It is guaranteed by England to have series victory as it dominated New Zealand on 3rd day of 2nd Test that took place at Headingley, though Nick Compton, the opener, failed once more.Black Caps were bowled out by the hosts for 174 during the 43 overs with the 1st-innings lead by 180 and Graeme Swann taking by 4-42, before Alastair Cook, the captain, to everyone’s surprise, chose not to have the follow-on enforced.
Then Cook struck an 88 not-out since England, which was all out at 354 in the 1st innings, arrived at 116-1 till the close and stretching the lead afterwards to 296.Though the fluency of skipper was at stark contrast with painstaking efforts by Compton, the opening partner, who then fell to Kane Williamson, the part-time spinner, for 45-ball 7 in order to give additional ammunition to the ones who called for Kane to drop for Ashes.
The last 6 Test innings of Compton at a glance:
- 13 and 2 vs NZ, Auckland, 3rd Test
- 16 and 15 vs NZ, Lord’s, 1st Test
- 1 and 7 vs NZ, Headingley, 2nd Test
Compton, the one to score 54 runs during the last 6 Test innings, was given another chance of finding the touch by the decision of Cook not to have the follow-on enforced in spite of New Zealand being 24 short from a target shortfall reduced from two hundred to 150 due to Friday’s washout.More rain on Tuesday is expected so Cook could be expected of asking tourists to again go for batting in order to boost the victory chances for his team but with hosts ahead by 1-0 already in this 2-match series, he went for the option which is safer.
Then Cook battled with freedom in order to reach the thirtieth Test 50 from 63 balls, having 4 fours in space of only 7 balls from Neil Wagner, the left-arm seamer.11 runs were added by Jonathan Trott , from as much as 69 balls.
In spite of one side strain rule out New Zealand bowler Trent Boult only after 2 overs, Compton looked tense while struggling to get ball off square.
After getting stuck on 7 runs for just twenty-two balls, he pushed ahead to Williamson, getting caught at the short leg.
Steve Davis, the umpire, granted a stay to Compton of execution as he failed to figure out some thick edge on the pad, though the decision was reviewed successfully by New Zealand and Compton had to traipse off while rubbing eyes with anguish.
Somerset batsman now would watch with anxiety on Monday to see whether Jonny Bairstow could produce any substantial innings again to add in his 1st-innings 64.
If Kevin Pietersen comes back healed from the injury in time for Ashes series that are starting on the 10th of July, either Bairstow or Compton would have to get away.
With start of day, England already had lost the 3 final wickets for addition of 17 runs only, with Boult finishing 5-wicket haul.
The momentum was carried on by New Zealand into the batting as the openers, Peter Fulton and Hamish Rutherford, put on the 50 partnership with 74 balls, laying foundations for decent total.
There were other ideas in Steven Finn’s mind. The Middlesex paceman took Fulton by surprise with a bit of steep bounce, claiming simple catch in return from the final leading edge. 2 more wickets then followed before and after lunch. Exploiting rough left from the foot-holes of batsman, Swann reprised the habit of having a wicket during 1st over as Dean Brownlie got bowled through gate.
In the second over of the off-spinner, 2 more wickets were taken. Martin Guptill and Williamson got out after the triumphant England review that left in tatters Kiwi innings on 82-6. The tailenders of New Zealand did give scorecard some respectability, as Tim Southee scored 19 and Neil Wagner 27. Boult hit Swann for 3 sixes in last-wicket stand at 52.