Sodhi survives to guide Kiwis to historic win over England

Henrietta Strickland
April 3, 2018

Not after batting more than three hours and ensuring New Zealand escaped with a series sealing draw against England on Tuesday evening.

"I'm rapt", he said.

England huffed and puffed, and they managed to get within two wickets of victory with as many as eight fielders surrounding the batsman, but they ran out of time and light after dismissing Neil Wagner (7 from 103) as the tourists were left searching for their first away victory since their trip to Bangladesh in October 2016.

"If it wasn't for them putting their hand up, weathering the storm, bumps and bruises and all - perhaps a few demons in the wicket such as the spin out of the rough - this series result could have been so different, " he said.

The England captain nonetheless spoke of his "pride" at his team's efforts to take 10 wickets on the final day after the Kiwis had closed on 256 for eight as the sun set on their summer at Christchurch's picturesque Hagley Park.

Mark Stoneman put down a tough chance at silly point before Sodhi had scored, and the batsman took full advantage of that reprieve as he and Colin de Grandhomme ate up nearly 26 overs in a stand of 57. "It started to become quite hard through the middle period when the odd one would jump and others would stay a little bit low".

"There was a bit of luck".

It ended an arduous and unsuccessful tour for England who lost the Ashes series 4-0 before coming to New Zealand.

"We've not performed to our ability and not got the results we wanted".

It was left to Sodhi and Wagner to hold down the fort and they did exactly that, seeing out more than 31 overs and although Wagner fell to Root, the umpires immediately called an end to play amid the fading light.

"We tried a number of different things and we couldn't have tried much more", he said.

Sodhi put on 47 runs for the seventh wicket with de Grandhomme and New Zealand looked in real trouble when the all-rounder pulled a Wood bouncer to Leach at fine leg.

But its hopes of winning or even drawing the match to complete its first series victory over England at home crumbled when Broad dismissed Jeet Raval (17) and Kane Williamson (0) with his first two deliveries Tuesday.

Joe Root, England captain: "We threw absolutely everything at New Zealand today, I'm very proud of the way we went about it as a group and a bowling unit". But edges flew just wide of outstretched arms, adding to England's frustration.

Ross Taylor avoided the hat-trick, was dropped on six by James Vince and progressed to 13 when he saw Leach place Alastair Cook at short backward leg and promptly chipped the ball straight to him.

Opener Tom Latham was on 65, his 14th Test half-century, with BJ Watling 15 not out.

James Anderson (1-37) joined in the action, this time floating a delivery outside off-stump to Henry Nicholls (13), who nicked through to slip, with the Kiwis rocking at 91-4.

Vince, who had dropped Latham on 23, made amends with a diving catch at square leg to end Latham's near five-hour stay in the middle.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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