NZ vs ENG: Defiant New Zealand deny England early victory after hard-fought Day 3

England’s celebration of a series victory against the Kiwis will have to wait a bit longer after the home side put on a resilient effort on the third day of the second Test in Wellington. Led by a blistering half-century by skipper Tim Southee in the first innings, the Kiwi batters have been able to thwart the English bowlers after Ben Stokes enforced the follow-on.

The day started with New Zealand miles away from England’s first innings total with Tim Southee and Tom Blundell at the crease. The home side were under severe pressure from the English bowlers, but the Kiwi skipper took matters into his own hands, leading with a scintillating assault against the Englishmen.

Southee went on to register a blistering half-century off just 39 deliveries to shell-shock the tourists. The duo added 98 runs for the eighth wicket with the Kiwi skipper doing the bulk of the scoring. However, his departure after a blistering 73 off 49 deliveries meant that New Zealand’s innings folded for just 209 runs.

New Zealand openers stitch together a massive opening stand in the second innings

Ben Stokes enforced the follow-on with hopes of an early finish to the Test match. But the New Zealand batters showed much better application in their second innings as openers Devon Conway and Tom Latham stitched together a 149-run stand for the first wicket. The duo stood firm for the home side and were marching towards their respective centuries before the Tea break brought their demise.

Will Young was the next to depart as England wrestled back the momentum with three quick wickets. Former New Zealand Test skipper Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls have looked good at the crease and hold the key for the home side, who are still trailing to England’s massive first innings total.

For the first time in the series, the English pacers looked ineffective with not much movement on offer, and it was the spin bowling duo of Jack Leach and Joe Root, who looked the most threatening of the England bowlers.