Black Caps close to victory

Published: Sunday 10th May 2015 by The News Editor

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New Zealand need four wickets on the final day to kick off their tour with a win after reducing Somerset to 142 for six in pursuit of a victory target of 344 at Taunton.

Only James Hildreth (62 not out) and young opener Tom Abell (43) managed to get into double figures for Somerset who, barring any help from the weather, look destined for another defeat having also lost all three of their County Championship matches so far.

Ben Wheeler, who took five wickets in Somerset’s first innings, started things off by trapping Johann Myburgh lbw for four, and it became 37 for two when Tom Cooper was bowled by Neil Wagner for nine.

Abell and Hildreth got the home side back on track with a third-wicket stand worth 67 but when the 21-year-old was caught by Luke Ronchi off spinner Mark Craig seven short of his half-century, the Somerset middle-order crumbled once again.

Craig also got rid of Jim Allenby for four before Doug Bracewell chipped in with the wickets of Alex Barrow (five) and Peter Trego (two) as Somerset lost four wickets for the addition of only 38 runs to the leave the New Zealanders in complete control.

Earlier, Mitchell Santner just missed out on hundred as the Black Caps turned their overnight 149 for three into 310 all out, and a lead of 343.

Santner, having started on 70, progressed to 94 when he was dismissed by Craig Overton.

Tim Groenewald, whose second-innings five for 65 left him with career-best match figures of nine for 136, and Allenby (three for 36) helped keep the New Zealanders in sight but BJ Watling (46) and number 10 Wheeler (33) still ensured the visitors set Somerset a difficult target – and one that looks set to be beyond the out-of-form county side.

Published: Sunday 10th May 2015 by The News Editor

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