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Page last updated at 18:37 GMT, Saturday, 7 June 2008 19:37 UK

England on course to secure win

Third Test, Trent Bridge (day three, close)
England 364 v New Zealand 123 & 177-5

By Jamie Lillywhite

Brendon McCullum
McCullum's defiant innings ended in unfortunate fashion

New Zealand require a further 64 to make England bat again after closing day three of the final Test at Trent Bridge at 177-5 in their follow-on.

The morning was lost to drizzle but England took the final four Kiwi first innings wickets in less than an hour.

Stuart Broad struck twice in an over and James Anderson finished with 7-43.

After both openers fell before tea, Brendon McCullum (71) hit his 10th Test fifty, sharing 94 with Daniel Flynn who fell for 49 two overs before stumps.

The bowlers may have been a little flat second time around and New Zealand perhaps showed more aptitude, but England remain overwhelming favourites to complete a 2-0 series victory on Sunday.

They claimed the nine Kiwi wickets on day three without a morning session, as persistent drizzle and bad light frustrated a sizeable crowd and prompted an early lunch.

Ryan Sidebottom picked up the important wicket of Daniel Vettori, who edged to first slip, but struggled with his line and seemed somehow even more irritable than usual, subjecting the batsmen to some choice remarks that were mercifully not picked up by TV microphones.

Several runs were frittered away in wides and leg byes and only 42 were needed to save the follow-on with three wickets intact.

But captain Michael Vaughan turned to Broad and was quickly spared the complexities of timing a declaration as the final three wickets fell in six deliveries.

Where Sidebottom and Anderson had struggled to control swing, Broad found just the right amount, having Kyle Mills caught in the gully.

Two balls later he produced the perfect delivery so successful earlier in the innings for Anderson, sending the off pole spiralling out of the ground once again.

Anderson then had his radar working smoothly again to shape one away and catch the obdurate debutant Gareth Hopkins on the crease, securing a career-best haul.

James Anderson
Anderson wrapped up the first innings with his seventh wicket

There cannot have been too much discussion about enforcing the follow-on, and Vaughan's only decision was which two of his three seamers to begin with.

Ho opted to remain with Sidebottom and Anderson, still not quite at their deadliest, but it was Broad who nearly made the breakthrough with his first ball when he was introduced to bowl the seventh over.

Paul Collingwood leapt high to his right at second slip and pouched the chance, only for the ball to drop out of his right hand as he fell back to the turf.

Jamie How was temporarily reprieved but Aaron Redmond was not, as he edged a tempting delivery in Broad's next over.

The seamers were rotated regularly by Vaughan and it was the persevering Sidebottom who made the next breakthrough, scrambling the seam to take the swing off the ball and deceive How, who edged a wide one he thought may have swung in.

Alastair Cook held a safe catch at third slip and the possibility of a three day finish was genuine.

Observers were wondering whether on such an overcast day an extra half hour claimed when a match is near its conclusion could be added to the ample time already being made up for weather delays.

When Ross Taylor was lbw after tea some were thinking the extra time might not be needed.

Taylor chose to bat across his stumps to negate the swing, and while this worked for a time, when he missed one that angled in from Broad his number was up.

McCullum's approach was to bat well outside his crease, which not only helped to combat the swing but put the necessary doubt into some strong appeals for lbw.

CRICKET: DEBATE

There were occasional glimpses of his free-flowing style as three successive fours off Sidebottom brought up his 10th Test fifty.

Anderson, who removed four of Flynn's teeth with a fearsome short delivery at Old Trafford, returned to test his resolve him again.

He claimed a key breakthrough when McCullum's inside edge smashed the timbers.

Flynn, however, batted with admirable determination to move within sight of a gutsy maiden fifty.

But Sidebottom was also brought back, the 13th bowling change of the extended evening session, and he removed a dejected Flynn to greatly increase England's hopes of victory by an innings.

The light somehow held and play finally came to close at 1929 BST, the Kiwis living to fight another day, but as they will be all too well aware, there are two to go.


see also
Strauss ton inspires England win
26 May 08 |  Cricket
New Zealand in England in 2008
12 May 08 |  Cricket


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