As New Zealand struggles, England retains control thanks to wickets from James Anderson and Jack Leach.

James Anderson and Jack Leach both took three wickets to help reduce the hosts to 138-7 in the second Test against England, putting England in in control. Rain again forced an early conclusion to the match.

Once England had accumulated another 120 runs to their overnight total, captain Ben Stokes waved them off. Anderson and Leach’s breakthroughs supported his audacious statement. Only two more runs were scored by Harry Brook before he was caught and bowled by Matt Henry for an outstanding 186, extending his quest for a first double hundred.

But Joe Root continued where he left off on day one, climbing to an undefeated 153. The former captain didn’t take long to break out the reverse scoop, blasting Tim Southee’s fourth ball over the slips for four, and he continued to smack three sixes as he added 52 runs from just 42 balls.

England waited until Root had flicked Henry away for four to bring up his 150 before electing to declare on 431-8. Stokes, Stuart Broad, and Ollie Robinson also made helpful cameos. Stokes made the audacious choice, which offered his seamers a brief 35-minute window at the top of the New Zealand order before lunch.

Anderson then produced two crucial breakthroughs right away, catching Devon Conway behind for a duck in the opening over and then pulling the same stunt again to dismiss Kane Williamson for four runs. Anderson took Will Young out for two substitutions after the break, leaving the hosts struggling at 21-3.

There was no massive partnership to bail them out of difficulty, unlike England who were in the exact same situation when Brook joined Root at the crease on day one. Leach then took centre stage after Anderson’s impressive start with the new ball as the left-arm spinner claimed three of his own wickets.

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