Bad light has forced an early end to the day’s play on day four of the second cricket test between the Black Caps and England in Christchurch.
Set 382 for victory, New Zealand have finished the day on 42 without loss, with Tom Latham unbeaten on 25 and Jeet Raval on 17.
Black Caps batsman Henry Nicholls is remaining optimistic despite the shortening of play saying “There’s still a lot of cricket to be played on day five.”
England had pushed their overall lead out to 307 by lunch on the fourth day of the second test against New Zealand at Hagley Oval today.
They had resumed at 202 for two and at the break, were 278 for five.
They had two assertive batsmen at the crease in Ben Stokes on 12 and first innings centurymaker Jonny Bairstow on two.
There wasn’t much joy for New Zealand’s bowlers in the session, which had shaped as significant for the match.
England began the day 231 runs to the good with seven wickets standing and Joe Root and Dawid Malan had a comfortable ride early on. There were no alarms from the bowlers, the pitch continues to play well.
Root completed his 39th off 110 balls and Malan eventually got there with a fat edge to the third man fence, off 94 balls.
It appeared England were steadily shutting New Zealand out of the contest.
However things took an interesting turn in the half hour before lunch.
First Malan turned a catch to Henry Nicholls at mid wicket, giving Colin de Grandhomme his first wicket of the series, at 53, the standing having been worth 97 off 35 overs.
That dismissal ended a run of the first 23 wickets falling to just four bowlers – England’s Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson, and New Zealand’s Trent Boult and Tim Southee. That equalled a record dating back to Melbourne, 1902.
Then two balls later Root, on 54, departed. He drove at a wideish ball from left armer Neil Wagner which wicketkeeper BJ Watling snaffled with a good low catch to his right.
Southee was off the field for a time due to a viral complaint. New Zealand delayed taking the second new ball until the 89th over. De Grandhomme did a solid job, getting through nine overs taking one for 25.
Wagner had one for 49 off 22 overs.