New Zealand vs England 1st Test Day 4: Nicholls keeps New Zealand in complete control

Henry Nicholls 145 not out New Zealand England 1st Test Day 4 Auckland cricket

Henry Nicholls celebrates after scoring his second Test century

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Following Henry Nicholls’ career-best knock of 145 not out, New Zealand struck thrice to leave themselves needing seven wickets to beat England on the final day of the first Test in Auckland.

Starting off the day on 233/4, New Zealand added 27 runs to their overnight score before wicketkeeper BJ Watling was caught behind off the bowling of Stuart Broad for 31.

Nicholls and Colin de Grandhomme added 49 runs to their team’s total before De Grandhomme was caught behind off the bowling of Craig Overton for 29.

Todd Astle fell shortly after, but Nicholls began to up the ante during his 72-run stand with Tim Southee.

Southee went on to make 25 before he was caught and bowled by England captain Joe Root.

Nicholls and Neil Wagner only put together an unbeaten nine-run partnership before New Zealand declared on 427/8, which gave them a 369-run lead.

Nicholls ended up making 145 off 268 balls, which included 18 boundaries.

Broad and James Anderson picked up three wickets apiece, while Overton and Root chipped in with one wicket each.

Trailing by 369 runs, England were dealt an early blow when opener Alastair Cook was caught behind off the bowling of Trent Boult for two runs.

Mark Stoneman and Root made up for the loss of Cook with an 88-run partnership, during which Stoneman brought up his half-century.

Mark Stoneman 55 New Zealand England 1st Test Day 4 Auckland cricket

Mark Stoneman struck his fourth half-century in Test cricket

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

However, he was unable to make the most of it as he was removed by Neil Wagner for 55, which came off 91 balls and included six boundaries and a six.

Root went on to make 51 off 131 deliveries, which included five boundaries, before he was caught behind off the bowling of Boult right at the end of the day.

Joe Root 51 New Zealand England 1st Test Day 4 Auckland cricket

Joe Root scored his 38th Test fifty

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

As soon as Root was dismissed, the umpires brought play to an end for the day.

Boult was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Wagner claimed one.

England, who still trail by 237 runs, ended day four on 132/3 and will continue batting on Monday at an earlier time of 13:30 local time or 00:30 GMT.

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