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New Zealand in control after Watling century

Visitors end third day of Headingley Test 338 ahead with four second-innings wickets in hand

New Zealand in control after Watling century - Cricket News
BJ Watling of New Zealand plays a shot
A superb batting performance from New Zealand helped it wrest control of the second Test against England at Headingley on Sunday (May 31) as it ended the third day with four second-innings wickets still in hand and an imposing lead of 338.
The day started at the same frenetic pace that has characterised this series, with New Zealand striking in the second over as Ian Bell played loosely outside his off stump and only succeeded in edging Tim Southee to Mark Craig at second slip, unable to add to his overnight score of 12 and adding another low score to his slightly alarming bad run.
Southee and his slip cordon proved to be a potent combination for the tourists on a cold and cloudy morning, as Jos Buttler and, three balls later, Moeen Ali, were unable to resist the temptation outside their off stump, edging to Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill respectively.
With only two wickets remaining and the deficit 83, England looked in trouble, quite a turnaround from 177 for no loss.
However, just as New Zealand had in its first innings, England’s tail decided to wag, Stuart Broad finally finding a bit of form with the bat and combining excellently with Mark Wood to bat England back towards parity.
Broad and Wood put on 51 for the ninth wicket, their half-century stand coming off just 43 balls, the lively partnership broken only when Brendon McCullum turned to spin in an attempt to stem the flow of runs and Wood edged Craig through to Luke Ronchi behind the stumps.
England, though, was not finished,as James Anderson – approaching 1000 Test runs – and Broad added a further 32 for the final wicket, drawing level with New Zealand’s first-innings score of 350 before Matt Henry bowled Broad for 46 to end the innings.
With the match effectively now a one-innings contest, New Zealand’s second innings started almost as poorly as its first, the combination of Broad and Buttler seeing off both Tom Latham and Kane Williamson to reduce the tourists to 23 for 2.
However, that was about as good as it got for England for the rest of the day, as Taylor made the most of being dropped on 6 by Gary Ballance to counter-attack strongly with Martin Guptill. The two, unafraid to play their shots, put on 99 for the third wicket before a lapse in concentration from Taylor had him slapping a drive straight to extra cover to give Wood his first wicket of the innings.
When Wood struck again four overs later, enticing Guptill into edging to Joe Root at third slip, England might have seen a way back into the game. However, McCullum, after a scratchy start, played with uncustomary reticence as he and BJ Watling set about batting New Zealand into a winning position. The two put on 121, batting sensibly in a frustrating period of play for England.
Eventually, though, England did make a breakthrough, Wood bringing one back into the pads of McCullum and, although the New Zealand captain reviewed the lbw decision, Hawkeye showed it to just be clipping the bails and the decision stood.
If New Zealand was fazed by the loss of its skipper, it didn’t show it, simply replacing one swashbuckling wicketkeeper with another, as debutant Luke Ronchi came to the middle and picked up where he had left off in the first innings.
Ronchi and the immovable Watling added another 53 for the sixth wicket, taking New Zealand’s lead past 300, until the return of Anderson into the attack saw Ronchi off, the edge going through to Buttler behind the stumps.
The day, though, belonged to New Zealand and it had more to celebrate before the close as Watling reached three figures, bringing up his potentially match-winning hundred from 135 balls, and New Zealand finished in a very commanding position.

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