England have put themselves in a winning position after day two of their second test in New Zealand, with three quick James Anderson wickets torpedoing the hosts’ chances.
The visitors resumed Saturday at 315-3 with Harry Brook and Joe Root at the crease, with Brook adding just two more runs to make 186 of 176 deliveries before being caught and bowled by Matt Henry.
Root, picking things up at 101 not-outs, made his way to 153 not-outs out of 224 deliveries. After crossing just 28 of his first 101 runs (seven fours), he went full throttle on Day 2, with 32 of his 52 runs coming from three fours and three sixes.
Fast New Zealander Neil Wagner got Ben Stokes to mistime a pull shot and praise an easy mid-off on 27, and spinner Michael Bracewell removed Ben Foakes (duck) and Stuart Broad (14).
Henry came back and took his fourth wicket, knocking out Ollie Robinson for 18, and with England at 435-8 they decided to declare and have a bowl in swinging conditions.
The decision paid off early, and Anderson started like a house on fire.
Anderson took the wicket from opener Devon Conway (Duck) in the first over, with a check that found the weakest edges down to foakes behind the stumps.
England’s all-time all-time wicket-taker then caught the edge of Black Caps talisman Kane Williamson (four), and Foakes had three catches by the ninth over after Anderson removed Will Young (two).
Anderson’s attack left New Zealand 21-3 – the same mark as England before Brooks and Roots’ heroic partnership – but there was little resistance in the flanks as Jack Leach took three wickets and Broad snatched one to make it 138-7.
For the second straight day, Stumps was called hours ahead of schedule due to heavy rain and the weather could be the hosts’ only chance of salvaging a result.
Brook second to Bradman
Although Brooks 186 mustered just two more runs after play resumed, he increased his nine-inning average to 89.88.
Among all players with at least five Test innings, Brooks averages only behind Sir Donald Bradman (99.94).
Anderson’s Bread and Butter
All three of Anderson’s early wickets were taken by the wicketkeeper – a familiar sight for the legendary Quick.
No player has ever recorded more layoffs using this method, with Anderson’s 191 now earning him 39 more than second-place Glenn McGrath.
Among the top five — McGrath, Broad, Courtney Walsh and Dale Steyn — Anderson’s percentage of wickets by is the highest (27.88 percent).