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Gritty New Zealand tail secures draw and series win

04 April 2018

Stuart Broad picked up a couple of wickets to put England in the driver's seat against New Zealand on the final day.

The clouds only darkened from there, much to the frustration of the tourists, who still need 10 wickets to square the series 1-1.

Ish Sodhi produced a defensive masterclass, scoring 56 off 168 balls as New Zealand - who reached 256-8 - claimed a series win over England on home soil for the first time since 1983-84.

Mark Stoneman put down a tough chance at silly point before Sodhi had scored, and the batsman took full advantage of that reprieve as he and Colin de Grandhomme ate up nearly 26 overs in a stand of 57.

England fielders react during play on the final day of the second cricket test against New Zealand at Hagley Oval in Christchurch, New Zealand, Tuesday, April 3, 2018.

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The scenes at the close were reminiscent of England's own great escape at Auckland on the 2012-13 tour, when Matt Prior and Monty Panesar had repelled everything that New Zealand could throw at them.

They were limpet-like in the 11 overs possible in the final session, offering only one opening when James Vince at third slip spilled a tough chance from Latham off Anderson.

Jonny Bairstow, who was given not out on two when he feathered a ball to the wicketkeeper and New Zealand had no reviews left, was eventually out for 36 leaving Jack Leach not out 14 when the declaration came. The opener grafted 282 minutes over 83; Watling hung about nearly an hour and a half, and de Grandhomme 2h 17min until, just when he looked like carrying New Zealand to safety, played a daft hook to be caught at fine leg.

With his next ball, Broad gave Kane Williamson a sighter outside the off-stump but the New Zealand skipper chose to have a crack and the ball was edged to Jonny Bairstow behind the stumps. "Series wins have been few and far between for New Zealand Test sides so in terms of history it would be very special", he said.

It was the first golden duck for the New Zealand´s star batsman playing in his 65th Test.

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England were just four wickets from victory when the second new ball was taken before tea but they could only prise out one more until the last ball of the match when Wagner´s dismissal ended the rearguard pair´s resistance.

It was little wonder that New Zealand captain Kane Williamson would have liked to have had more Test cricket this season after series victories over West Indies and England in the four red-ball matches they were able to host.

But the Black Caps dug deep, not interested in chasing down the 382 needed for victory, frustrating England to beat the tourists in a series for the first time since 1999.

England did drop four catches in the course of the innings, so New Zealand had some help from that quarter.

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Gritty New Zealand tail secures draw and series win