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New Zealand fight back with Southee strikes

England ends Day Two on 180 for 6, leading by 25 runs after Southee induces late collapse

New Zealand fight back with Southee strikes - Cricket News
Tim Southee celebrates after dismissing Matt Prior.
Tim Southee bowled New Zealand back into contention in the first Test against England with a dramatic burst late on the third day at Lord’s on Saturday (May 18). At stumps, England was 180 for 6 in its second innings – a lead of 205 runs.  

England had reached 159 for 2 and looked good for a substantial total when Southee wrested back the initiative with three wickets for four runs in 17 balls.   In all, England lost four wickets in the final session to throw the first of this two-Test series wide open, although the lead was almost as much as NewZealand’s meagre 207 in the first innings.  

Jonathan Trott (56) and Joe Root (71) shared a third-wicket stand of 123 before Root’s exit sparked England’s slump. They had steadied the ship after Alastair Cook, caught in the slips off Trent Boult, and Nick Compton, bowled by Neil Wagner, had both fallen with the total on 36.  

Shortly after tea, Root was nearly run out when he dabbed the ball to the offside and set off for a single. Trott, however, wasn’t interested and Root, from halfway down the pitch, had to scramble back. A direct hit by Brendon McCullum would have had Root run out but the diving Root did enough as BJ Watling, the wicketkeeper, tried to make the best of a bad return with a despairing effort of his own.  

Watling injured his knee in the process and was replaced behind the stumps by McCullum, who had given up keeping in Tests because of knee and back problems.  

Root, in only his fifth Test and first in England, punched Wagner through the covers for four to complete a 78-ball fifty featuring six boundaries, but fell when he inside-edged Southee on to his stumps.  

Jonny Bairstow, top-scorer in England’s first innings with 41, was then yorked off his foot by Southee for five. Matt Prior completed a pair when he pulled Southee straight to square leg before Trott’s painstaking innings ended when he was bowled by Kane Williamson.  

Southee ended the day with figures of 3 for 34 in 14 overs. Steven Finn and Bell were unbeaten on six and zero respectively at stumps.   Before lunch, England dismissed New Zealand for 207 in reply to its first innings 232.  

James Anderson, who on Friday had become only the fourth England bowler to take 300 Test wickets, finished with 5 for 47 in 24 overs. It was Anderson’s 13th five-wicket haul in an 81-Test career that started at Lord’s a decade ago.  

He was well supported by Steven Finn, who returned figures of 4 for 63.  

Kane Williamson, dropped on 23 by Prior off Anderson on Friday and 44 not out overnight, marked his first Test in England with a 158-ball fifty featuring five fours. However, there was no second reprieve for Williamson when he glanced Anderson down the legside to Prior for 60.

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