SECOND TEST, Wellington, day five (close):
England 342 & 293 bt New Zealand 198 & 311 by 126 runs
England beat New Zealand by 126 runs in the second Test to level the series.
Ryan Sidebottom had Daniel Vettori caught at third slip and trapped Kyle Mills lbw early on the final day but Brendon McCullum (85) played freely.
Mark Gillespie stuck around to frustrate the tourists and help McCullum take the score past 300.
But James Anderson returned to have Gillespie caught behind and Sidebottom, who finished with 5-105, caught McCullum off Monty Panesar to seal the win.
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2315: Well, there we are then. An improved performance - it could hardly have been worse after Hamilton - from England and we head to Napier all square. I'll be honest, I'll be stunned if the Kiwis allow the groundsmen to produce another seam-friendly wicket there but, hey, what do I know? You guys, as always, have been legends keeping us all amused. A certain Benjamin Dirs will be talking you through the first three days of that Test, so tune in then. Seeya!
"Far from the perfect performance from England but they got the win, they deserved the win, and that's what matters at this stage. The winner-takes-all match in Napier might just prove to be a bit of a classic."Vic Marks on TMS
ENGLAND WIN BY 126 RUNS AND LEVEL SERIES 1-1
2301 - WICKET! McCullum c Sidebottom b Panesar 85, NZ 311 all out
Panesar wraps it up! McCullum, fully aware that with the bunny of all bunnies at the other end in Martin that time was running out for him to complete a century, tries to tonk the spinner down the ground but holes out to Ryan Sidebottom running in from long-on. That's the first wicket for a spinner in this match and England complete a 126-run win. Who's round is it?
2259 - WICKET! Gillespie c Ambrose b Anderson 9, NZ 311-9
Dropped! McCullum edges a sharp one from James Anderson high above Andrews Strauss' head at first slip, but the Middlesex man can only parry it away for a couple of runs. Anderson then does Gillespie up like a kipper but misses the edge by a hair's breadth. Jimmy A is making the ball talk... and Gillespie's gone! Another sweety from Anderson and it's the thinnest of edges behind. Bosh. Done. Martin to follow shortly, trust me...
2254 - NZ 308-8 Panesar does indeed switch ends, McCullum takes a single first ball, but Gillespie negotiates the rest of the over comfortably. Hhmm...
2251 - NZ 307-8 Boycott gets his wish and Jimmy A comes on, with Panesar likely to switch ends. It's a lovely over without reward for Anderson, the Lancashire paceman beating Gillespie's bat four times. As Boycott says, two or three of those were beauties - "wasted on a tailender, though".
"Jimmy Anderson has to bowl now. To hell with his ankle. There's no point getting his ankle strapped up and ready for the next Test match, he needs to bowl in this one, today. This match needs winning, now."Geoff Boycott on TMS
"To Stuart from Oakham (below): yes, you are the only one."
Paul L via email
Erm, I don't think he is Paul...
2247 - NZ 307-8 McCullum is starting to give it some welly now, and he slams Sidebottom through point for a crashing four. He then brings up the Kiwis' 300 with a nudge to the offside and Gillespie pinches three with a harmless shove to the leg side that Panesar fails to really deal with effectively. McCullum then edges one through gully for a flukey four and that means the hosts need just 131 more to win...
2242 - NZ 295-8 Monty P is thrown the ball, McCullum licks his lips, and everyone holds their breath. No fireworks just yet, though, although only a superb diving stop on the square boundary by Stuart Broad prevents Mucca grabbing a four. Three off the over.
2238 - NZ 292-8 Might be time to give Sid a break as well as it happens, Gillespie punching a wider one through the covers for four and not really being caused very many problems otherwise. Dum de dum...
"'Mummy-daddy button'? 'A tonk on the pull'? Ooohh, I'm blushing."
Carol, Portugal via email
2231 - NZ 288-8 Broad continues and the Kiwis pinch a few runs with the nudge and nurdle approach, before McCullum kabooms one for a huge six on the pull last delivery. Time for Jimmy A, I reckon...
"Am I the only one with this horrible, horrible nagging feeling that NZ might turn us over?"
Stuart, Oakham via email
"Denied a certain boundary, there, and very nearly denied Mark Gillespie a family in the future..."Mike Selvey on TMS
2226 - NZ 279-8 Oof! McCullum kerplunks a fuller Sidebottom delivery for what looks a certain four until it smashes into Gillespie's, erm, mummy-daddy button at the non-striker's end and he is denied a run. That had to hurt. Gillespie turns down the opportunity to have it treated by the Kiwi physio - perhaps he's not his type. McCullum ends the over with a tonk on the pull for a marvellous four.
"Seems like we have an increasing cast for a Harry Potter film between these two teams:
Stuart Broad - Malfoy, Ian Bell & Paul Collingwodd - the Weasley twins, Daniel Vettori - Harry Potter. Do you think Ryan Sidebottom would pass for a decent Hermione??"
Pete, Arlington, Texas via email
2221 - NZ 274-8 McCullum spanks one down the ground, but only gets single as the Montster mops it up on the boundary, before Gillespie - wahey! - gets his first Test run with a nudge into the covers. The Kiwis now need only 164 runs!
2218 - NZ 272-8 Gillespie must wait for his first run in Test cricket having faced four more Sidey deliveries. McCullum was tucked up for the first couple of balls - would've thought he'd be giving it some biffo at this stage, but not as yet...
2213 - NZ 271-8 McCullum still appears happy to take the singles and he gets Gillespie on strike with a nudge to the covers. Broad pings some short stuff at the batsman - for whom a run would mark his highest score in Test cricket - but the number 10 sees off the barrage. Just.
2207 - WICKET! Mills lbw Sidebottom 13, NZ 270-8
Despite what Vic Marks might have said, Kyle Mills looks anything but a bunny at the moment, tonking Sidey down the ground all along the floor for a cracking boundary. And just as I type that, Sidebottom swings another one into Mills's pads plumb in front and Rudi Koertzen has little hesitation in raising the finger. That's Sid's five-for to continue his uber-impressive form this series.
"Ryan Sidebottom just needs to adjust his line - he's bowling beautifully but he needs to aim a little more towards first slip to really bring the edge into play."Mike Selvey on TMS
2202 - NZ 264-7 McCullum continues to swing free, so to speak, to Broad but the Notts seamer ties him up for most of the over until the wicket-keeper batsman times the monkey out of the final delivery, clipping it off his pads for four.
"I have to say, I think Stuart Broad's hair has came on leaps and bounds."
Robert A via email
"So are Hoggy and Harmison on the next flight home? Reckon Broady and Anderson have done enough to keep there places for the final Test - as long as they stay away from that football!!"
Simon D via text
2158 - NZ 259-7 Ryan Sidebottom continues to move the ball back into Kyle Mills and has two big lbw appeals turned down. The first looked to have pitched outside but the second looked a lot closer, possibly hitting the top of leg. Mills then grabs three with an angled push through the slips.
"Please convey to the team that they can't take any more wickets until after 10 o'clock when my wife will have finished watching gavin & stacey and i can watch the match!"
Jez via email
"Do you think you can just have a word and ask them to just win, regardless of time?"
Paul, 18, via email
Paul and Jez - guess what, I'll have a word.
"It is impossible to state just how impressive Broad has been in this match if you ask me."Jonathan Agnew on TMS
2153 - NZ 256-7
That's how to deal with McCullum - the Kiwi insists on batting out of his crease, still, so Broad whistles a couple of brilliant bouncers just past his nose. Lovely stuff. McCullum is clearly unsettled but he bottom-edges a flukey four down to third man to bring up his 50 off 80 balls.
2149 - NZ 252-7 Vic Marks may not rate Kyle Mills very highly with the bat, but he latches onto a fuller one from Sidebottom and crashes a four through the covers. Sid slams one into his back pad next ball and launches into a twin-armed appeal, only for Rudi Koertzen to rule the ball was probably going over. He was probably right.
"Do you think they can wrap it up before 10.00, have to go to bed now and would like an easy sleep."
Matt, 13 via email
I'll have a word Matt, leave it with me.
"I'm all set for a night of poker whilst listening to the cricket - any chance of England letting New Zealand hang in for a few hours so I can continue to enjoy your excellent coverage?"
Tom, Leaminton Spa via email
I'll have a word Tom, leave it with me.
2145 - NZ 247-7 McCullum is happy take an early single and Kyle Mills survives the rest of another accurate Broady over - although the Notts seamer again beats the bat twice. He's been on the money this morning but has had no luck at all.
"Sidebottom's wicket late last night and this one this morning have put England on the brink. Frankly, Kyle Mills, Mark Gillespie and Chris Martin are walking wickets and I'll be stunned if this lasts for very much longer at all."Vic Marks on TMS
"Clearly the disappearance of Vettori's beard didn't help. A victory for hirsuteness in cricket."
Keith Flett via email
2138 - WICKET! Vettori c Cook b Sidebottom 0, NZ 246-7
Sidebottom will share the first few overs and he, too, beats the bat - Daniel Vettori this time with a couple of airy-fairy wafts outside off - but only twice and the third time he finally makes contact, only to edge it straight to Alastair Cook at third slip. Well held by the youngster and we're looking at an early finish now, surely. By the way, that's Sid's 15th wicket of the series, excellent work.
"Perhaps Peter (2125) is really Petra?"
Chrissy, north Notts via email
2134 - NZ 246-6 Great start from Broad, beating McCullum's bat with two of his first three deliveries, the ball seaming off a length and almost doing the wicket-keeper batsman up like a kipper. McCullum responds with a flamboyant leg-side flick behind square for four, which prompts Broad to rocket one into his ribs - ouch.
"Can I suggest a little picture icon next to the text when a chance is dropped? Either some hands and a ball next to them or just a picture of KP?"
Justin Armidale, Australia via email
2128: Stuart Broad to take the first over - massive vote of confidence for the youngster, that - and Vaughan has three slips, a gully, short cover and short mid-wicket... Here we go...
"Here come the batsmen - they're walking out accompanied by a camerman and his assistant, a pretty little blond girl carrying his wires."Jonathan Agnew on TMS
2125: The England players are out on the field, a few warm-ups from the bowlers done and dusted, and the customary huddle is wrapped up with the tourists looking in good spirits. Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vettori stroll onto the outfield under fabulous blue skies and we're minutes from the start.
"Question for Graeme Swann - chocolates hard or soft centre?. Boxer shorts or Y-fronts for batting? Any lucky pants?"
Peter, Wales via email
A strange obsession with Swanny's underwear there Peter, doncha think?
"Question for Graeme Swann: If he had a virtual reality machine which was able to put him in any place or situation (real or fictional), what would it be?"
James Batty via email
"Question for Graeme Swann: What is the most extraordinary place you've ever been with the England team and why?"
Chris Butt via email
2116: A few of you asking about the weather - well it's glorious sunshine at the moment and nowhere near as blustery as yesterday, which should not only help the pacemen but also Kevin Pietersen under those high catches (what a drop that was yesterday, huh?). The forecast suggests it will be dry and sunny all day so, with any luck, the weather should not dictate the outcome of this match.
2108: Ottis Gibson has just been interviewed on the outfield. The bowling coach is pretty happy with England's pace attack, but admits "there is room to grow and improve". We can only hope they hit their straps first thing this morning because, if you ask me, if Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vettori get going we might just have an almighty shock on our hands.
"Be ruthless Sam, just eat them both!!"
Pricey, Sheffield via email
Step back... we have a winner...
"Personally, I would throw one at a time into a corner and watch your colleagues fight over them. It's entertaining for you (and us, if you video it and put it on the internet)."
Simon, Cambridge via email
"Re: the chocolates! Why not use the Duckworth-Lewis Method? It's simply a question of asking: Who's the hungriest? Who ate last? How much did they eat? How fast did they eat? Was this above or below par?"
Mike, Worsley - essaying tonight! - via email
2100: As we continue to fight over the chocolates (I say fight, it's more a minor squabble and, frankly, I'm holding the bag so I couldn't care less...), I want to hear your thoughts on this Test so far. A shocking day in the field yesterday from the tourists, but then they are still massively in the box-seat as far as victory is concerned so can we complain that much?
Also, I'll be chatting to England all-rounder Graeme Swann in a couple of days' time and would welcome any suggested questions from you guys - the more irreverent the better. I can't guarantee I will use them all, sorry, but it might keep us all amused in the meantime anyway...
"You could always try rock, paper, scissors to solve your problem. Or you could give the choccies to the two who recite the alphabet backwards in the shortest time. Better still, you could give them to me!"
Aamir S via email
Right, I'll go first Aamir. Z, Y, erm, X, erm... ok, that's harder than it looks...
"Obviously you all take little nibbles and trust no-one to take a mighty chomp."
Richard via email
"Sam... none of you should have one! Chocolates are bad for you... have a bit of fruit instead!"
Phil, Chesterfield via email
Blimey Phil, kill-joy or what?
2050: Right, massive day ahead. If all goes to plan for England, they will wrap up the four wickets they need to level the three-match series early doors and spend the afternoon fishing. If not, New Zealand have an eye on breaking the world record run chase and taking an unassailable 2-0 series lead.
But, first things first; myself, Paresh and David have arrived to find the day crew have left just two chocolates for us. How do we decide who gets one?