Third Test: England 113 runs away from a series sweep against New Zealand Cricket News


Leeds (England): England are 113 away from completing the series whitewash against New Zealand after the hosts put themselves in commanding position with eight wickets in the final innings of the third Test on Sunday.
Oli Pope and chasing 296 for victory Joe Root The pair were at the crease on stumps after England finished the fourth day at 183-2 after working lightly for a competitive goal.
The pair promised to have an interesting final day, with Headingley hoping for a full home as they wanted to mimic the atmosphere of the Trent Bridge Test by offering free tickets.
England lost Alex Lees in the run-out after being confused in the fifth over when his opening partner Zac Crowley (25) was caught in the cover off. Michael BracewellBoth were involved in getting out with skipper Ken Williamson.
But Pope (81) and Root (55) kept the ship afloat with an unbeaten partnership of 132 as they spotted fast bowlers and targeted spinner Bracewell, who went for more than six runs per over.
New Zealand also lost two reviews in a row when the root pad was rapped. The former England skipper survived both occasions, giving Williamson a lot to think about whenever there was a boom for a leg-before wicket.
Blundell and Michelle Frustrated England
Earlier, New Zealand were bowled out for 326 after in-form Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell disappointed the hosts again.
Taking three wickets late on the third day, England’s momentum seemed to slow down in the morning as Mitchell and Blundell continued their superb form in the series.
The pair batted in the first session, negotiated an early swing in a humorous state and also saw a little new ball, completing their half-century after lunch.
But Matthew Pots finally broke the 113-run partnership when he was caught leg-before by Mitchell (56).
That wicket opened the floodgates as the tourists lost their half-side by 52 runs while Jack Leach became the first English spinner to take two five-wicket hauls in a home Test after Derek Underwood in 1974.
Blundell was in superb form and he tried hard to reach his century with an unconventional shot but he remained unbeaten on 88 as he was out of the partners.
The hosts were hit before the game began when wicketkeeper Ben Fox was ruled out of the rest of the game after a positive test for COVID-19, with Billings substituted.
England, leading 2-0, are bidding to win every match of the domestic series with at least three Tests for the first time since losing 4-0 to India in 2011.

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