On this day in 2013: Matt Prior’s sensational century defies New Zealand to secure a draw

Test cricket is the most challenging format in international cricket given it requires a lot of patience and grind from the batsman. Particularly in the fourth innings, if a player scores a century, then it gets a lot of praise. On this day i.e. 26 March back in 2013, Matt Prior played one of the most memorable knocks in English cricket history. This was the third Test of England tour of New Zealand played in Eden Park, Auckland. English captain Alastair Cook won the toss and decided to field first in this game.

In the first innings, Kiwi opener Peter Fulton slammed a brilliant century scoring 136 runs off 346 balls. He hit 15 fours and 3 sixes in his innings. Kane Williamson who came to bat at number 3 scored 91 runs off 199 balls with the help of 15 fours. New Zealand posted 443 runs in 152.3 overs in their first innings. For England, Steven Finn had a tremendous performance with the balls picking up 6 wickets for 125 runs in 37.3 overs.

In response to this total, England got bundled out for 204 runs conceding a lead of 239 runs. Wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior was the top scorer for England with 73 runs coming off his bat in 130 balls. In the second innings, Peter Fulton again slammed a century hitting 110 runs off 165 balls. The Blackcaps side declared after scoring 241/6 and set a target of 481 runs for the visitors.

At the end of day 4, England had lost 4 wickets for just 90 runs and a possible loss was on the cards for them. However, Matt Prior and Ian Bell ensured the defeat was avoided on the last day. Prior scored 110 runs off 182 balls which included 20 fours. Senior batsman Ian Bell stayed on the crease for 271 balls and made 75 runs during his innings. England managed a draw at the last with a score of 315/9 in the second innings.