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Williamson, Mitchell fifties help NZ take to lead

Williamson went past Ross Taylor’s tally to become the leading run-getter for New Zealand in Tests 

Contrasting half-centuries by Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell helped New Zealand overhaul the deficit and take a 99-run lead over England at Lunch on Day 4 at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. New Zealand added 123 runs in the morning session on Monday, courtesy Mitchell’s run-a-ball 54 and Williamson’s cautious 63.

Resuming the day on 202 for 3, still trailing by 24 runs, Williamson and Nicholls blunted the early challenge posed by James Anderson and Ollie Robinson. On the fourth ball of the day, Kane Williamson whipped a delivery from Anderson through the mid wicket region to bring up a boundary and become the leading run-getter for New Zealand in Tests.

The duo added 20 runs to their overnight score before Robinson induced an edge off Nicholls, which was well taken by Harry Brooks in the cordon. Daryl Mitchell arrived and didn’t allow the visitors to dominate. He looked busy right from the start of his innings, rotating the strike frequently. He even went after Anderson, taking advantage of the rare errors in length by the pacer, and crunching him for boundaries off the front foot and back.

Even as Williamson continued to adopt a defensive approach, Mitchell’s attack ensured that the runs came quite fast once New Zealand took the lead. He brought up his half century with a six down the ground off Jack Leach. However, his entertaining innings didn’t last too long thereafter, getting a top edge to a pull off Stuart Broad that ballooned in the air and allowed Joe Root to settle under it.

Blundell, who walked out to bat only a few minutes before Lunch, also wasted little time in going after the bowlers. He drove Robinson for a boundary and then went after Leach, cracking a couple more and head to the break unbeaten on 19.

Brief Scores: England 435/8 decl. (Harry Brook 186, Joe Root 153*; Matt Henry 4-100, Michael Bracewell 2-54) trail New Zealand 209 (Tim Southee 73, Tom Blundell 38; Stuart Broad 4-61, James Anderson 3-37) & 325/5 (Tom Latham 83, Kane Williamson 63*; Jack Leach 2-106) by 99 runs

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