us still to take. They played exceptionally well, but from our points of view, we held them well enough to still be ahead in this game". "I think they're vulnerable".

After a bruising winter, today ought to be a walk in Hagley Park for Joe Root. "He looked good in the first two or three Tests of the Ashes without scoring many runs".

"England's tactics got De Grandhomme and Watling in - at one point, De Grandhomme had only been in for two minutes and we had four men out on the leg side", said former England spinner Graeme Swann on Test Match Special.

"During those times you've got to trust yourself a bit and draw a bit of confidence from the fact that over 150 Test matches - and without wanting to sound arrogant - I've done it a few times and scored runs at the highest level".

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