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England in sight of 2-0 win

Graeme Swann’s 4 for 61 leave New Zealand 158 for 6, still needing 310 for victory

England in sight of 2-0 win
 - Cricket News
England's Alastair Cook celebrates reaching his century.
Graeme Swann bowled England to the brink of victory against New Zealand in the second and final Test at Headingley on Monday (May 27).  

Swann took 4 for 61 in 21.4 unchanged overs, extending his match haul to eight wickets, before bad light ended the fourth day with New Zealand 158 for 6, still needing a further 310 runs to reach its victory target of 468.  

The most any side has ever made in the fourth innings to win a Test is West Indies’ 418 for 7 against Australia in Antigua in 2002-03, and the corresponding record for New Zealand is the 325 for 4 it posted against Pakistan in Christchurch in 1993-94.  

It seemed only the rain on Tuesday's final day could now deny England victory and a 2-0 series win.  

In that case England might rue both Alastair Cook's decision not to enforce the follow-on on Sunday and bat on after lunch on Monday, in a match where the whole of Friday's first day was washed out without a ball bowled.  

For New Zealand, only Ross Taylor, with a stylish 70, offered much in the way of significant resistance before he was yorked by Swann to leave New Zealand 154 for 6.  

In the first innings of this match New Zealand collapsed to 174 all out — although this was an improvement on the 68 it managed in the second innings of the 170-run loss at Lord’s that left it 1-0 down in the two-Test series.  

Stuart Broad, who took a Test-best 7 for 44 at Lord's, removed Peter Fulton, the struggling opener, for five after he could only fend a rising delivery to Ian Bell at gully. New Zealand was then 21 for 1.  

Swann, who had taken four wickets in New Zealand's first innings, needed just nine balls to strike again on Monday when Kane Williamson was lbw for three. New Zealand reviewed the decision but with replays showing the ball would have clipped leg stump, Steve Davis's decision was upheld.  

Swann then grabbed his second wicket in three overs when Hamish Rutherford was caught off bat and pad by Joe Root at short leg. Rutherford's 42 had taken just 51 balls, including six fours, but New Zealand was 65 for 3 and in danger of suffering yet another top-order slump.  

Taylor, however, counter-attacked by cover-driving Swann for four. He came through reviews on 47 and 60, receiving solid support from Dean Brownlie in a fourth wicket stand of 79. But Brownlie was eventually dismissed for 25 when, swaying away from a Steve Finn bouncer, he gloved to Bell before Martin Guptill (three) edged Swann to Jonathan Trott at slip.  

Then 153 for 5 became 154 for 6 when Taylor, who batted for more than two-and-a-half hours, fell to Swann.  

The skies above Headingley -- which does not have floodlights -- were increasingly gloomy and the umpires eventually took the players off with 6.2 overs left in the day's play.  

Earlier, Cook scored 130, further extending his England record for Test centuries to 25, before declaring England’s second innings on 287 for 5 shortly after lunch.   Cook, 88 not out overnight, eventually got a leading edge to mid-off against Williamson, the part-time offspinner, after sharing a second-wicket stand of 134 with Trott, who made 76.

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