England in world record chase

Published: Monday 1st June 2015 by The News Editor

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England came through the earliest exchanges unscathed in their bid to rewrite Test cricket history with a new all-time record run chase against New Zealand at Headingley.

The Kiwis eventually declared on 454 for eight, leaving England to try to make one run more than that in 171 scheduled overs, after BJ Watling’s 120 ensured they could set the agenda for the final two days of a two-match Investec series which the hosts lead 1-0.

Alastair Cook and Adam Lyth, who shared a 177-run opening stand in the first innings, had nine overs of batting to lunch – and there were no alarms on the way to 32 without loss.

Watling and Mark Craig (58no) began day four by taking their seventh-wicket stand to 53 on an increasingly cloudy morning before the innings linchpin fell to the second new ball.

Anderson’s second delivery with it bounced awkwardly from short of a length to find the edge, and Joe Root’s neat catch away to his right at third slip completed the dismissal.

Watling had by then, however, hit 15 fours from 163 balls to put all the pressure on England to protect their series advantage.

In keeping with the pace of match and series, New Zealand needed only 16 overs to add another 116 to their overnight 338 for six – Watling responsible for 20 of the first 30 after resuming on exactly 100.

Tim Southee and Craig continued the rush of boundaries to top 400.

One especially dismissive blow for six over long-on by Southee came in a Stuart Broad over which cost 20 runs and brought up the fifth half-century stand of the innings.

It also took the target into world record territory, and England retreated deep into run-saving mode with a ball less than 10 overs old.

Craig completed his 72-ball 50 and then, from number eight, took his match aggregate to 99 without being dismissed.

Southee fell short with another attempted big hit, caught at long-on off Moeen Ali, but number 10 Matt Henry clubbed his second and fourth deliveries from Broad over square-leg for six.

With a forecast suggesting some time at least will be lost to the weather, Brendon McCullum then duly decided the Kiwis had enough runs on the board and declared.

Just four overs were bowled after lunch before the players were brought off for rain, with England having added a further 12 runs to reach 44 without loss.

Half an hour later, the full covers were brought on with the rain persisting.

Published: Monday 1st June 2015 by The News Editor

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