New Zealand after the Day & Night Test in Mount Maunganui needed to show some fighting spirit against England in the series. They made a huge comeback like India in Kolkata Test and snatched victory from England’s grasp. New Zealand looked down and out in the first innings of the Wellington Test. They had been asked to follow-on and needed their batsmen to scrape through tough England bowling. Kane Williamson came good for New Zealand when it mattered.
After openers Tom Latham (83), Devon Conway (61) wiped out most of the England lead. New Zealand needed their senior most batsman to come good and to be back in form. Daryl Mitchell (54) and Tom Blundell (90) assisted him to take New Zealand to a considerable lead. Kane Williamson scored 132 (282) with top shots like only he can pull off. James Anderson, Stuart Broad (1/79), Ollie Robinson (1/84) did not prove to be very effective.
Jack Leach (5/157) toiled hard while Harry Brook (1/25) found a lucky breakthrough. Joe Root (1/39) also managed to pick up a wicket. New Zealand scored 483 in 162.3 overs, in the second innings. England with a target of 257 to win, started their innings on 4th day and ended it on 48/1 by losing Zak Crawley (24). New Zealand on 5th day morning found quick wickets by dismissing Ben Duckett (33), Ollie Robinson (2), Ollie Pope (14) quickly.
Harry Brook got run-out without facing a ball and England got reduced to 80/5. Senior batsman Joe Root and captain Ben Stokes came together to put on 121 runs partnership. Ben Stokes (33) fell to Neil Wagner and he immediately got rid of Joe Root (95) giving New Zealand, a chance. Stuart Broad (11) couldn’t resist short-ball stuff and fell to Mark Henry (2/75). Neil Wagner kept utilizing short-ball tactics which Ben Foakes (35) negated well, until he fell for a top edge to New Zealand Captain, Tim Southee (3/45).
But he brought England so close that they needed only 7 runs to win. James Anderson found a boundary but then Neil Wagner (4/62) got him nicking down the leg side. New Zealand pulled off a stunning victory against England by 1 run. Kane Williamson got the Player of the Match for his effort. After India in 2001, Kolkata Test against Australia, New Zealand has become the next team to win post following on. Harry Brook for his 329 runs and 1 wicket got Player of the Series award. New Zealand kept their Home Series record in tact. They did not lose a Test series at Home from 2017 and this is their 11th consecutive series.
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