England race through New Zealand after Ben Stokes opts for attack declaration

James Anderson and Jack Leach shared six wickets as England pushed themselves into a dominant position on the second day of their series that decided the second Test against New Zealand.

After another enterprising statement from Captain Ben Stokes, who pulled the plug on his side’s first innings with 435 for eight, the combination of seam and spin reduced the black caps to 137 for seven in Wellington.

Stoke’s eagerness to have two bites on the new ball, one on each side of lunch saw him wave his team in, with Joe Root in full swing at 153 not out, and it proved an inspired decision when Anderson took the gamble did well.

James Anderson was quick under the wickets (Andrew Cornaga/AP)

He knocked down key men Devon Conway and Kane Williamson in an awkward 35-minute period before the break and came back fresh to add Will Young early in the afternoon.

At 21 to 3, New Zealand had exactly the same score as England on the first morning. But where tourists Root and Harry Brook (186) owed a monster score of 302, New Zealand couldn’t stop the rot. As the pitch began to turn, Leach lashed out at Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls and Daryl Mitchell.

All three were close, with Ollie Pope making his mark with some excellent one-handers under the helmet. When Stuart Broad came into play with a catch and bowl, the hosts thanked the rain, which ended proceedings prematurely.

But it also meant more rest for England’s seafarers and with a commanding 297 lead on the bench, the aftermath could come into play if England decide to force the issue.

England came out full of determination to a sold-out crowd at the Basin Reserve, adding 120 runs for the price of five wickets. Root did most of the heavy lifting, resuming 101 overnight and adding another 52 balls from just 42, including three sixes.

The first of these came off his fourth ball of the morning when he rammed Tim Southee backwards over the ropes at the third man to make his intentions crystal clear. That shot put his fourth wicket tally in three-hundred territory with Brook, but the younger man was gone moments later. Matt Henry had a quick return chance, Brook drifted right back to the bowler.

That ended his hopes of beating father David’s family record of 210, set in the Airedale and Wharfedale League in 2001, but his status as a major force in Test cricket appears to have been cured after just six caps.

Stokes was next, contributing the kind of frantic cameo that has become his trade content as captain. He lasted 28 balls, made 27 runs, hit five limits and could easily have missed three times.

Ben Foakes was at a loss

Ben Foakes was at a loss (Andrew Cornaga/AP)

His end came when he tried to whip a difficult ball from Neil Wagner down the infield and hit it down the middle. Ben Foakes managed an even less graceful exit after falling face first while confronting Michael Bracewell’s away stops.

In the midst of all this, Root tied his run to 150 for the 14th time in Tests and started the end of the innings with a flourish for four. That left enough time for seven overs and two cheap wickets.

Anderson needed just four balls to deliver the goods, shaping one away from left-handed Conway and taking a thin edge that neither he nor wicketkeeper Foakes seemed to notice. But the slips were convinced there was a noise, and DRS confirmed their suspicion of a thin notch.

Williamson was next, blowing sluggishly on a delivery he should have left to bring his streak back from three tries to 10 runs.

After a 40-minute break, Anderson continued his excellent sequence work with the new ball, producing a pearl that clawed the edge of the impeccable Will Young as he flew back. New Zealand fought hard to avoid a total collapse, but now Leach has had enough of it to work with as he sets up camp at one end.

Latham, 35, was caught slipping after the third referee mulled over replays and realized the ball had hit his glove’s armband before slipping. Leach’s next two came with big assists from Pope, who lunged to grab Nicholl’s back swing by the short leg and then reacted even quicker to pluck Mitchell’s forward push at point-blank range at a stupid point.

Ollie Robinson bowled an outstanding but hapless streak of eight overs for six runs before Broad won the seventh, accepting an easy catch from Bracewell.

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