New Zealand started the day with 165 runs lead and eight wickets in hand. As expected they pushed the scoring rate in the first session to get enough score from where they could not lose the game. However a rain interruption meant Kane Williamson would have to make a bold declaration in search of a result. England were set a target of 273 to get in last two sessions. England batsmen were watchful to start with and continued in the same vein for the rest of the match. Spectators who wished to see an England chase were disappointed to watch their team being content with a draw.
New Zealand set 273 as target
New Zealand innings resumed from 62/2 with their overnight batsmen Latham and Wagner. Wagner flashed his bats for a couple of boundaries before being bounced out by Robinson. Soon Latham was also trapped leg before by Broad for 36. Taylor and Nicholls were aggressive from get go as we witnessed the familiar Ross Taylor whip through on side for a six. Taylor was caught behind trying to drive Woods away from his body. Nicholls perished trying to reverse sweep Root. New Zealand were 169/6 with de Grandhomme and Watling on crease when rain intervened forcing an early lunch. Williamson, hopeful of enticing England with a theoretically possible target, declared at the same score.
England bat to draw the Test
England openers Burns and Sibley began cautiously and successfully averted the swing threat of Southee and Jamieson. Their patient 49-run stand was broken in the 24th over by Wagner. He found the outside edge of 1st innings centurion Burns’s bat to be caught at second slip by Southee. Southee did well to grab that low catch diving to his right and pouching the ball inches above the ground with both his hands. Crawley followed soon being caught at gully off Southee going for a loose drive. Captain Joe Root stepped in next and in partnership with Sibley, took England to safety. Their 80 runs stand gave some hope for an exciting finish with England going for a win.
However, Wagner trapped Root in front of the stumps for 40 and forced England to continue with their defensive tactics. Sibley got to his half century off 161 balls with 3 boundaries and remained unbeaten with Pope at the other end. New Zealand bowlers tried their best but did not get the expected assistance from the pitch to break through the defence of resilient England batsmen.
The debutants Ollie Robinson and Devon Conway had a good outing. Robinson took 7 wickets in the match and scored 42 with bat. Conway scored a record-breaking double ton on debut and rightfully bagged the Man of the Match award.