England take firm control

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 02 Apr 2018 11:54:14



JAMES Vince made 76 and Mark Stoneman 60 as England took firm control of the second Test against New Zealand here on Sunday, reaching 202-3 to lead by 231 runs at stumps on the third day.Joe Root was 30 not out and Dawid Malan 19 when stumps were drawn three overs early because of bad light.Vince broke a form drought with the third half century of his career and Stoneman posted his highest Test score and second fifty of the series in a 123-run partnership for the second wicket which allowed England to build decisively on its 29-run first innings lead.

But while both batsman finally prospered on a docile pitch at Hagley Oval, they likely also gave up the chance to fully capitalise on perfect batting conditions.Vince looked on track at least to surpass his highest Test score of 83 — achieved in the first test of the Ashes series in Australia — but a lapse in concentration cost him dearly.He was well set and batting fluently, having reached his half century from 71 balls, when he flashed unnecessarily at a wide delivery from Trent Boult and was caught by Ross Taylor who was keeping a lone vigil in the slip cordon.Stoneman also failed to build on the strong foundation he had set over three hours and five minutes at the crease, passing his previous test best of 57 before chasing a wide delivery from Tim Southee which gave wicketkeeper BJ Watling his second catch of the innings.
Unfortunately for England, opener Alastair Cook remained stuck in his form trough, dismissed for 14 by Trent Boult for the fourth time in the series and ninth time in his career.