Auckland Test, day 4: Williamson puts Kiwis on verge of victory over England
Wellington: New Zealand`s part time off spinner Kane Williamson took two wickets on day four of the third Test match against England in Auckland to help the hosts tighten their hold on the series-decider.
Williamson claimed the big wicket of captain Alastair Cook for 43 before night watchman Steven Finn was also removed by a close reflex catch by Tim Southee just before stumps.
It left England, the world no 2 Test side, reeling at 90-4 in their second innings, chasing a mammoth 481 to win in the third and deciding test. New Zealand have 90 overs on Tuesday amid a fine forecast to claim the final six wickets at Eden Park and nail their first series victory over England in 14 years.
Ian Bell was unbeaten on eight off 89 balls and will be joined by youngster Joe Root tomorrow, with the struggling Jonny Bairstow to follow. With the second new ball 28 overs away, New Zealand will be hugely confident of finishing the job after Williamson`s late heroics, which left him with figures of 2-5 off 6.1 overs.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum declared midway through the afternoon session to leave England 143 overs to score 481. Just four teams have successfully chased over 400 to win a test. The record highest chase is the West Indies` 418-7 to beat Australia in Antigua in 2003.
Earlier, McCullum blazed 67 not out off 53 balls before declaring on 241-6, 45 minutes after lunch on day four. Opener Peter Fulton was the star of the morning, becoming the fourth New Zealand batsman to score back-to-back centuries in a test match.