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Last Updated: Monday, 24 May, 2004, 07:16 GMT 08:16 UK
England set for run-chase
First Test, Lord's, day four (stumps): New Zealand 386 & 336; England 441 & 8-0

S Harmison
England need 274 more runs on the final day to secure a victory in the first Test over New Zealand.

They bowled out New Zealand for 336 on Sunday despite a marathon century from Mark Richardson, with Steve Harmison taking a second four-wicket haul.

And in five overs of batting before stumps, Andrew Strauss and Marcus Trescothick got the hosts to 8-0.

The victory target would have been smaller if the final-wicket pair had not been allowed to add 26 vital runs.

As had happened on the first three days of the Test, Sunday's contest, played under sunny skies, was an intriguing battle of wills.

England's best bowler on the day, Simon Jones, had no luck at all, while Ashley Giles bowled virtually unchanged from the Nursery End and persevered to take three good wickets.

Mark Richardson
Richardson punches the air after finally reaching his Lord's century

Geraint Jones and Nasser Hussain ended up sharing seven catches, while 36-year-old Hussain also ran out the dangerous Jacob Oram with a direct hit.

It was the partnership between Richardson and Nathan Astle that gave a backbone to the second half of the New Zealand innings.

Astle hit 49 and his stand with the resolute Richardson was worth 84 for the sixth wicket.

England's first wicket of the day came when Brendon McCullum failed to convert his overnight 72 into his maiden Test century.

After sparring in ungainly fashion at Jones, who had the ball reversing in both directions, he finally edged the bowler to the other Jones standing behind the stumps when four runs away from three figures.

Almost immediately, Giles picked up the wickets of Scott Styris and Craig McMillan, with Hussain reacting well at silly point.

After Oram was sent back to the pavilion, Richardson buckled down to reach the century that had eluded him in the first innings by just seven runs.

The emotion of finally reaching the landmark drained him, however, and he soon edged a Harmison half-volley to the wicket-keeper.

Another flurry of wickets gave England heart. Astle and Daniel Vettori fell to a pumped-up Harmison, while Giles had Chris Cairns caught on the boundary.

Then, with the score 318-9, Jones spurned a chance to give himself a fifth catch - and Harmison a fifth wicket - as he dropped Daryl Tuffey.

Four runs were added before Simon Jones bowled Chris Martin with a no-ball. And only when Andrew Flintoff was brought on did he finally end Martin's resistance.

By then the duo had moved the score on by a further 14 precious runs and England's nerves were seriously frayed.


England: M E Trescothick (capt), A J Strauss, M A Butcher, N Hussain, G P Thorpe, A Flintoff, G O Jones, A F Giles, M J Hoggard, S P Jones, S J Harmison.

New Zealand: S P Fleming (capt), M H Richardson, N J Astle, C D McMillan, S B Styris, C L Cairns, B B McCullum, D L Vettori, J D P Oram, D R Tuffey, C S Martin.


WATCH AND LISTEN
England's Steve Harmison
"The mood in the dressing room is confident"


New Zealand's Mark Richardson
"I was choking back tears"




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