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Live Commentary: England vs. New Zealand - Second Test - Day three - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of day three of the second Test between England and New Zealand at Headingley.

England started day three of the second Test 97 runs behind New Zealand, and got off to a alarming start by losing three quick wickets.

However a strong effort from the tail saw them draw level with New Zealand's first-innings total of 350.

By close of play, New Zealand had a lead of 338 runs, with four second-innings wickets in hand.

Two big partnerships came at the right time for the Black Caps, who made the most of England's tired bowlers, and a century from BJ Watling has left England with the prospect of needing a record-breaking run chase tomorrow.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's over-by-over live commentary below.

Good morning everyone. There has been some rain this morning at Headingley, as a result we are now due to start at 11:15. When play does start Jos Buttler (6) and Ian Bell (12) will be looking to push England past New Zealand's first innings total.

There are showers forecast for the morning, as a result it might be a frustrating morning for the players. However the forecast looks more optimistic for the afternoon sessions.

As a result of the delayed start Lunch is now scheduled for 13:15 and Tea will be at 15:55.

As we wait for play to start I've been reflecting on Cook's record. He is now thirteenth in the all-time list. At the age of 30, and with no one day cricket to distract him, how far can he move up the list? He needs a further 1983 runs to break into the top ten.

The players are on the field. We are about to start. It is very cold out there, some of the New Zealand players are using hand warmers!

The first over of the day sees England add 4 runs to their overnight total as Boult bowls a bit too straight and it runs off Buttler's pads for 4 leg byes.

WICKET!  WICKET! BELL (12) C CRAIG B SOUTHEE Facing his second ball of the morning and Ian Bell (12) has fallen. Southee gets the ball swinging and Bell prods it to the slips. Bell will be disappointed to lose his wicket so cheaply.

Moeen Ali comes to the crease and plays defensively to start off. Wicket maiden for Southee.

Boult is getting some real speed on the ball. A blistering bouncer goes for 4 byes. The next ball sees Buttler hit the ball into an area of his body no one wants to have it hit. A really good start by New Zealand's bowlers.

Moeen Ali gets his innings off to a start by grabbing a single. Buttler then adds 4 more runs by smashing the ball through the slips. England trail by 84 runs now.

A really good maiden over for Boult. It is really cold out there, many of the crowd are wrapped in blankets!



Oh Dear! England are having a nightmare start. A Southee outswinger to Buttler, which was similar to the first wicket that got Bell. Broad comes out to bat and gets a quick single. Ali then edges to the slips to be the third victim this morning to lose their wicket in the New Zealand slips.

England are still behind by 82 runs with Wood (0) and Broad (2) the men at the wicket. Another excellent over by Boult, although it's his teammate who is producing the headlines this morning.

Broad (9) hits a nicely timed shot for 4. The next ball he hits a nice jabbed shot and runs for 3. Can he put on a decent score to minimise the damage?

Drop! Broad gets fortunate as he hits an erratic shot that was dropped in the outfield, although it would have been a spectacular catch. The next ball Wood hits a lovely stroke for 4 runs. It seems the England batsmen are going for it. The ball then slips out of Boult's hand as he goes to deliver and the ball runs away to the boundary giving 5 extras. A warning, there is some rain in the air at Headingley.

A great straight bat shot by Wood sets the fielder running after it as Wood adds 3 more runs to England's total. They now trail by 61.

Excellent over for England. Wood hits a great shot off the hip that runs away for 4. He's batting really well here. His next shot is also similar but only goes for a single. Broad then absolutely smashes one to the leg side which bounces just short of the boundary for 4 runs. He then adds 3 more runs with a perfect straight bat shot. Wood ends the over with 2 more runs from a pull shot.

Wood (18) is playing some great stuff here. He takes the strike following a Broad (17) single and plays a grwat drive for 4 more runs. Just 42 behind New Zealand now.

I thought we might have seen a change of bowling here but Boult returns for his 30th over of this innings and he pays a cost as Broad returns the ball to Boult who can't get out of the way. That looked like it hurt. Technically it will have to go down as a drop but it was self-preservation from Boult. Broad then hits two more 4's. Which brings up the 50 partnership and drinks. The tail is certainly wagging here!


We do see a change of bowling now as the spinner Mark Craig replaces Southee. It pays off straight away as the spin catches out Wood gets a thin edge on a quicker ball and it's caught behind.

Southee returns at the other end. A single by Broad puts Anderson on strike who then flicks the ball away for a single to get off the mark himself. Broad and Anderson add a series of singles to take England just 26 from New Zealand's score.

Anderson hits a perfect drive for 4 runs. The next ball he hits a slog sweep to add another 4! 17 behind now. Can they reach partiy?

We see another change of bowling as Henry replaces Southee. His spell starts off with a wide and his second ball is short and Broad takes full advantage and it goes all the way for 6! Broad then adds two more. He then hits a wild shot and it runs down for a further 4 more runs! He's rapidly approaching his half century. How England have needed these valuable runs.

Maiden over as Anderson attempts a coupl of sweep shots but resorts to playing defensively to close the over. England are 4 behind. Anderson is also 4 runs off 1000 test runs!

Broad adds 3 more runs in that over and is able to hold onto the strike by getting a single on the last ball of the over.

Broad (44) adds another single against the spin and England are level!


A straight delivery by Henry and England are all out for 350. The scores are level going into the second innings. What an intriguing test match. Broad will be disappointed not to have got to his half century but the 44 runs he added have been pivotal for England.

A short break now as the teams swap round. The England bowlers will want to start the second innings in a similar manner to the first test.

The players are on the field. We're about to start the second New Zealand innings.

Anderson bowls to Tom Latham to start the innings. Latham leaves the first ball. He gets off the mark on the second ball with two runs followed by a single. Guptill then gets off the mark with 3 runs. Anderson failed to challenge the batsmen there.

Broad is steamed up following his work with the bat and his first ball hears cries of LBW but the umpire rightly rules it was missing the stumps. Solid maiden for Broad.

Close! Anderson bowls a beauty which just misses the edge. Another maiden. We'll have one more over before lunch.

LUNCH Just a single in the final over before lunch. New Zealand lead by 7 runs.

It was only the eighth time in test cricket history that the scores have been level after the first innings! The players are in the clubhouse and I will be back in around half an hour to see if England can make the break through.

Welcome back. The players will be back out soon. Here's a great shot of the ball that got Mark Wood out

New Zealand's wicket keeper Luke Ronchi catches out England's Mark Wood for 19 rus on the third day of the second cricket test match between England and New Zealand at Headingley in Leeds, northern England, on May 31, 2015© Getty Images

The players are taking to the field. Can Anderson and Broad do the damage or will New Zealand build a big lead?

Anderson is going to bowl to Guptill to start the afternoon session.

Close! Anderson finds the edge but the ball somehow finds the gap in the slips and runs away for 4. Anderson is then given an official warning for running on the wicket and it seems to be on his mind as the next ball is sloppy and Guptill puts it away for another 4. Anderson is visibly fuming at the end of the over.


Broad makes the breakthrough! Broad swings the ball into Latham who fails in attempting to cut the ball and hits it off the glove and into the hands of waiting Buttler. Williamson, on a pair, comes to the crease and tries to get off the mark straight away and Guptill is very close to being run out.

The wicket seems to have calmed Anderson down. He bowls a solid maiden over.

Enthusiastic shout for LBW from Broad, a bit high though to be worth a review. Just a couple of singles in that over. Pressure is starting to build on the two batsmen.

Effortless drive from Williamson which races away for 4. New Zealand have a lead of 22 now.


Broad does it again. This time a wide ball finds the edge after Williamson attempted to just push the ball and it carries to Buttler. Williamson will be disappointed as this was a ball he could have left. Taylor comes in and first ball he hits a lovely strike for 4 runs.

Guptill opens the over by guiding the ball for 4 runs down to the third man area. Next ball is a further four runs, this time leg byes. Guptill then moves off the strike with a single. Taylor adds a couple more before edging a ball to the slips and the ball is high and goes through Ballance's hands and runs out for 4. If Taylor goes on to get a big score that will go down as a big missed opportunity.

Guptill is starting to be aggressive now. He hammers the first ball of the over for four. He then adds another couple before edging another which goes for 3 runs. Taylor then caps a good over for New Zealand with a nice drive for another boundary. That is 32 in just 14 balls for this pair so far.

We have a change of bowling as Wood replaces Anderson. It almost pays off as England think they have their man caught behind but the umpire says no. England review but it was a very good on field decision as it hit his back leg. England has one review remaining.

It's still Broad at the other end. His first ball of the over is slightly wide and is smashed square for 4 by Guptill. Next ball Guptill also punishes in meticulous fashion for 3 more runs. Taylor then adds a further 4 runs to take the score to 71.

The New Zealand batsmen are starting to bed in. The partnership is up to 56 now.

A change of bowling and Stokes comes into the attack. His first ball is is smashed away by Taylor for 6! Not the best of starts for the New Zealand born bowler.

After a short drinks break Wood bowls to Taylor who adds another 6 runs in the over. The last 4 overs have gone for 36 runs. England need to do something here to stop the runs or they risk letting the game get away from them.

Guptill adds a single and Taylor returns to the attack. He attempts a huge slog which is straight out of the T20 handbook but it narrowly misses. Risky shot by Taylor.

England make a change to try and get the wicket. Moeen Ali comes into the attack for the first time and replaces Wood. His first over sees a series of singles.

It's still Stokes down the other end. Great straight drive from Taylor adds 4 more runs. Which one of Guptill (48) and Taylor (42) will get the half century first? They both look in top form.

The answer to the last question is Guptill who smashes the first ball of the over for 6 over mid-off. It's been a devastating half century after a shaky start.

As devastating as some of the shots have been New Zealand are picking up a lot of easy singles too. Four of them in that over. They are seemingly treating this as if it is a one day game. The run rate is 6.11 an over in this session.

A better over for Ali but there was still another three singles in that over. New Zealand have a lead of 120 now.

The partnership moves onto 99 which has included 29 singles! Rotating the strike like that makes it hard for a bowler to build pressure on a batsman.


The partnership is broken! England bring Wood back into the attack and it pays instant dividends as Taylor chips the ball to Stokes at extra-cover. A very important wicket for England. McCullum comes to the crease and swings wildly at a wide ball but it fails to find the edge. A really great wicket maiden by Wood!

Guptill adds a single which bring McCullum onto strike. After leaving one he smashes one to the boundary to get off the mark.

After a low scoring few overs Guptill is back smashing the ball. First ball of the over he plays one of the pads for 4. He got his second boundary of the over two balls later by powering the ball down to deep cover point.

Anderson is back as he replaces Stokes at the football end. McCullum guides the first ball away for a couple. The second ball is much better from Anderson and almost finds and edge. New Zealand add another two leg byes and move onto 137 for 3.


Mark Wood gets the big wicket of Guptill, a great delivery which is edged to Joe Root at third slip who makes a good catch. Good decision by the captain to bring Wood back in. Earlier in the over Stokes made an incredible diving stop to save 4 runs. This test keeps swinging one way and the other!

Tea: A good maiden over by Anderson takes us to tea. What a great session of cricket that was. McCullum needs a big captain's innings now. Can he temper his natural aggressive tendencies? Come back in 15 minutes to find out.

Welcome back. We still have 45 overs to fit in today so this will be a long session!

Will the New Zealand game plan change or will they still come out like it is a one day game? England will be reasonably happy with the situation at the moment. Things looked grim when Taylor and Guptill put on that partnership but England have fought back and are now in a great position. The next hour should shape how this game is going.

Great start by Wood who beats Watling with the first ball but is unlucky not to find the edge. Fourth ball of the over sees Watling pull of an excellent straight drive for four runs.

McCullum guides Anderson's first ball down to long leg for a single. Watling fails to add to the score in the rest of the over. A conservative start to the afternoon session. McCullum 9 off 22 and Watling has 6 off 13.

Second ball of the over sees McCullum knock the ball straight down the ground, only an excellent chase by Anderson save it going for four. Then the rain starts to fall! The players are going off...wait no, just as they start to put the covers on the rain stops and the play resumes. That didn't last long.

RAIN STOPS PLAY This time they do go off. Looks like it will only be a shower.


The rain break didn't last long. Anderson is still in the attack and McCullum hits a thick edge down to long leg for a single. McCullum is playing responsibly. Watling then hits a perfect shot for four.

Watling has settled in very nicely. He is hitting the ball really well now. He adds another couple of fours in this over.

This test is in a really interesting position now. New Zealand now have a lead of 176, after Watling gets another boundary in this over. If New Zealand can get to around 350 then it will make for a fascinating fourth innings run chase.

Change of bowling as Broad returns. Can he get England a valuable wicket, as he's done so many times in the past? He gets off to a good start restricting New Zealand to just a single off the over. England really need wickets at this point.

Just to update you on the weather situation, the sun is beaming over Headingley now. It seems the shower was just that. McCullum guides the ball off the pads for a single and bring Watling back into the attack. Watling seems to be playing really well and is picking his shots. Just one off the over.

New Zealand are starting rotate the strike again with a series of quick singles to start the over. This partnership has quietly moved onto 40 and is starting to look dangerous.

Moeen Ali comes in for Anderson at the Football Stand End. More quick scoring for New Zealand. McCullum had to really scramble to get a single, a direct hit and he may have been in trouble.

New Zealand are being restricted to singles with another three in that over. Tight bowling by Broad but all the singles add up.

Cries of LBW as Watling tries a sweep, looked to be well outside the line though. A very optimistic appeal. Ali then bowls a really wide ball which is put away for two.

Close! Brilliant ball by Broad narrowly misses the edge of McCullum's bat. The partnership moves onto 50, then 51 runs. England need to displace one of them.

Ali is finding some spin out there. New Zealand add another 3 runs however.

England make another change in an attempt to get a breakthrough, Stokes comes into the attack. He bowls a maiden over. Still 30 overs to go today.

After a quick drinks break Ali resumes the bowling. Another economical over as McCullam adds just a single. He's scored just one 4 in his 27 runs. Sensible batting from the captain.

McCullum adds a solitary single again in this over. The run rate has really slowed down.

Moeen Ali continuines and there's a big shout for LBW. England might have reviewed that, it looked straight. Next ball Ali gets hit for a big 6! McCullum advances and smashes it straight down the field. Next ball McCullum goes for a sweep but misses it but there's 4 leg byes. Is McCullum starting to play more aggressive? New Zealand have a lead of 209 now.

England are starting to leak runs again. Stokes has a sloppy over and Watling punishes him.

Watling sweeps a straight ball by Ali for four and that brings up his 50 off 79 balls. Impressive performance so far.

REVIEW Cook really needs something here and he's turned to Joe Root. First ball there's a big shout for LBW on McCullum, the umpire says no but Cook has reviewed it.

This looks out. But wait, hot spot shows that it's flicked his glove. McCullum has got lucky there. Root has been the partnership breaker for England recently and he thought he'd done it again. However New Zealand get a single off the over.

Moeen Ali continues for his tenth over of the innings. McCullum hits it away to the boundary for four. After a single Watling gets a faint glove but Buttler couldn't take it. Has to go down as a drop. Next ball Watling smashes for 6. Lead of 235 now.

Root gets a second over and New Zealand just move the ball around for some cheap runs. England really need to find a wicket and break this partnership.

England persist with the spinner Ali and he fails to make the breakthrough and the 100 partnership comes up. While this hasn't been as explosive as the Taylor & Guptill partnership this has been a thoroughly professional display by McCullum (37) and Watling (60).

Root bowls to McCullum who chips one up in the air and it goes just wide enough of Wood. Will go down as a half a chance for England. McCullum then brings up his half century.

Still England stay with spin. The tactic seems to be to hope McCullum has a rush of blood and makes a mistake. However it doesn't happen this over.

Mark Wood replaces Root at the Kirkstall Lane End. The crowd are really flat, New Zealand seem to be in complete control here. Economical over with just a single on the last ball.

Moeen Ali carries on and bowls another economical over. It's going to take something special to displace these two.

You can tell McCullum is getting agitated. He's had to adjust his game for this innings. A solid over by Wood.

New Zealand get their first boundary in some time. Watling goes to sweep and it hits the back of the bat and goes for four. When your luck is in... Run rate is 4.35 for the innings. Impressive.



Wood hits McCullum's pads and there's a big shout for LBW and it's been given! McCullum considers it and decides to review the decision. The replay shows it was high, but it goes down as an umpire's call and the decision on the field stands. England get their man. Ronchi comes out and fails to get off the mark. Wicket maiden for Wood.

Stokes replaces Ali at the Football Stand End. After a couple of looseners Watling pulls one for four. Watling then gets a single as the sweeper chases the ball down and he moves onto 75. Ronchi back on strike and he hits it away for four runs and there's some poor fielding from Ali. Ronchi is off the mark.

Watling makes a single off the first ball and Ronchi is on strike. He knows this is his chance in the test side and he's going to enjoy it. After picking up a couple he edges one which flies past the slip and runs away for four. He ends the over with another couple. He's on 12 off 9 balls.

New Zealand are approaching a lead of 300. The history isn't looking good for England. There has only been one successful run chase of 300+ at Headingley since the 1950's.

Watling flashes the ball past Root at Gully for four runs. Watling has been very impressive for his 82.

New Zealand's BJ Watling bats on the third day of the second cricket test match between England and New Zealand at Headingley in Leeds, northern England, on May 31, 2015© Getty Images

Ronchi hooks a short ball from Stokes for six! He's picking up from his first innings form. He then flicks one down to third man for four more. He's put on a quick 29 runs. The lead now passes 300. Not looking good for England.

England bring Root back into the attack. Cook seems to have run out of ideas. Watling sweeps one for four. We've now passed 400 runs in the day. Good value for money for the spectators. There are a scheduled eight overs remaining today.


Anderson returns for his last spell of the day. His first ball to Ronchi is a beauty and the batsman is lucky not to deflect it onto his own wicket. Watling has no such trouble with the next delivery as he hits a wide ball four. Watling then picks up a single and Ronchi is back on strike. Anderson delivers a ball just outside off stump and Ronchi stabs at it and Buttler catches the edged ball. The next ball is really close to bowling Craig for a golden duck, Anderson can't believe it. Great delivery!

I thought we might see Broad come in here but Root gets another over. Craig gets off the mark with a lovely drive past mid-off for four runs. He then adds a further three as Cook chases the ball down to stop the boundary.

Anderson looks fired up. There's a big of a shout for LBW from the slips but it was always going down leg side, Anderson knew. Maiden over.

Here comes a weary looking Stuart Broad for a final three over spell. Can he get the prized wicket of Watling? Not if Watling has anything to say about it. He times it perfectly and smashes Broad's first ball for four before picking up a single. He moves onto 97 runs.

Anderson gets one to explode up and Watling gloves it. Not a good sign for England if the pitch is starting to do things like that. Gary Ballance puts the helmet on and goes to short let. Doesn't pay off this time. Just one from the over.

Watling picks up a single and moves onto 99. He'll have to wait at least an over though as Craig picks up a couple and stodgily sees the over out at the other end.

Watling gets his century. He pulls it down to long leg for a single. What a superb knock, is it a match winning innings? For hsi century he's hit 13 fours and 1 six off 137 balls.

CLOSE OF PLAY Broad is too tired to complete his spell and Moeen Ali comes back in for the final over. It's been a long day for the bowlers. Craig hits the second ball for four and then defends the other four balls. And that is stumps! New Zealand end the third day with a lead of 338 runs.

Thanks for joining us for a fine day of test cricket. There have been spells when both teams have been in the ascendency but New Zealand will be the happier side at the end of the day. Join us tomorrow for the fourth day. Goodbye.

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A triumphant Alastair Cook smiles to the crowd after reaching 150 on the fourth day of the First Test between England and New Zealand on May 24, 2015
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Wednesday's key events

· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (3.15am-6.10am)

· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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