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Millennium Post

New Zealand's chase in tatters

New Zealand lost more than half their side against England on day four of the second Test match. The Kiwis were looming at 158/6 after 54.4 overs with Brendon McCulum (0*) and Tim Southee (4*) were at the crease. Ross Taylor scored a defiant 70 before falling leg before to Graeme Swann. Swann was instrumental in England’s bowling, picking up four wickets.

Set 468 to achieve an unprecedented win, New Zealand’s best hope was to survive to stumps and hope the rain forecasted to arrive in the evening washed out the last day, as it did the first.

England, already sure of winning the brief series, delayed its chances of sweeping the Kiwis after not enforcing the follow-on on Sunday afternoon by batting past lunch on Monday. When the declaration finally came, at 287-5, England was ahead by a seemingly unnecessary 468 with a nominal 61 overs to bowl out New Zealand before stumps.

Only twice have the Kiwis made a successful fourth-innings chase of 300 or more, and the highest was 324 against Pakistan at Christchurch in 1994. In New Zealand’s reply Peter Fulton was first down for 5, taken aback by a sharp riser from Stuart Broad and caught at gully by Ian Bell. Kane Williamson was lbw to Graeme Swann for 3, beaten by the turn and the TV umpire.

Losing Hamish Rutherford five minutes before tea was a major blow. He’d settled in for 42 off 51 balls before he edged a Swann delivery which rebounded off his pads to Joe Root at short leg. Earlier, England serenely extended its overnight lead from an already seemingly untouchable 296 to 400-plus as the top order got in more batting practice.

Captain Alastair Cook duly got his 25th test hundred and Jonathan Trott his 16th half century to keep up his test average.Cook was out for 130 runs.
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