Joe Root converts his resolute hundred to a marathon double century on 4th day which puts England in front by 101 runs on first innings against NewZealand. The England skipper showed lots of patience and doggedness, and kept his ego under wraps by curbing his natural strokeplay to showcase an unspectacular but an extremely vital 226 runs off 441 balls to make a big impact on the match . He had couple of lucky escapes with his inside edges narrowly missing the stumps but after a less inspiring one year as a batsman finally comes good against a quality side. This double hundred should give him much confidence to get back to his best and silence his critics for a while. He was well supported by Ollie Pope who made an impressive 75 as England reached 476. After Root’s dismissal ,Neil Wagner by taking 5 wickets ensured ,the England didnt get too far in front.
With a 101 run lead , England seamers jolted the kiwi top order , packing off both openers in a hurry before the seasoned campaigners skipper Kane Williamson, himself slight short of runs off late and Ross Taylor put up a solid stand to take New Zealand to 96/2 at close of 4th day with both in their 30s . With one day to go, the Blackcaps will look to bat deep enough to make the test match safe and win the series . As of now ,England are in a better position to force a win if they can break the current partnership early on 5th day. So, hoping for a gripping 5th days play with the visitors having an edge but a draw , the most likely result on a docile pitch.