A brilliant effort by Mitchell Santer and BJ Watling leads New Zealand into a dominating position against England at the end of day 4 of 1st Test match played at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui on Sunday.
Starting on the overnight score of 394 for 6, BJ Watling and Mitchell Santer started with caution against England bowlers. It was a good bowling performance by the England bowlers in the first hour. After the first hour completed, Santer reached his half-century off 170 balls. England took the third new ball in the 164th over. Santer and Watling continued to grind the England bowlers to take them to 452 for 6 at lunch.
After the lunch break, BJ Watling made the batting look easy and reached his 150 off 387 balls. Santer and Watling created pressure on England with good positive batting. The left-handed Santer reached his maiden Test century off 252 balls. Both batsmen attacked the tired England bowlers. In attempt to score quick runs, Santer was dismissed for a brilliant 126. Santer and BJ Watling added a marathon 261 runs for the 7th wicket. Watling reached his maiden double century in Test cricket off 460 balls. New Zealand went into tea break at 590 for 7.
In the third session, Tim Southee tried to hit a big shot and was dismissed for 9 by Jack Leach. BJ Watling was finally dismissed by Jofra Archer for a marathon 205. Trent Boult and Neil Wagner scored few runs before Williamson declared their innings on 615 for 9. BJ Watling became the first New Zealand wicket-keeper to score a double century in Test cricket.
In their 2nd innings, England openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley looked solid with their defensive technique against New Zealand pacers Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner. Mitchell Santer provided the breakthrough for the hosts dismissing Sibley for 12 with a catch from BJ Watling. Sibley and Burns added 48 runs for opening wicket.
Before the close of play, Santer struck again to get the wicket of Burns for 31 to leave England at 53 for 2. It was again Santer who got his 3rd wicket of innings getting the wicket of night watch man Jack Leach to give New Zealand a real chance of winning the 1st Test match. England ended the 4th day at 55 for 3.
England 353 in 124 overs ( Ben Stokes 91, Joe Denly 74, Tim Southee 4/88, Neil Wagner 3/90) and 55 for 3 om 27.4 overs ( Rory Burns 31, Mitchell Santer 3/6) trail New Zealand 615 for 9 in 201 overs (BJ Watling 205, Mitchell Santer 126, Colin de Grandhomme 65, Kane Williamson 51, Ben Stokes 2/37, Sam Curran 3/119, Leach 2/153) England 353 in 124 overs ( Ben Stokes 91, Joe Denly 74, Tim Southee 4/88, Neil Wagner 3/90) by 207 runs.