In a display of solid grit and courage, New Zealand’s lower batting order held the fort for almost last 60 overs on the last day of the second Test at Christchurch to ensure a series win for the home team. The drawn Test gives New Zealand a series win against England after 19 years with a scoreline of 1-0. The English Team has not won an away Test in their 13 attempts.
Day five of the second Test began with New Zealand needing runs to win with all 10 wickets in hand. The target in terms of runs quickly became unrealistic. They lost their opener Jeet Raval and their captain Kane Williamson on the first two balls of the day with Stuart Broad returning to his best. Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls got out in the first session to leave New Zealand to fight out a draw.
The doughty wicketkeeper then joined the other opener, Tom Latham to stitch a partnership that lasted for 20 overs. Watling was snapped up by Mark Wood. The same bowler dislodged the anchor opener, Tom Latham who had batted for almost five hours to defy England.
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) April 3, 2018
The belief of a draw instilled when Colin De Grandhomme and Ish Sodhi started batting resolutely. England got through Grandhomme when Mark Wood bounced him out. With Tim Southee out injured, it all came down to Ish Sodhi and Neil Wagner to ensure New Zealand’s safety.
The path was not easy. England sensing blood surrounded the batsmen with hordes of close-in fielders. Joe Root himself took a ‘Silly Short Leg’ position where he was sitting on his knees in front of the batsman. The ball flying all around the park cleverly avoiding waiting hands of English fielders.
— ICC (@ICC) April 3, 2018
The fading light forced Joe Root to bowl with Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, himself and Ben Stokes with a shorter run-up. New Zealand’s bowling pair kept the English bowlers at bay and kept swimming unharmed. It was on what turned out to be the last ball of the day, Joe Root dismissed Neil Wagner first lbw which was later overturned on review to be given out caught.
The dismissal and review process eeked out enough time for the Umpires to call off play thus New Zealand earning a well-fought draw and deserving series win. The English came closest to what would have been their first away win since October 2016. The final hour of day five again showed what Test cricket is all about.