26 Mar 2018

Black Caps claim 10th test win over England

10:12 pm on 26 March 2018

Recalled leg-spinner Todd Astle captured two wickets in the final session as New Zealand recorded an innings and 49-run victory over England, taking a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

Todd Astle of New Zealand celebrates the final wicket of James Anderson of England to win the match. New Zealand Blackcaps v England. 1st day/night test match. Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand. Day 5, Monday 26 March 2018. © Copyright Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung / www.photosport.nz

Photo: Photosport NZ

In the first day-night test in New Zealand, at Eden Park, Astle had been recalled to replace the injured Mitchell Santner and had Craig Overton trapped in front before he ended the test when Jimmy Anderson was caught by Trent Boult at mid-off to give New Zealand just their 10th test victory over England.

Paceman Neil Wagner's short-pitched tactics proved effective again as he dismissed both Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes, who had each scored defiant half-centuries and threatened to save the match for the visitors.

Wagner finished with 3-77, while Boult, who took 6-32 in the first innings, took 3-67. Astle finished with 3-39.

"It was a fantastic performance from us. If we go back to that first innings, we bowled great lengths and also got lucky to find the edges," New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said.

"They fought really hard but it was great we were able to fight the pressure and come through."

The Black Caps would have felt aggrieved if the match ended in a draw after they destroyed England in the first innings, bowling them out for a record low of 58 in under 90 minutes on the first day.

Persistent rain, however, washed out virtually two days of play, with England bowling just 23.1 overs on the second day, and 17 deliveries on the third.

On Monday, England began the day on 132-3, and their primary goal was to play for time rather than score runs.

While Dawid Malan fell early, Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali were involved in small but fruitful partnerships with Stokes as the visitors ate up time and ticked down the overs.

Stokes and Woakes then defied New Zealand's bowlers for the entire middle session with a patient, low-risk partnership of 83 in almost 31 overs.

The left-handed Stokes, however, chased a short Wagner delivery outside off stump in the final over before the dinner break and only succeeded in hitting the ball to Tim Southee at backward point to be out for 66.

His dismissal left England heading into the final session under lights at 300-7 and needing to survive another 31 overs, but when Astle struck early to dismiss Overton, the victory was in sight.

"We weren't good enough, simple as that really," England captain Joe Root said.

"It's very difficult to get back into the test match after such a poor start. I thought the character of the dressing room and the efforts today were fantastic."

The second match, a traditional red-ball day game, is at Hagley Oval in Christchurch from 30 March to 3 April.

- Reuters

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