New Zealand move cautiously on quest for imposing 438

Published: Sunday, March 16, 2008, 11:15 [IST]
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New Zealand lost three early wickets here Sunday in a cautious start to their quest for an imposing 438 if they are to pull off an unlikely win over England in the second cricket Test.

At tea New Zealand were 145 for three, requiring a further 293 runs in the four remaining sessions.

Their challenge has been assisted by sloppy fielding from England with several catchable chances going to ground.

Both the not out batsmen, Mathew Sinclair on 39 and Ross Taylor on 35, were given lives just before the tea break with Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen the culprits.

England resumed the day in cold blustery conditions on 277 for nine and added a further 16 runs before Monty Panesar edged Chris Martin to Ross Taylor at slip to be out for 10 leaving James Anderson not out 12.

Anderson's fitness had been in question when he left the ground on crutches Saturday evening after twisting his ankle during a warm-down game of football after stumps.

A statement was issued saying a decision on his fitness would be made shortly before play began on Sunday.

However, the fast bowler who was the chief destroyer in New Zealand's first innings of 198 taking five for 73 showed no lasting discomfort and bowled impressively if unsuccessfully when New Zealand went to bat.

Jamie How was the first to go when New Zealand began their run chase, caught in close by Ian Bell off Ryan Sidebottom for eight.

Matthew Bell, who never looked comfortable, was dropped by Paul Collingwood on 27 but added only two more runs before Tim Ambrose completed the job off the bowling of Stewart Broad.

Five balls later Broad claimed the scalp of New Zealand's senior batman Stephen Fleming who shouldered arms to a ball which nipped back and clipped his off stump for 31.

New Zealand were than 70 for three and Sinclair and Taylor had added 75 for the fourth wicket by tea.

Broad, the most successful of the England bowlers, has two for 25.

England must win the Test to square the series, while New Zealand must set a world record for a winning fourth innings if they are to come out on top.

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