On Sunday at Bay Oval, New Zealand produced a valiant batting performance in their second innings to wrestle their way back into the second Test against England. Despite skipper Tim Southee’s rollicking 73 off just 49 deliveries, the Black Caps were eventually dismissed for 209 on the morning of the third day, conceding a first innings lead of 226.
Although expected to take the field again to face another English onslaught, Ben Stokes surprised the Black Caps by opting to make them follow on, marking the first such decision of his Test captaincy.
Openers Tom Latham and Devon Conway established an opening stand of 149, both racking up half-centuries, but fell in quick succession, leaving the Kiwis at 155/2. However, Kane Williamson and Will Young managed to stabilize the innings, giving the Kiwis control of the game for the first time in a while.
Unfortunately, Jack Leach prevented the Kiwis from achieving a clean-sweep with an excellent delivery. Leach was handed the ball in the 62nd over and delivered an absolute beauty that got the better of Young. The fourth ball of the over was floated at length just along the line of off-stump, leaving Young unsure whether to rock back or stride forward.
Eventually, his feet got stuck in the crease, and he only managed to meekly push his forward to attempt a defence. The Kookaburra straightened just enough to beat the outside edge of Young’s willow and break into the off-stump.
Young could only stare at the ground in disbelief, while Leach smiled widely, well aware of the excellent delivery he had produced. The wicket reduced the Kiwis to 167/3 before Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls steadied the ship to take the side to 202 at stumps without any further loss of wickets.