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Millennium Post

Auckland Test: Kiwis have England firmly on ropes

Two crucial wickets to part-time spinner Kane Williamson put New Zealand firmly in charge of the final Test on Monday as England, facing a world record target of 481, slumped to 90 for four at stumps.

On a day that belonged to the Black Caps, with recalled batsman Peter Fulton blasting his second century of the match, England made a disastrous start to the daunting run chase on a turning Eden Park wicket. By the close of play they were batting for survival with any hope of an unlikely victory long gone, and even a draw looking improbable. In England’s second innings, Tim Southee first claimed Nick Compton for two and then dismissed Jonathan Trott followed for 37 to leave England reeling at 60 for two. Alastair Cook then set about consolidating the innings with Ian Bell as they put on 30 runs in 25 overs. But in the dying moments of the day, occasional tweaker Williamson claimed two wickets in four balls as Cook went for 43 and nightwatchman Steven Finn failed to score.
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