New Zealand vs England 1st Test Day 3: Watling spearheads New Zealand’s impressive comeback

BJ Watling 119 not out New Zealand England 1st Test Day 3 Mount Maunganui cricket

BJ Watling celebrates after scoring his eighth Test century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling scored an unbeaten 119 as New Zealand fought back brilliantly on the third day in Mount Maunganui and forged a 41-run lead over England.

Starting off the day on 144/4, Watling and Henry Nicholls converted their 17-run partnership into a 70-run stand before Nicholls was trapped lbw off the bowling of England captain Joe Root for 41.

Watling and Colin de Grandhomme kept the runs flowing with a 119-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before De Grandhomme was brilliantly caught by debutant Dom Sibley at gully off the bowling of Ben Stokes for 65, which came off 108 balls and included seven boundaries and a six.

Despite losing De Grandhomme, Watling and Mitchell Santner ensured New Zealand ended the day on a high as they amassed an unbeaten 78-run stand, during which Watling registered his century.

Watling finished on 119, which came off 298 balls and included 15 boundaries, while Santner remained undefeated on 31, which came off 103 deliveries and included a boundary and a six.

Stokes and Sam Curran picked up two wickets apiece, while Root and Jack Leach claimed one wicket each.

New Zealand ended day three on 394/6 and will continue batting on Sunday at 11:00 local time or 22:00 GMT (the previous day).

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