Cook, Compton Bat England Back Into Contention

Cook, Compton Bat England Back Into Contention
Cook, Compton Bat England Back Into Contention
©REUTERS / Action Images

England 167 & 234-1 (Cook 116) v
New Zealand 460-9d (Rutherford 171)
First Test, Dunedin, day four
Scorecard | Day One | Day Two | Day Three
Report by John Pennington

Nick Compton scored a maiden Test century and Alastair Cook also reached three figures as England successfully batted through the majority of day four of the opening game against New Zealand in Dunedin.

After New Zealand declared on 460 for nine, England reached stumps on 234 for one, Cook making 116 and Compton 102 not out, cutting the home side's lead to 59.

Brendon McCullum smashed his way to 74 in 59 balls in the morning and debutant Bruce Martin made 41 before New Zealand declared with a lead of 293, England having been bowled out for 167 on the opening day.

Cook then faced 252 balls and Compton 265 to launch the sort of fightback that can define teams and, conversely, demoralise others.

Compton scored the quicker to begin with, but neither were in any hurry, leaving the ball well and taking care when presented with testing spells from Tim Southee in particular.

Cook reached his half-century in 98 balls, Compton in 143 and Cook brought up his 24th Test century off 221 balls and Compton's first came shortly before stumps, from 259 deliveries.

Cook had fallen when he was caught by Neil Wagner off Trent Boult, bringing the 231-run partnership to an end, and it was late enough in the day for Steven Finn to be sent out as nightwatchman.

He did his job by seeing off six deliveries for no runs, ensuring England go into the final day knowing that at worst, they should make New Zealand bat again, and at best, another solid performance with the bat could see the hosts under some pressure late on.

That would be a fightback to remember.

© Cricket World 2013

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