England fall well short as Kiwis level Test series

New Zealand celebrate Joe Root's second-ball dismissal.
New Zealand celebrate Joe Root's second-ball dismissal.
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England descended with barely a whimper to a 199-run defeat at Headingley as New Zealand bowled them out on the final day of the second Test to earn a deserved 1-1 Investec series draw.

Yorkshire’s Joe Root was talking fancifully the previous evening about the prospect of rewriting Test cricket history by pulling off a world-record run chase of 455. But reality bit on a mostly cloudy day as only captain Alastair Cook (56) and then Jos Buttler (73) lasted long.

England lost four early wickets for 15 runs and never appeared set for a successful rearguard, eventually all out for 255 with 19.1 overs remaining.

By lunch, at 102-5 and even with Cook still undefeated, it was obvious England could have only limited ambitions.

Trent Boult and Mark Craig delivered for New Zealand, with two morning wickets each.

Then part-time off-spinner Kane Williamson (3-15) struck three times in only seven overs – in three spells – including the prize wicket of Cook.

Adam Lyth was first to go after England resumed on 44 for none – to a very good ball from Boult, swinging away from off and middle and taking a very faint outside edge after a secondary movement off the pitch.

It was hard to see how Lyth could have done much differently. But the same could not be said for England’s next two departures – Gary Ballance (6) and Ian Bell (55). And Root went for a second-ball duck before the later order succumbed to the inevitable.

Second Test, day five, Headingley: New Zealand 350 & 454-8 dec

England 350 & 255: Buttler 73; Williamson 3-15, Craig 3-73

New Zealand won by 199 runs