England ahead despite late wickets

England

England ended day three of the first Test at Lord's in a solid position, on 180 for six and holding a lead of 205 runs over New Zealand, despite losing four wickets for just 12 runs late in the day.

England ended day three of the first Test at Lord's in a solid position, on 180 for six and holding a lead of 205 runs over New Zealand, despite losing four wickets for just 12 runs late in the day.

The Black Caps had been all out for 207 earlier in the day, and then dismissed Alastair Cook and Nick Compton after lunch. Joe Root and Jonathan Trott then steadied the ship with a century stand before Tim Southee took three late wickets to halt the momentum.

The Kiwis started the day trailing by 79 runs and were still 25 short by the time they crumbled. Stuart Broad started the rot early, sending Brendon McCullum back to the hut for just two, caught behind. McCullum reviewed the decision but it was a clear edge to Matt Prior.

Kane Williamson went on to record his half century after starting the day on 44, but could only reach 60 before succumbing to James Anderson, also caught behind but this time after edging the ball down the leg side.

There was not much to report in terms of scoring after that, as Finn bagged three easy wickets as Tim Southee, BJ Watling and Trent Boult all gave their wickets away. Bruce Martin's dismissal was a peach though, his stumps pegged back by Anderson, who thus claimed a five-fer.

After Boult's wicket fell to end the knock, the Three Lions came to the middle for 15 minutes. In that time, there was a big appeal for Cook's wicket, which the umpire denied. A review showed nothing to suggest the decision be overturned, so the skipper remained.

The afternoon saw Cook add little to his score before he was out for 21, beautifully caught at third slip by Dean Brownlie. The fielder went at full stretch to his left to bag the edge off Boult.

Compton was gone soon afterwards, bowled through the gate by a cracker from Neil Wagner. The ball pitched and swung off the seam into the right hander, who had a sizeable gap between bat and pad, and the off stump was sent flying.

In-form Root and defense-minded Trott saw out the rest of the session. They batted quicker than they had in the first innings, but were still careful, though Root did punish the loose balls and hit three boundaries by tea.

The duo continued strongly in the evening session and ended up putting on 123 together in 40 overs, but Southee arrived as the light began to fade to put paid to a bigger partnership. He bowled Root first, for 71, much to the young players fury.

Southee then bagged Jonny Bairstow eight runs later, the ball keeping low, clipping the bat and rattling into the stumps. Prior then fell for his second duck of the game, caught by substitute Martin Guptill off Southee.

Williamson, getting a lot of turn, got the final wicket of the day, bowling Trott for 56. Graeme Swann would have enjoyed seeing the amount of spin being produced, and one imagines a score over 250 will be tough for the Kiwis to chase.

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