England battle back in Auckland

Final Test still in the melting pot after England’s bowlers strike early

England’s Stuart Broad (second right) celebrates taking the wicket of New Zealand's Hamish Rutherford  during day three of the third Test match at Eden Park in Auckland. Photograph:   Anthony Devlin/PA

England’s Stuart Broad (second right) celebrates taking the wicket of New Zealand's Hamish Rutherford during day three of the third Test match at Eden Park in Auckland. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA

 

Cricket round-up: England faltered to 204 all out, as Trent Boult recorded a maiden five-wicket haul, but then put New Zealand in a spot of bother too on a hectic third day of the final Test in Auckland.

This potential decider appeared destined for a draw, on a placid pitch, while New Zealand were piling up 443 on the first two days at Eden Park.

Yet England’s inability to deal with conventional swing in their reply, then the Kiwis’ decision not to enforce the follow-on and their own subsequent stumble to 35 for three left all results possible again.

Matt Prior (73) and Joe Root shared a hard-working century stand to try to rescue England from a perilous 72 for five.

Then once Prior fell just before the second new ball was taken, England lost their last four wickets for four runs to left-armer Boult (six for 68) and Tim Southee (three for 44).

New Zealand’s batsmen caught the bad habit, and the hosts were a hapless eight for three at one stage to Stuart Broad and James Anderson.

India wrapped up a series whitewash over Australia by securing a six-wicket win on day three of the fourth Test in Delhi.

Cheteshwar Pujara’s unbeaten 82 saw the hosts comfortably home with 158 for four after skittling their beleaguered opponents for 164 in their second innings.

Ravindra Jadeja took five for 58 to do most of the damage, with only tail-ender Peter Siddle offering any resistance with 50 – his first Test half-century – as Australia’s batsmen undid all the good work achieved yesterday and first thing this morning by Nathan Lyon.

The chase always looked well within India’s grasp and was achieved with room to spare, despite two more wickets for Lyon, who finished with nine for the match.

That was all after things had looked to be going Australia’s way at the start of the day as India added only six runs to their overnight total.

A brilliant spell of spin bowling from Lyon yesterday dragged Australia back into contention and the 25-year-old off-spinner did not take long to re-find his rhythm.

Resuming on 266 for eight — having bowled out the tourists for 262 — the Indian tail had hardly settled before Lyon completed a career-best haul of seven for 94 by snaring the final two wickets with the first two balls of his first full over.

He first drew Ishant Sharma into a shot with a good delivery from around the wicket that found the gap between bat and pad and hit leg stump, and then trapped Pragyan Ojha plumb lbw with one which straightened after pitching on middle.