Brilliant Broad puts England on course for victory over New Zealand
Stuart Broad’s devastating late burst put England on course for victory over New Zealand on day three of the first Test in Mount Maunganui.
Bowling with the pink ball under lights in one of his trademark destructive spells, Broad took four of the five wickets to fall, all bowled, to leave New Zealand in tatters on 63-5 in their chase of 394.
Broad’s first wicket, that of Devon Conway, was the 1,002nd he and James Anderson have taken in Tests together, making them the most successful bowling partnership in the history of the game.
England’s late dominance was in contrast to the fluctuations of earlier in the day, when the tourists had to come through a see-saw battle to get to 374 all out.
Joe Root made a busy 57, Harry Brook a thrilling 54 off 41 balls and Ollie Pope accelerated to 49 off 46, but England still needed an important 51 from Ben Foakes when the game hung in the balance.
Not only did England set New Zealand a target that would be their highest ever to win a Test, they were also able to bowl for two hours with the pink ball as darkness fell.
Broad took full advantage, his 4-21 in a 10-over spell setting England on the way to what would be a 10th win in 11 Tests.
England on course after day of memorable moments
England have perhaps not always been at their best in this match but are set for a big victory after a thrilling, fluctuating day at a sun-kissed Bay Oval.
A breathless first session had the visitors pile on 158 runs for the loss of four wickets, during which time the treatment dished out to New Zealand pace bowler Neil Wagner left him with figures of 13-0-110-2, narrowly missing out on the indignity of having the worst economy rate ever in a Test innings.
In the afternoon, England captain Ben Stokes pulled his record-breaking 108th six in Test cricket, beating the mark of coach Brendon McCullum. From the next ball, Stokes’ 109th six was carried on to the boundary by the hapless Wagner.
But the day belonged to Broad, who marked his return after missing the series win in Pakistan with a golden spell that took his partnership with Anderson past Australia greats Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne as the most successful bowling duo in Test cricket.
Among the records and memorable moments, it was the contribution of the composed Foakes that earlier swung the game in England’s favour. With the lower order chipping in, the tourists were able to add 137 vital runs after the fall of the sixth wicket.
Despite the good pitch, the target looked a tall order for New Zealand, especially considering the night-time start to their innings.
Broad ensured the chase was over as soon as it began, much to the delight of the singing England fans amassed on Mount Maunganui’s picturesque grass bank. (BBC Sport)