England openers keep game alive

England

England openers Alastair Cook and Nick Compton each scored centuries, the latter unbeaten, to make sure they were still in the hunt at stumps on day four of the first Test against New Zealand.

England openers Alastair Cook and Nick Compton each scored centuries, the latter unbeaten, to make sure they were still in the hunt at stumps on day four of the first Test against New Zealand.

England reached the close on 234 for one, with Cook falling three overs before the close, and Compton joyously celebrating his maiden Test century a few deliveries later to sit on 102 not out at stumps.

England were still 59 runs behind though, after the Black Caps declared on 460 for nine before lunch, having started the day on 402 for seven. Brendon McCullum was the main aggressor at the end, scoring 74 off 59 balls.

Debutant Bruce Martin also contributed with a nifty 41 alongside his skipper, and when he departed, McCullum called the batsmen back to the hut, with a lead of 293. He would have hoped for some quick wickets, considering the 167 all out England suffered on day two.

But Compton, under massive pressure to perform and keep his place, and Cook had other ideas. The pair, who looked solid together in India but not spectacular, went about building a partnership of 231 in 84.5 overs.

While Cook's knock was characteristically calm and composed, Compton's intensity stood out as he made his way towards his maiden ton in his fifth Test. He spend a long time in the Nervous Nineties, and was stuck there when Cook departed.

But the Somerset batsman made no error in recording his milestone, running two and leaping into the air with a delighted yell when the time arrived. He had faced 265 deliveries for his 102, striking 10 boundaries.

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