England strike late to take charge of third Test

Third LV Insurance Test, Headingley (day three of five)
New Zealand 329 (Mitchell 109, Leach 5-100) & 168-5 (Latham 76)
England 360 (Bairstow 162, Overton 97, Boult 4-104)
New Zealand lead by 137 runs

Late wickets helped England surge into the ascendancy on day three of the third Test against New Zealand at Headingley.

After Jonny Bairstow’s 162 earned the hosts an unlikely first-innings lead of 31, New Zealand calmly reached 125-1 to quieten a crowd roused by more England exuberance with the bat.

But the fall of four wickets for 36 runs in the final session lifted the locals once more as the Black Caps closed on 168-5, 137 ahead.

Jamie Overton had Tom Latham caught behind for 76 with the first ball after tea and, immediately after another break – this time for rain – Devon Conway was taken one-handed by Ollie Pope at short leg off Joe Root.

Matthew Potts then claimed the crucial wicket of Kane Williamson, the captain nicking off for 48, and Jack Leach had Henry Nicholls caught and bowled for seven.

Overton earlier fell agonisingly short of a century on debut when he edged Trent Boult to first slip on 97.

However, England, who were staring at a huge first-innings deficit when Bairstow and Overton came together at 56-5 on Friday, added a further 96 from 18 overs as Stuart Broad flogged 42 from 36 balls. They were eventually bowled out for 360 in 67 overs.

The presence of Daryl Mitchell, who is four not out and has three centuries in the series, means New Zealand will maintain some hope of a consolation win, but they will have been the happier side when more rain arrived shortly before the scheduled close.

England’s entertainers refuse to be kept quiet

In the afternoon session, when Latham and Williamson combined for a steady stand of 97, it felt as though New Zealand had been able to bring normality to a series that has thrilled at every turn.

But England, having continued to attack with the bat in the morning, again found ways to keep the momentum of their new era going as they push for a 3-0 series win.

Overton sparked the change by removing Latham. With his next ball he hit Devon Conway on the helmet with a bouncer in a spell which was backed up expertly by Potts.

This England team are capturing the attention of their fans with their aggressive approach and, as wickets fell, those supporters sensed the moment to lift the noise further, encouraged to do so by Stokes, Bairstow and Stuart Broad.

At Trent Bridge in the second Test England chased 299 on the final day, so will not fear a similar target again on the pitch that remains largely good for batting.

England knock over top order again

England handed the new ball to Leach – the first time they have opened with a spinner in a home Test since 2009 – but it was Potts who removed opener Will Young via a catch at third slip.

Once Latham and Williamson were separated, New Zealand lost a further three wickets for eight runs after the first rain delay.

England were helped by a poor stroke from Williamson, who has not made a fifty in the series. Trying to force Potts off his relentless length with a back-foot drive, he got a thin edge through to Bairstow, standing in as wicketkeeper because of Ben Foakes’ sore back.

It was the third time Potts has dismissed Williamson in four innings.

Mitchell and Tom Blundell, who is five not out, have scored 47% of New Zealand’s runs in this series and must again succeed where the top order have failed.

Overton misses out as England continue to attack

The day began with Bairstow on 130 and Overton 89 after their incredible second-day stand, without which England’s would almost certainly be out of the contest.

Overton started nervously, but had just started to find his tempo when he nicked a drive and had to drag himself from the ground.

Bairstow was finally dismissed from the 157th ball he faced, hitting Michael Bracewell to long-off trying to add more quick runs.

Bairstow had seen Broad, promoted up the order to number nine, dominate their partnership of 55 from 44 balls by flaying anything short or wide.

The most significant assistance offered by this surface is turn and the Black Caps may rue the decision to leave out frontline spinner Ajaz Patel.

‘Stokes is doing things out of the box’ – what they said

England bowler Matthew Potts told BBC Sport: “When you are hurting it is never easy but you kinds of put that out of mind, laugh about it and enjoy the pain. I certainly am. I’m enjoying the pain of Test cricket.”

On removing Kane Williamson three times in four innings: “There is no secret. I just run in and try to get the ball to do something on a good length – and it has just happened to be Kane Williamson.”

England pace bowler Jamie Overton: “The last session has put us right in the box seat. Hopefully we can get the two key wickets. We are in a great place.”

Former England captain Michael Vaughan on BBC Test Match Special: “In Matthew Potts, they have a bowler who I don’t remember bowling a bad ball, and I loved Jack Leach opening the bowling.

“I’m just seeing things with Ben Stokes’ captaincy we haven’t seen in a long time. He is doing things slightly out of the box and it is working. It is nice to see.”

New Zealand opener Tom Latham: “We know England regardless of the score will have a go (in the fourth innings).

“That presents opportunities for us. We want to scrap and get as many as we can. We saw yesterday with new ball if put balls in right areas we can get wickets in clumps.”

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