Millennium Post

New Zealand implode after skittling England

New Zealand imploded at the start of their second innings as they set out to build on a daunting 239-run first innings lead on the third day of the final Test against England on Sunday.

At stumps at Eden Park in the series-deciding final Test, New Zealand were three for 35, leading by 274 after dismissing England for 204. Opener Peter Fulton, who scored his maiden Test century in the first innings, was unbeaten on 14 which included three boundaries, with Dean Brownlie on 13.

In a chaotic final session of play, eight wickets fell for 39 runs as the England tail collapsed and the New Zealand top order followed suit, increasing the chances of a decision in the deadlocked series. The rain-abbreviated first two Tests were drawn but only fine weather is forecast for Auckland over the next two days. New Zealand decided not to enforce the follow on after ripping out the England tail after tea as they gambled on bowling last on a deteriorating wicket. But the strategy appeared to backfire as Hamish Rutherford fell on the third ball he faced to start a collapse that reduced New Zealand to eight for three after eight overs before Fulton and Brownlie steered them through to stumps.

The New Zealand batting failure came after their strike bowlers Tim Southee and Trent Boult had ripped through the England tail, taking the last five wickets for 31 runs. The eight dismissals after tea occurred in the space of 18 overs as the wicket which supported the New Zealand batsmen to a first innings 443 began to show assistance for the bowlers. For New Zealand, left-armer Boult produced his best Test figures of six for 68 while Southee finished with three for 44.
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