Jonny Bairstow was the architect with the bat in the first innings for England as he scored a crucial and timely century to drive the England total past 300. He scored 101 as England scored 307.
In the second innings though he scored just 36 as England folded up for 352. New Zealand now in their second innings need 382 to win and have already scored 40 of them without losing a wicket when play ended on day 4 in Christchurch.
Tom Latham was not out 25 and Jeet Raval unbeaten on 17 after surviving a testing 23 overs before play ended more than an hour early. Jonny Bairstow, the England batsman-wicketkeeper, said there were enough signs to believe the tourists’ run of 12 away matches without a victory could be about to end.
“There’s definitely enough in the pitch for us to take the wickets,” Bairstow said. “We’ve beaten the bat consistently. Leachy (Jack Leach, the left-arm spinner) bowled three overs this evening and there were some chances created there.”
Meanwhile, Craig McMillan, the New Zealand batting coach, is eyeing what would be only the fourth series win over England in 36 series — and the first since 1999.
“It would be huge. We love playing England. Series wins have been few and far between for New Zealand Test sides and in terms of history it will be very special,” he said, praising Latham and Raval for their stubborn start to the innings.
“It was really impressive. It was obviously a tough period against two world-class new ball bowlers. They got examined and tested in different areas but they did a great job to get through.”
Tom Latham was not out 25 and Jeet Raval unbeaten on 17 after surviving a testing 23 overs before play ended more than an hour early. James Anderson and Stuart Broad, England’s new-ball pair, repeatedly pressured Latham and Raval, with one tough chance off Latham dropped by James Vince at third slip. Bairstow believed that “without a shadow of a doubt”, his team were in charge.
Meanwhile, the pacers from both teams picked up 20 wickets in their respective first innings.