New Zealand vs England: Losing Joe Root tough but draw still on - Stuart Broad
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New Zealand vs England: Losing Joe Root tough but draw still on - Stuart Broad

New Zealand took the prized wicket of Joe Root at the end of day four of the first Test against England, who remain firmly on the back foot.

cricket Updated: Mar 25, 2018 21:20 IST
Reuters, Auckland
New Zealand vs England,Joe Root,Stuart Broad
New Zealand snapped up three wickets Sunday, including that of Joe Root with the last ball of the day, to pin down an England side battling to salvage a draw from the first Test.(REUTERS)

The loss of captain Joe Root on the final delivery of the fourth day of the first test against New Zealand was a massive blow, but England bowler Stuart Broad said his side were confident of batting the entire final day to save the match.

Root had scored his 38th Test half-century and was showing signs of the fight that his team would have been able to rally around on the fifth day.

(Read | Joe Root out in final over as New Zealand strengthen hold on first Test vs England)

The 27-year-old, however, was dismissed for 51 by Trent Boult when he gloved a bouncer through to BJ Watling, leaving the visitors on 132 for three and needing another 237 runs just to make the hosts bat again.

“It’s a real shame to lose Joe to the last ball of the day,” Broad told reporters. “He played fantastically well and showed the discipline and determination you need.

“He would have been a key man but it’s up to someone else.”

(Read | Stuart Broad dismisses suggestions of ball-tampering during Ashes)

While Boult and Neil Wagner managed to extract some bounce on the fourth day of the rain-affected day-night test, the pitch was still playing well and not offering the New Zealand attack much assistance.

“There are no demons in this pitch,” Broad said.

“It’s pretty much a day three pitch, isn’t it, with the two days of rain. The pitch is playing fine, maybe a little bit of extra zip under the lights, but there’s no real sideways movement.”

(Read | Danielle Wyatt smashes ton, England crush India to achieve highest chase in women’s Twenty20)

Broad’s confidence does not come only from the relatively benign surface and their long batting lineup, which has shown far greater resolve than the side who were bundled out for 58 on the first day.

Root’s team can also turn to history as New Zealand were in a similar position to win the third and final test against England at the same ground in 2013.

The tourists entered the final day on 90-4 facing an improbable task of scoring another 391 runs in 90 overs to win the match.

(Read | Australia in turmoil over cricketers’ ball-tampering shame in Cape Town Test)

Ian Bell, however, scored 75 while wicketkeeper Matt Prior produced a rearguard 110 not out and protected last man Monty Panesar for the final 20 minutes to ensure the match and series ended in a draw.

“It’s a similar job to do, for sure,” Broad added. “The game’s obviously panned out slightly differently, but we’ll need a hero tomorrow.

“Five years ago Matt Prior was the hero, he made a hundred, and someone’s got that chance on Monday.

“We are confident we can save this game.”

First Published: Mar 25, 2018 17:41 IST