England on the brink of victory

Graeme Swann spins hosts towards victory as New Zealand reside on 158-6 chasing a target of 468 in the final Test.

    England on the brink of victory
    Swann added four wickets to his quartet from the first innings to leave the tourists hoping for a rainy Tuesday [GALLO/GETTY]

    Graeme Swann bowled England to the brink of victory against New Zealand in the second and final Test at Headingley on Monday.

    The off-spinner took four for 61 in 21.4 unchanged overs, extending his match haul to eight wickets, before bad light ended the fourth day with New Zealand 154 for six.

    That left the Black Caps still needing a further 310 runs to reach their victory target of 468.

    The most any side has ever made in the fourth innings to win a Test is West Indies' 418 for seven against Australia in Antigua in 2002/03.

    And the corresponding record for New Zealand is the 325 for four they posted against Pakistan in Christchurch in 1993/94.

    Praying for rain

    Fourth day scorecard

    England first innings 354
    New Zealand first innings 174
    England second innings
    (Overnight 116-1)
    A Cook c Southee b Williamson 130
    N Compton c Rutherford b Williamson 7
    J Trott c McCullum b Wagner 76
    I Bell c Guptill b Williamson 6
    J Root c Guptill b Wagner 28
    J Bairstow not out 26
    M Prior not out 4
    Extras: 10
    TOTAL: (for 5 wickets declared) 287
    Overs: 76
    Fall of wickets: 1-72, 2-206, 3-214, 4-249, 5-268

    New Zealand second innings
    (Target 468)
    P Fulton c Bell b Broad 5
    H Rutherford c Root by Swann 42
    K Williamson lbw b Swann 3
    R Taylor b Swann 70
    D Brownlie c Bell b Finn 25
    M Guptill c Trott b Swann 3
    B McCullum not out 0
    T Southee not out 4
    Extras: 6
    TOTAL: (for 6 wickets) 158
    Overs: 54.4
    To bat: Doug Bracewell, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.
    Fall of wickets: 1-21, 2-40, 3-65, 4-144, 5-153, 6-154

    It seemed only the rain on Tuesday's final day could now deny England victory and a 2-0 series win.

    In that case they might rue both captain Alastair Cook's decision not to enforce the follow-on on Sunday and indeed bat on after lunch on Monday in a match where the whole of Friday's first day was washed out without a ball bowled.

    For New Zealand, only former captain Ross Taylor, with a stylish 70, offered much in the way of significant resistance Monday before he was yorked by Swann to leave New Zealand 154 for six.

    In their first innings, New Zealand collapsed to 174 all out - although this was an improvement on the 68 they managed in the second innings of their 170-run first Test defeat at Lord's.

    Stuart Broad, who took a Test-best seven for 44 at Lord's, removed Peter Fulton for five on Monday after he fended a rising delivery to Ian Bell in the gully.

    Swann, who'd taken four wickets in New Zealand's first innings, needed just nine balls to strike again Monday when Kane Williamson was lbw on review.

    Swann then grabbed his second wicket in three overs when left-handed opener Hamish Rutherford was caught off bat and pad by Joe Root at short leg for 42.

    That left New Zealand 65 for three and in danger of suffering yet another top-order slump.

    Taylor, however, counter-attacked by cover-driving Swann for four.

    He came through reviews on 47 and 60, receiving solid support from Dean Brownlie in a fourth wicket stand of 79.

    But Brownlie was eventually dismissed for 25 when, swaying away from a Steven Finn bouncer, he gloved to Bell before Martin Guptill (three) edged Swann to Jonathan Trott at slip.

    Then 153 for five became 154 for six when Taylor, who batted for more than two-and-a-half hours, fell to Swann.

    The skies above Headingley - which does not have floodlights - were increasingly gloomy and the umpires eventually took the players off with 6.2 overs left in the day's play.

    Earlier, Cook scored 130, further extending his England record for Test centuries to 25, before declaring the hosts' second innings on 287 for five shortly after lunch.

    Left-handed opener Cook, 88 not out overnight, eventually got a leading edge to mid-off against part-time spinner Williamson after sharing a second-wicket stand of 134 with Trott, who made 76.



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