Dour England face uphill battle

ENGLAND have a fight on their hands to save the first Test against New Zealand after a dour third day's batting.The tourists crawled to a 286 for six at the close, in reply to the Kiwis' commanding first innings total of 407.

ENGLAND have a fight on their hands to save the first Test against New Zealand after a dour third day's batting.

The tourists crawled to a 286 for six at the close, in reply to the Kiwis' commanding first innings total of 407.

Resuming on 87-2, none of the England's batsmen came to terms with the hosts'attack and were forced to adopt a defensive strategy all day.

Even Kevin Pietersen, normally one of the most aggressive batsmen in world cricket, played within himself as England struggled to 184 runs short of New Zealand's total.


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They added only 199 runs off 93 overs during the day with New Zealand able to restrict them to such an extent by bowling 34 maidens with Pietersen one of the biggest culprits by scoring only three boundaries in his 42 in over three hours at the crease.

The wickets to fall were captain Michael Vaughan (63), Andrew Strauss (43), Pietersen (42), and Ian Bell (25).

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Paul Collingwood, who took 33 minutes to get of the mark, steadied the ship against some excellent spin bowling from Jeetan Patel and Daniel Vettori.

At the close Collingwood had reached 41 and was not out alongside debutant wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose, who was on 23.

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