Sodhi stands firm as New Zealand hold on for series win

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Anyway, while we wait, here's Tom vd Gucht: "Bit of a boring cricket based thought I'm afraid, but whilst faffing around during Pointless earlier today, I had a cursory glance at Test debutants from the 00s and the last ten years and was struck by how few of the players selected since 2010 have kicked on to play integral roles in the test side in comparison to the previous decade".

They were consolidating back-to-form Stuart Broad's six for 54 as New Zealand were bowled out for 278 to give England sound prospects of a series-squaring first win of their otherwise conspicuously unsuccessful winter.

With Latham out, New Zealand's lower order was exposed and England apparently had plenty of time to push for the win.

Vince's third Test 50 arrived just before tea, with another cover-drive off the leg-spin of Ish Sodhi for his ninth boundary, and Stoneman reached the milestone in early evening - with a cut over the top of the slips for his sixth four. We let ourselves down in the first innings of the first Test, but apart from that we played some good cricket.

England made the ideal start to the final day when Stuart Broad claimed wickets with the first two deliveries but the tourists were unable to winkle out the final few batsmen as the fading light cast long shadows over Hagley Oval.

England flourished at the start of the day when they resumed at 202 for three, with Joe Root and Dawid Malan moving the score briskly to 262 before Colin de Grandhomme rallied New Zealand.

New Zealand's tail had looked a little longer in this Test without the injured Todd Astle, but in the first innings Tim Southee made an important half-century to narrow the deficit then Sodhi and Wagner defied England during the final session.

De Grandhomme and Ish Sodhi stabilised the innings and edged New Zealand ever closer to safety with a 57-run partnership before De Grandhomme was sent packing by Wood for 45.


"Fair play to New Zealand; they played very well".

If New Zealand draw or win the Test it will see them triumph in a series against England for only the fourth time in 36 attempts.

"The bowling attack has been brilliant", said New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.

"It was an awesome day of test cricket".

"Waggy was really good, he got me through the tough periods", said Sodhi.

Ross Taylor blocked to prevent a hat-trick for the England seamer but soon became spinner Jack Leach's first test victim with a reverse sweep straight to Alastair Cook at short backward square, the former skipper departing for 13.

Henry Nicholls couldn't add more than 13 to the total as the home side was left reeling at 91/4 in the first hour of the day.

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