New Zealand have set England 481 to win the third Test in Auckland and, with it, the series. New Zealand finally declared on 241 for 6 in their second innings, having plundered runs with ease against a dispirited attack. Tim Southee, finding the edge of Nick Compton’s bat as the batsman felt for one that left him in the second over of the ‘chase’, produced a perfect start to New Zealand’s bid for victory.
Nor is history encouraging for England. They have never chased more than the 332 they made against Australia in Melbourne in 1928-29 to win a Test, and no team has ever made more than the 418 West Indies made against Australia in Antigua in 2002-03. The highest successful chase on this ground is 348, made by West Indies in 1968-69, though since the introduction of drop-in pitches just over a decade ago, no side has managed more than the 166 scored, admittedly for the loss of just one wicket, in 2005. England would need to bat for four-and-a-half sessions to secure a draw. Read more