Watling's century puts New Zealand ahead after a great day of cricket
New Zealand 350 & 338-6 (Watling 100 no) v
England 350 (Lyth 107)
Second Test, Headingley, day three
BJ Watling hit an unbeaten century and Tim Southee also impressed for New Zealand to put the visitors 338 runs ahead and in a good position at stumps on day three of the riveting second Test at Headingley against England.
England resumed the day on 253 for five after a delayed start due to a shower.
There was good news straightaway for New Zealand as Southee (4-83) prised out Ian Bell (12) in the second over of the day with a swinging delivery that was edged to second slip.
Two overs later, Southee dealt England a double blow by picking up the wickets of Jos Buttler (10), who gave a regulation edge to first slip, and then Moeen Ali (1) who edged another good delivery to third slip.
England slipped to 267 for eight but put up some brilliant lower order resistance.
Stuart Broad (46) was dropped on eight when a tough chance was shelled by Watling at deep square leg. That proved to be expensive as Broad added 51 with Mark Wood (19) for the ninth wicket.
Playing aggressively, he smacked Trent Boult (2-98) for two fours in a 14-run 99th over to take England past 300.
Broad was dropped again by Boult off his own bowling and the former made it count with two cracking fours.
Mark Craig (2-48) eventually broke the stand with a quicker delivery that was edged by Wood to the wicket-keeper.
Broad was eventually bowled off a full delivery from Matt Henry (1-92) four runs short of a half-century.
England managed to reach 350, the exact same tally as New Zealand. Southee was the pick of the bowlers having snared four wickets while Boult and Craig managed two each.
New Zealand survived four overs before lunch without any loss. After lunch they made good progress with Martin Guptill (70) smashing two fours off James Anderson (1-58).
However, the very next over Broad (2-52) got Tom Latham (3) with a sharp delivery that moved in from a length.
New Zealand were in a spot of bother and reduced to 27 for two after 10 overs when Kane Williamson (6) edged one to wicket-keeper Buttler.
Guptill and Ross Taylor (48) consolidated to help New Zealand push on scoring at a very brisk rate despite the fall of two early wickets.
Taylor was dropped by Gary Ballance at third slip on six, the ball eventually going for four.
The next over from Broad went for 13 runs as New Zealand reached 55 for two after 12 overs.
Broad conceded two more fours in his next over as New Zealand were going at over six runs per over in the second session.
Taylor smacked Ben Stokes (0-61) for a six the off first delivery he bowled and Guptill brought up his half-century with a six as well, off Ali (0-70), in just 47 balls.
Taylor couldn’t make it to his half-century though falling two short as he chipped a fuller delivery straight to extra-cover.
However Guptill continued to play aggressively before Wood (3-64) got him to edge one eventually to third slip.
New Zealand were once again in a little trouble at 143 for four after 29 overs when tea was taken.
Brendon McCullum (55) played really steadily and sensibly to add 121 for the fifth wicket with Watling (100 not out) in the third session.
The game was briefly delayed again due to rain but when it resumed, both the batsmen went at a nice clip to take New Zealand past 200.
McCullum was given out lbw off the bowling of Joe Root (0-23) when the score was on 223. McCullum reviewed the decision knowing he had gloved it and eventually the decision was reversed.
Just when it was looking easy for New Zealand, Wood came back with gusto troubling McCullum and getting him lbw.
McCullum reviewed it again but was unlucky as the ball was just kissing the bails over middle stump, the decision staying with the on-field umpire. Luke Ronchi (31) played aggressively adding 53 quick runs with Watling in just seven overs.
Ronchi was scoring at faster than run a ball, including a 15-run over from Stokes before he nicked a lovely delivery from Anderson to the wicket-keeper.
However Watling and Craig (15 not out) ensured there was no more damage before the end of the day, playing out a little over seven overs.
Watling brought up his century in 136 balls in the penultimate over of the day.
New Zealand ended the day on 338 for six with the new ball due after in another overs.
The lead for New Zealand was exactly the same as the runs they scored in the second innings and already looking like a stiff target for England.
Wood was the pick of the bowlers for England getting the important wickets of Guptill, Taylor and McCullum.
© Cricket World 2015