New Zealand lead England by 223 at lunch on 4th day

PTI | Leeds | Updated: 26-06-2022 18:57 IST | Created: 26-06-2022 18:57 IST
New Zealand lead England by 223 at lunch on 4th day

England were frustrated by the familiar pairing of Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell as New Zealand fought back hard on the fourth morning of the third test at Headingley on Sunday.

The tourists added 86 runs without loss, stretching their lead to 223 at lunch.

Mitchell and Blundell have been constant irritants to England over the course of the series, sharing big stands of 195 and 236 at Lord's and Trent Bridge, respectively, and the pair once again combined to shut down the home attack.

A sequence of four wickets in a rousing evening session on day three had put England firmly in control of the match, but they drew a blank over the course of two difficult hours the following day.

Mitchell, continuing to ride a run of career-best form, was 44 not out in a score of 264 for five, turning in another impressive showing on the back of three centuries in the series to date, and in the process became the first touring player to score more than 500 runs in a test series of three matches or fewer in England.

Blundell, who has also proven himself a player of skill and determination at No. 7, was 45 not out at the break.

England's seam attack was unable to generate any real menace, with the ball soft and unresponsive and the pitch playing sedately, but spinner Jack Leach came close to a crucial breakthrough when he straightened one into Mitchell's front pad on 17.

Umpire Marais Erasmus raised his finger to confirm the lbw decision, but the verdict was overturned by DRS, with ball-tracking showing the ball easily clearing the top of the stumps. For England, that was as close as they came to a much-needed breakthrough.

England took the second new ball just before lunch, with Stuart Broad and Matthew Potts finding a little extra zip as they bowled an over each.

Whether they can use it to cause real damage at the start of the afternoon's play is likely to be critical to England's hopes of keeping their eventual chase in sight.

England had started the day with an unexpected personnel change when wicketkeeper Ben Foakes tested positive for COVID-19. He had alrerady been absent on day three due to a stiff back.

Sam Billings was summoned as an emergency replacement, earning a second test cap after his debut in the final match of the Ashes.

Billings, who will also be able to bat in the fourth innings, was England's second substitute of the series after Matt Parkinson stepped in for a concussed Leach at Lord's. AP BS BS

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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