Root’s double-ton sets up England for victory push

HAMILTON:Joe Root could not hide his delight after a masterful 226 ended his run drought and gave England a much-needed boost in the second Test against New Zealand as they ended Day 4 believing they can square the series.

Root’s double-ton sets up England for victory push

Joe Root hits a six against New Zealand on Day 4 . AFP

Hamilton, December 2 

Joe Root could not hide his delight after a masterful 226 ended his run drought and gave England a much-needed boost in the second Test against New Zealand as they ended Day 4 believing they can square the series. It took a five-wicket haul for the tireless Neil Wagner to bring England’s first innings to an end at 476, a lead of 101.

At stumps, New Zealand were 96/2 and needing to bat late into the final day to ensure a draw, although rain may yet have the last word with further showers forecast tomorrow. Root said it had been a frustration more than a worry that he had gone 14 Test innings without a century but his return to form gave him confidence.

New Zealand openers Jeet Raval (0) and Tom Latham (18) were out early in their second innings, and for Raval it continued a disappointing run in which he has failed to reach double figures in six of his last 10 innings. But after being 28/2, New Zealand’s most skilled batsmen Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor prevented further damage with Williamson on 37 at stumps and Taylor on 31. — AFP

Brief Scores: NZ: 375 and 96/2 (Williamson 37*, Taylor 31*); Eng: 476 (Root 226, Burns 101, Pope 75; Wagner 5/124)

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