Record-breaker Kane Williamson batted magnificently on Monday to guide New Zealand to 483 all out in their second innings and set England a target of 258 runs to win the second Test in Wellington. After being requested to continue, the home team fought back thanks to former captain Williamson’s 132-point performance and Tom Blundell’s 90-point performance as the final survivor. When opener Zak Crawley, who was on 24, was removed by Tim Southee of New Zealand with a ball that nipped back after stumps, England was 48-1 in their second innings.
Ben Duckett was still unbeaten at 23 and Nightwatchman Ollie Robinson was on one, allowing England to score 210 more runs on Tuesday’s last day for a 2-0 sweep.
Just four times in the history of Test cricket has a side come back from a deficit to win; New Zealand has to take nine wickets to draw the two-match series.
On Monday, the visitors were at 202-3 when they began their second innings with a 24-run disadvantage, but Williamson gave them a boost with his 26th test century.
Yet, it was batting icon Harry Brook, whose sporadic seam bowling led to the crucial removal of Williamson, who finished with 5-157 as an England spinner.
Before Williamson was finally caught down the leg side by wicketkeeper Ben Foakes off a nice edge, he and Blundell had a sixth-wicket partnership of 158 runs.
After putting New Zealand back into the game, Williamson hobbled off.
He earned his second standing ovation of the day after overtaking Ross Taylor in the morning session to become New Zealand’s most successful Test batsman with 7,787 runs.
Before enabling the hosts to bat again, England destroyed New Zealand for 209 as they were declaring their first innings at 435-8. Along with Blundell, they helped New Zealand bounce back. If New Zealand wins, they will join an exclusive group that includes only India, twice, and twice England.
Williamson gave his team a chance to win by teasing England with Blundell and gaining help with Henry Nicholls and Daryl Mitchell before lunch. Williamson just escaped being stumped while on 45.
Blundell hit Broad to the boundary once New Zealand had reached 400, and thenThis is his first after recording two tonnes against Pakistan in December 2022.As Williamson went, New Zealand quickly fell apart.
Ben Stokes sent a laser throw into the deep and Michael Bracewell stupidly failed to plant his bat as Foakes ripped off the bails. He should have returned home safely, but instead he was kept out for six.
In attempting a massive shot, Blundell edged Leach to Root at slip, and New Zealand lost its final four wickets for only five runs.