Rain gives England hope after first innings fiasco

ANI | Updated: Mar 24, 2018 16:31 IST

Auckland [New Zealand], Mar. 24 (ANI): Only 17 balls were bowled on the third day of the opening Test of the two-match series between England and New Zealand, here at the Eden Park on Saturday, taking the Black Caps to 233 for four.

Steady rain and a damp outfield forced the umpires to call off play at 6.45 pm (local time).

The New Zealand team scored four runs in those 2.5 overs, stretching their substantial first-innings lead to 175.

Henry Nicholls (52*), who raised his sixth Test half-century and BJ Watling (18*) will take charge of the New Zealand innings on Sunday.

Earlier on Friday, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson smashed a record-breaking 18th Test century, moving past the New Zealand centuries record, which was jointly held by Martin Crowe and Ross Taylor.

After being asked to bat first on Thursday, the England batsmen were humiliated and ripped to shreds by New Zealand as they collapsed to 27-9 before being eventually dismissed for 58 runs in their first innings.

Boult made the most of the pink ball for New Zealand, as he finished with the brilliant figures of six for 32 to dismantle the Joe Root-led side's top order.

His partner Tim Southee well supported him as he took care of the remaining batting line-up by bagging four wickets.

Five England batsmen were dismissed for duck as the visiting side recorded their sixth-worst total in the longest format of the game.

New Zealand will resume Day 4 with a lead of 175 runs and 6 wickets in hand. (ANI)