NZ vs ENG: 2nd Test – Williamson, Taylor secure series victory with a draw

New Zealand’s best batting pair, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, secured a draw on the fifth day of the second Test match played at Seddon Park, Hamilton. Trailing by 101 runs going into the final day of the game, New Zealand needed to survive about 40 overs before rain intervened. The home side thus clinched 1-0 victory in the two-match series, however, this series is not a part of the World Test Championship.

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Missed opportunities

New Zealand began the last day on 96/2 in 34 overs. England needed to strike early and explore an opportunity of inducing a collapse. The Englishmen did create opportunities but failed to latch on them. The first mishap of the day came from temporary wicketkeeper Ollie Pope. He dropped a regulation leg-side take off Williamson’s gloves in fifth over of the day. Blackcaps captain made merry of the chance and kept pushing the scoreboard ahead.

Late in the day, Williamson offered a simple catch to Joe Denly at short midwicket as Jofra Archer delivered a well-disguised knuckleball. The whole English team was in utter disbelief as Denly spilt the simplest of chances.

Williamson, Taylor race to milestones

The senior-most batting pair of New Zealand remained steadfast at the crease. After batting out the first session without allowing any damage, Williamson completed his 21st Test century after the lunch break. With heavens likely to open up, Taylor smashed consecutive sixes off Joe Root to jump from 93 to 105. It appeared as if the rain was waiting for Taylor to score his 19th Test century. The downpour began two balls later and the play had to be called off.

Victory in the first Test at Mount Maunganui saw New Zealand clinching the mini-series 1-0. Joe Root earned the Player of the Match award for his double-century while fast bowler Neil Wagner won the Player of the Series award.

Brief scores:

New Zealand 375 (T Latham 105, D Mitchell 73, BJ Watling 55, S Broad 4-73) and 241 for 2 (K Williamson 104*, R Taylor 105*) drew with England 476 (J Root 226, R Burns 101, O Pope 75, N Wagner 5-124)

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