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Stuart Broad puts England on brink of beating New Zealand in first Test

Broad puts England on brink of beating New Zealand in first Test
© Reuters
Stuart Broad produces an inspired spell of bowling under the lights at Mount Maunganui to put England on the brink of beating New Zealand in the first Test.

England have moved to the brink of defeating New Zealand in the first Test after an inspired spell of bowling under the lights from Stuart Broad.

Resuming on 79-2, holding a lead of 98, another batting onslaught was expected from the tourists as they bid to etch another aggressive performance in the history books.

That transpired as they compiled 374 at more than five runs per over, but it was Broad who stole the headlines during the closing session to leave New Zealand on 63-5, still requiring another 331 runs for victory.

In comparison to the first innings, no England batsmen stood out in their second effort, yet five six players all scored between 31 and 57.

Joe Root (57), Harry Brook (54) and Ben Foakes (51) posted half-centuries, with Ollie Pope (49) falling one short during the morning session.

At 237-6, England were aware that they required Ben Stokes and Ollie Robinson to perform lower down the order, and they obliged with knocks of 31 and 39 respectively.

Stokes hit two sixes during his innings, shots which saw him topple England coach and former New Zealand wicket-keeper Brendon McCullum for the most maximums hit in Test cricket.

With a target of 393 set for New Zealand and another opportunity to bowl in favourable conditions, England had set up the perfect chance to make inroads into the hosts' batting order before the close.

Nevertheless, Broad's barrage of wickets was still superb, the veteran taking a wicket in three successive overs, all of which were bowled, and a fourth dismissal of that method soon followed to reduce New Zealand to 28-5.

Broad's ruthless spell ensured that he and James Anderson became the most successful bowling partnership in Test history, replacing Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath.

To their credit, the Black Caps recovered to 63-5 before the close, helped by Michael Bracewell counter-attacking with 25 from 33, yet England are in full control as they bid to end their time at Mount Maunganui with a series lead.

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Harry Brook in action for England in July 2022.
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