Late wickets make England favourites for another comeback win

·31 min read
England New Zealand live score day three third Test - GETTY IMAGES
England New Zealand live score day three third Test - GETTY IMAGES

In unison, England’s players moved their arms up and down to orchestrate the crowd, conductors of the stage. The fate of another Test match was in the balance - and with fine seam and spin bowling supported by the Headingley crowd, England ended the third day having moved the game in their favour.

The Test is far from decisively in England’s grasp: New Zealand’s second innings lead, 137 with five wickets intact, could yet morph into an awkward fourth innings chase. But a spell of three wickets for nine runs in the last throes of the day has made England favourites to secure another wonderful turnaround victory - one that, from a first innings position of 55-6 in response to New Zealand’s 329, might just be the most remarkable of the lot.

Ben Stokes was all smiles after watching Matthew Potts dismis New Zealand captain Kane Williamson - AFP
Ben Stokes was all smiles after watching Matthew Potts dismis New Zealand captain Kane Williamson - AFP

For all the anguish of conceding a deficit from a position of such strength, on the third afternoon New Zealand had manoeuvred themselves into the ascendancy once again, as Tom Latham and Kane Williamson shared a 97-run stand for the second wicket. Afternoons like this are, in many ways, the essence of Test cricket: determined and skilful batsmen needing to be prised out, a task that has often been beyond England on flat pitches overseas. While the pair did not attempt to score at a rate resembling England’s, they ticked over briskly enough, with Latham efficiently clipping away anything that drifted onto his pads.

When they took tea at 125-1 - a lead of 94 - with their captain and his deputy in tandem, New Zealand threatened to be building towards a lead that would give them an iron grip on the game. Instead, from the very first ball after tea, Jamie Overton found a fuller length outside off stump to dislodge Latham for 76.

Suddenly, England could sense the contours of an opening. The next time there was an interruption, Joe Root was midway through an over, brought on because the light had been too bad for the seamers to bowl. Yet Root immediately found bite to Devon Conway, whose inside edge was taken one-handed by Ollie Pope at short leg.

It was the sort of moment that crowds latch onto; this summer, England are providing plenty of them. Root was immediately whisked out of the attack in the improved light; his replacement, Matthew Potts promptly snared Kane Williamson in the first over of his spell too. If the shot - meeting a ball he could have left alone with a cross-batted glide - added to the sense that Williamson is a great batsman who has betrayed his best form, it was a further endorsement of Potts’s qualities. By varying his line of release, between tighter to the stumps and wide of the crease, Potts has been a menace to Williamson all series, removing him three times in four innings.

Yet if Potts has been one bowler to benefit from the trust placed in him by Ben Stokes, Jack Leach has been another. Fresh from his maiden Test five-fer in England, Leach was even granted the new ball in the second innings, because of some footmarks and his first innings dismissal of Will Young. While Leach did not strike then, he was brought back on to target Henry Nicholls, who has a poor record against left-arm spin. Using his feet, Nicholls miscued a drive straight back to Leach, who took a neat catch. New Zealand were so keen for further showers to bring a premature end to the day that Tom Blundell pulled out of several deliveries from Potts before the umpires sent the players back. For all that these teams are evenly matched, somehow the moment was in keeping with the series.

Main character energy is the concept of feeling in charge of your destiny. All series long, this force has seemed to be with only one team. Rather than controlling their own fate, things - Covid-19 outbreaks, injuries, stunning England counter-attacks - have seemed to happen to New Zealand, which they have accepted with their customary good grace. While the sense is growing that New Zealand have descended from the summit they reached last year - winning the inaugural World Test Championship - they have contributed too much to this enthralling series to merit returning home nursing a 3-0 defeat.

For Overton, 89 not out overnight, the 11 runs he needed to become the first ever England Test debutant to score a century loomed as the toughest 11 that he would ever score. A night’s sleep appeared to have done more good for New Zealand, who returned with their zest back, than Overton, who spent much of the evening tossing and turning as he stewed over how he would reach his hundred. His answer seemed to be with a mixture of cross-batted shots and tight singles, interspersed with one fine square drive off Trent Boult. But on 97, after taking 30 balls to add eight runs on the third morning, Overton pushed to slip. Boult’s roar attested to New Zealand’s relief at finally ending England’s seventh-wicket stand, and their frustration that it had taken them 241 runs to do so.

Jonny Bairstow consoles Jamie Overton after he fell for 97 on Test debut. - GETTY IMAGES
Jonny Bairstow consoles Jamie Overton after he fell for 97 on Test debut. - GETTY IMAGES

Before he received a sympathetic standing ovation from the crowd, Overton was given a pat on the back by Bairstow. Still, New Zealand’s suffering was not done yet: Stuart Broad smote a rapid 45, launching Boult over his head, to ensure that England converted their 55-6 into a total of 360, and a lead of 31.

After he launched Michael Bracewell to long off, where Boult took a fine catch, Bairstow - like a actor satisfying a rapt audience - turned back several times to acknowledge the applause of his home crowd, revelling in his wonderful run of form. This 162 off 157 deliveries, the second fastest Test 150 of all time, was even more assured than the 136 off 92 balls in the run chase at Trent Bridge - a sequence of consecutive innings to rank with any in England’s Test history. He might yet have to make his remarkable duo of innings into a hat-trick if England are to mark their first series under Stokes’s captaincy with a 3-0 victory.

England vs New Zealand, third Test, day three - as it happened:

07:09 PM

That's all from me...

But scroll down for over-by-over commentary of an entertaining day or scroll up for a report from Headingley.

06:39 PM

England need to strike early tomorrow

Mitchell and Blundell have formed some epic partnerships this series and have the ability to bat their side into a commanding position. There is plenty of batting still to come from Bracewell and Southee, too.

That being said, as Trent Bridge showed, this England side will back itself to chase anything...

06:23 PM

What does CricViz say?

New Zealand lead by 137 runs with five wickets in hand. CricViz makes England favourites to win, however, at 51 per cent with the tourists winning at 41 per cent. A draw is the most unlikely outcome at eight per cent.

Mitchell and Blundell, who have been prolific this series, are at the crease for New Zealand and could yet swing the match back in their favour.

06:12 PM

That is stumps

That is that for the day, play will not resume. The match is wonderfully poised going into tomorrow.

06:05 PM

Rain, rain, go away

Evening all, the rain has interrupted play once more. It must resume by 6.19pm or we are done for the day. It will be touch and go.

06:01 PM

OVER 52: NZ 168/5 (Blundell 5 Mitchell 4)

Blundell strokes Potts' third ball towards fine leg for four. Potts screams for lbw after a yorker catches Blundell on the pads, but no dismissal is forthcoming. Once again, the rain covers are coming on.

Meanwhile, it's been a decent knock, but it's time for me to hand over to Jake Goodwill, who'll cover the remainder of the evening session.

05:55 PM

OVER 51: NZ 164/5 (Blundell 1 Mitchell 4)

Mitchell and Blundell nab a single apiece from Leach. It looks like it could be coming on to rain again.

05:53 PM

OVER 50: NZ 162/5 (Blundell 0 Mitchell 3)

Mitchell stabs a tentative single towards mid-wicket. That's as good as the over gets for the visitors.

05:51 PM

OVER 49: NZ 161/5 (Blundell 0 Mitchell 2)

Tom Blundell survives the last ball of the over, much to his relief.

05:50 PM

WICKET!

Mitchell c and b Leach Mitchell pokes Leach's first ball leg side for a single. Nicholls looks uncomfortable against left-arm spin, however, and adopts a defensive stance.

With his fifth ball of the over, Leach lures Nicholls into a poorly chosen shot which comes right back at him. He makes the catch, leaving New Zealand listing at 161 for five.

Henry Nicholls looks away in disgust - GETTY IMAGES
Henry Nicholls looks away in disgust - GETTY IMAGES

05:43 PM

OVER 48: NZ 160/4 (Nicholls 7 Mitchell 1)

Mitchell gets on the scoreboard with the last ball of the over, clipping a full delivery from Potts to backward square leg for a single.

05:39 PM

OVER 47: NZ 159/4 (Nicholls 7 Mitchell 0)

Nicholls gets his first boundary of the evening, belting the ball through mid-wicket.

Other than that, Broad keeps things tight. His final delivery of the over is fantastic, with Nicholls a whisker away from edging it behind for a simple catch.

05:35 PM

OVER 46: NZ 155/4 (Nicholls 3 Mitchell 0)

Nicholls nabs a single off Potts' fourth ball of the over, but New Zealand's run rate has dropped off dramatically.

Mitchell stays on the defensive as the visitors settle for trying to survive the onslaught.

05:29 PM

OVER 45: NZ 154/4 (Nicholls 2 Mitchell 0)

Broad momentarily thinks he's dismissed Nicholls after he takes a wild swing at the ball and it nestles in Bairstow's gloves, but he hasn't made contact.

Nicholls gets a single off the fourth ball of the over before Mitchell defends the final two deliveries. The Headingley crowd is roaring with delight now, while the batters look increasingly hesitant.

05:25 PM

OVER 44: NZ 153/4 (Nicholls 1 Mitchell 0)

Mitchell is the new batter and survives his first delivery to see out the over.

05:24 PM

WICKET!

Williamson c Bairstow b Potts That could be a turning point.

Potts comes back in and torments Williamson, daring him to swing at a series of deliveries which move wildly in the air. With his fifth ball, he entices him to edge it straight to Bairstow. The New Zealand captain walks with his head bowed.

Matthew Potts wheels away in celebration - GETTY IMAGES
Matthew Potts wheels away in celebration - GETTY IMAGES

05:17 PM

OVER 43: NZ 153/3 (Nicholls 1 Williamson 48)

Broad has Nicholls under the cosh, bowling a maiden over as the new batter struggles to settle.

05:15 PM

OVER 42: NZ 153/3 (Nicholls 1 Williamson 48)

Henry Nicholls earns a single off the first delivery he faces, shovelling the ball leg side.

05:13 PM

WICKET!

Conway c Pope b Root England should break more often, really.

Once again, New Zealand are caught out by the first ball after the resumption of play. Root sends in a tantalising delivery and Conway hooks it to Pope at point-blank range, watching in despair as the ball nestles in his outstretched hand.

05:09 PM

Play restarts

... with Root getting ready to pick up where he left off.

04:55 PM

Rain stops play

The umpires call for the rain covers, meaning it's time for an enforced break.

04:52 PM

OVER 42: NZ 152/2 (Conway 11 Williamson 48)

Root comes back into the attack, ceding a single on his second delivery after Williamson flicks the ball to backward point.

Conway then gets four leg-byes after the ball bounces off his side and eludes Bairstow. In the meantime, the wind has picked up, the rain has started and it looks like the umpires will signal a break in play.

04:47 PM

OVER 41: NZ 147/2 (Conway 11 Williamson 47)

It's officially been three overs since New Zealand scored a run. Leach gets plenty of spin on the ball, forcing Conway into defence mode.

04:43 PM

Do we have to?

04:43 PM

OVER 40: NZ 147/2 (Conway 11 Williamson 47)

There are dark skies over Headingley now, which is a bit ominous.

Overton continues to fire short deliveries down the wicket, with Williamson leaving most of them. It's another maiden over.

04:39 PM

OVER 39: NZ 147/2 (Conway 11 Williamson 47)

Broad produces a maiden over, giving Conway a hard time in the process.

04:35 PM

OVER 38: NZ 147/2 (Conway 11 Williamson 47)

Stokes attempts a spectacular catch after a wayward shot from Conway, but can't quite pull it off. Conway gets a single as the England captain lifts himself off the turf.

Overton cedes a no ball, then a boundary off the final ball. England appeal loudly after a delivery catches Williamson on the pads, but it's pitching outside leg.

04:29 PM

OVER 37: NZ 141/2 (Conway 10 Williamson 43)

Broad looks determined to take Williamson's wicket. The New Zealander tries to block a cracking delivery but misses and very nearly edges the ball to Bairstow's gloves.

Williamson connects with next delivery but, this time, it runs for four. Broad simmers menacingly.

04:24 PM

OVER 36: NZ 137/2 (Conway 10 Williamson 39)

Overton is on the charge again, barrelling down the wicket. Williamson winkles out a single before Conway gets his second boundary off the last ball of the over.

04:19 PM

OVER 35: NZ 132/2 (Conway 6 Williamson 38)

It's a lovely over from Broad, who is millimetres away from nibbling Williamson's outside edge and setting up another easy catch for Bairstow.

Williamson works his fifth delivery to square leg for a single but, other than that, he and Conway are stuck on the defensive. England's bowlers look much sharper than they did before tea.

04:14 PM

OVER 34: NZ 131/2 (Conway 6 Williamson 37)

Overton's second delivery is viciously short and catches Devon Conway on the helmet, leaving him splayed out on the ground.

After a mandatory concussion check Conway is deemed fit to continue, albeit with a new helmet. Overton follows up with another fierce delivery which smashes into Conway's chest, but the batter gets some payback with an edge to the boundary before adding another two runs with a tickle to cover point.

Devon Conway takes a moment to compose himself - PA
Devon Conway takes a moment to compose himself - PA

04:03 PM

WICKET!

Latham c Bairstow b Overton And there we have it.

Overton comes round the wicket and finds Latham's outside edge. The New Zealand opener nudges the ball straight to the gloves of Bairstow, who makes the catch to spark wild celebrations.

04:00 PM

Evening session about to start

... with Latham and Williamson returning to the pitch.

03:47 PM

TEA: NZ 125/1

We break for tea with Latham and Williamson seven off a 100-run partnership.

They have proved to be a hugely frustrating pairing for England's bowlers so far. Can someone find that all-important wicket?

Tom Latham has been a thorn in England's side this afternoon - GETTY IMAGES
Tom Latham has been a thorn in England's side this afternoon - GETTY IMAGES

03:41 PM

OVER 33: NZ 125/1 (Latham 76 Williamson 37)

Broad sends in a floaty delivery which Williamson absolutely leathers for four.

Those are the only runs he gives away, at least. New Zealand now lead by 94 runs.

03:37 PM

OVER 32: NZ 121/1 (Latham 76 Williamson 33)

Root, who's absolutely livid with himself, steps in to bowl.

Williamson clips his first delivery for a single before Latham slashes the third towards fine leg for four. Three dot balls follow.

03:34 PM

OVER 31: NZ 116/1 (Latham 72 Williamson 32)

Broad's first ball is all wrong, setting up Latham for a simple boundary.

Latham follows up with a bash to square leg, adding two more runs. Then, a nightmare moment. Broad clips Latham's inside edge and the ball hurtles straight at Joe Root, but he contrives to drop an easy catch.

03:30 PM

OVER 30: NZ 110/1 (Latham 66 Williamson 32)

Leach's cat-and-mouse game with Williamson continues.

He pushes and probes, looking for a weak link in the New Zealander's armour. He produces another maiden over, but no wicket.

03:26 PM

OVER 29: NZ 110/1 (Latham 66 Williamson 32)

Stokes' first delivery sits up perfectly for Latham and goes for four. He looks extremely annoyed with himself.

He follows up with five dot balls. Nonetheless, his bowling looks laboured and Latham isn't much troubled.

Ben Stokes' bowling has been iffy so far - AFP
Ben Stokes' bowling has been iffy so far - AFP

03:22 PM

OVER 28: NZ 106/1 (Latham 62 Williamson 32)

Leach almost catches out Williamson with some wicked spin, but the batter shows excellent footwork to recover and defend.

It's another maiden over, with Williamson put off his stride. More where that came from.

03:19 PM

OVER 27: NZ 106/1 (Latham 62 Williamson 32)

Latham twice drives Stokes to the boundary, but the England captain gives him a scare with a fierce delivery which swings away and almost finds his outside edge.

03:16 PM

OVER 26: NZ 98/1 (Latham 54 Williamson 32)

Leach lasers in on Williamson's middle stump, delivering three dot balls. His fourth delivery goes for two, Stokes sending the bails flying with a pinpoint throw with Williamson just safe.

Williamson cuts the final ball through point for four. England's bowlers could do with a moment of magic here.

03:11 PM

OVER 25: NZ 92/1 (Latham 54 Williamson 26)

It's better from Stokes, who varies his length nicely to keep Williamson guessing.

Having given away 15 runs off his first over, this one goes for three. Harry Duke does well to deny Williamson a boundary off the final ball with some acrobatic fielding.

03:06 PM

OVER 24: NZ 89/1 (Latham 54 Williamson 23)

Leach constrains Latham with four dot balls before his fifth delivery is swept to the boundary.

England appeal for lbw as Latham misjudges his closing shot, but it's highly speculative.

Jack Leach lets his frustrations show - AFP
Jack Leach lets his frustrations show - AFP

03:02 PM

OVER 23: NZ 85/1 (Latham 50 Williamson 23)

Ben Stokes comes into the attack, earning a huge cheer from the crowd.

Williamson licks his first delivery past covers for a boundary. His third delivery also goes for four. He follows up with a no ball, then gives away a single, then another boundary, then another single. That brings up Latham's half-century. Not the best over from the England captain, all told.

02:57 PM

OVER 22: NZ 70/1 (Latham 45 Williamson 14)

Leach's first delivery is full on middle, Latham sweeping it to backwards square leg for two.

He adds a single before Williamson finds the boundary after guiding the ball beyond third man. Williamson then gets a single of his own.

02:54 PM

OVER 21: NZ 62/1 (Latham 42 Williamson 9)

Overton launches a barrage at Williamson, who digs in and goes for all-out defence. Overton's last ball is wide but, other than that, no runs are forthcoming.

Fancy something to peruse between overs? Here's Scyld Berry with an in-depth look at the stats from England's first innings.

02:48 PM

OVER 20: NZ 61/1 (Latham 42 Williamson 9)

Leach continues to menace with his spin. Latham attempts a sweep but the ball bounces up and hits him on the shoulder. It's another maiden over from the Somerset man.

02:44 PM

OVER 19: NZ 61/1 (Latham 42 Williamson 9)

Overton troubles Latham with several full deliveries before the New Zealand opener jabs the ball to square leg for a single.

Williamson continues to defend steadfastly, seeing out the last couple of deliveries comfortably.

02:39 PM

OVER 18: NZ 60/1 (Latham 41 Williamson 9)

Latham pushes Leach's second delivery to square leg for a single before Williamson finds the gap with a powerful drive.

Zak Crawley fields well at the boundary, limiting him to two runs when it could have been four. Leach wraps things up with three dot balls.

02:35 PM

OVER 17: NZ 57/1 (Latham 40 Williamson 7)

Overton opens with a dot ball but Latham edges his second delivery for four.

Latham adds a single, bringing him up to 40. Williamson leaves the penultimate delivery before defending the last ball resolutely.

Overton laments Latham's boundary - PA
Overton laments Latham's boundary - PA

02:30 PM

OVER 16: NZ 52/1 (Latham 35 Williamson 7)

Leach gives Williamson problems with a series of dangerous deliveries, ending up with a maiden over.

02:27 PM

OVER 15: NZ 52/1 (Latham 35 Williamson 7)

Overton very nearly finds Latham's outside edge, but the ball narrowly swerves through to Bairstow.

Williamson gets his first boundary of the afternoon after Overton sends in a leg stump half-volley. He adds a single before Latham drives a full ball through covers for four.

02:22 PM

OVER 14: NZ 42/1 (Latham 30 Williamson 2)

Potts starts by giving away a leg-bye but, otherwise, it's a neat and tidy over. New Zealand's momentum has stalled a little.

02:18 PM

OVER 13: NZ 41/1 (Latham 30 Williamson 2)

Overton produces England's first maiden over of the afternoon, drawing Williamson into a big miss with his fifth ball.

02:14 PM

OVER 12: NZ 41/1 (Latham 30 Williamson 2)

It's excellent bowling from Potts, who forces Williamson into a series of sturdy blocks.

Williamson takes a single off the final ball, funnelling it to square leg.

02:08 PM

OVER 11: NZ 40/1 (Latham 30 Williamson 1)

Williamson gets up and running with a quick single.

Other than that, it's a barren over for New Zealand. Broad puts Latham on the defensive with a series of probing deliveries.

02:05 PM

OVER 10: NZ 39/1 (Latham 30 Williamson 0)

Potts ties down Latham with four dots balls before he punches a loose delivery down the ground for a boundary.

He ends the over with a rock-solid block. That takes him to 30 runs off 40 balls, which is promising as far as New Zealand are concerned.

02:02 PM

OVER 9: NZ 35/1 (Latham 26 Williamson 0)

Latham starts the over with a boundary, putting New Zealand back in front on the scoreboard.

He adds another single, then Kane Williamson gets a leg-bye. Latham continues to steadily accumulate runs with another single off the final ball.

01:57 PM

OVER 8: NZ 28/1 (Latham 20)

Potts did really well to find Young's outside edge there. England have struck their first blow.

01:56 PM

WICKET!

Young c Pope b Potts Latham takes a couple of runs off Potts' first ball, then adds a single.

Young hits another four and seems to be finding his stride. Then, with the final ball of the over, Potts lures him in with a smart delivery and Ollie Pope takes the catch. He'll be disappointed with himself there.

01:52 PM

OVER 7: NZ 21/0 (Latham 17 Young 4)

Latham knocks Broad's second delivery through covers for three. Young faces three balls without scoring before finally getting off the mark, a clipped shot past backward point trickling through to the boundary for four.

01:45 PM

OVER 6: NZ 14/0 (Latham 14 Young 0)

Potts starts the afternoon session with three dot balls, before Latham flicks his fourth delivery to mid-wicket for a single.

Young turtles up, playing a cagey defensive shot before leaving the final ball of the over.

01:41 PM

Batters back out

... meaning we're about to get back underway at Headingley.

Will Young surveys the scene - GETTY IMAGES
Will Young surveys the scene - GETTY IMAGES

01:40 PM

Looking for some lunchtime reading?

... well, you're in luck.

In case you missed it, here's Jim White's interview with Test Match Special's Andy Zaltzman. Plus, here's Scyld Berry on how England's new coaching regime has liberated Bairstow and Tim Wigmore on the highs and lows of "Baz ball".

01:06 PM

LUNCH: NZ 13/0

What are we having, then? Sandwiches? Two packets of Mini Cheddars and a pint of real ale? Cold beans straight from the tin?

01:02 PM

OVER 5: NZ 13/0 (Latham 13 Young 0)

Having started with three dot balls, Broad misjudges his fourth delivery and Latham drives it past him for four.

Latham adds two more runs with another clever shot, then whips a single wide of third man. That takes us to lunch.

12:56 PM

OVER 4: NZ 6/0 (Latham 6 Young 0)

Leach puts Latham under pressure with several full deliveries on middle. Again, Latham teases out a single before Young contents himself with defending his wicket.

12:54 PM

OVER 3: NZ 5/0 (Latham 5 Young 0)

Broad is so, so close to catching Latham's inside edge, but the ball whistles through to Bairstow.

Latham eventually musters up a single. Young continues to leave everything that comes at him.

12:51 PM

OVER 2: NZ 4/0 (Latham 4 Young 0)

Latham clips Leach's first delivery to leg side for a single. Young finds himself pinned down and fails to get off the mark from the ensuing five balls.

12:47 PM

OVER 1: NZ 3/0 (Latham 3 Young 0)

Broad makes a decent start with three dots balls as Tom Latham beds in. The fourth ball goes for three, getting New Zealand off the mark, before Will Young makes a solid block and leaves the final delivery of the over.

12:43 PM

Bairstow has the gloves

Ben Foakes has a stiff back, apparently, so Bairstow will fill in as wicket-keeper

12:36 PM

ENG 360 all out

Given that they were 55 for six midway through day two, England can be delighted with a 31-run lead.

This Test is nicely poised now. What can New Zealand produce in response?

Over to New Zealand - GETTY IMAGES
Over to New Zealand - GETTY IMAGES

12:34 PM

WICKET!

Leach lbw b Southee Potts adds a single off four balls. It's England's final run of the afternoon as Southee traps Leach lbw and brings the hosts' first innings to an end.

12:30 PM

OVER 66: ENG 359/9 (Leach 8 Potts 0)

Jack Leach makes a fast start, posting back-to-back fours. He then falls back on his defensive repertoire as Bracewell looks for an opening.

12:27 PM

WICKET!

Bairstow c Boult b Bracewell And with that, Bairstow's heroic innings is over.

He tries to smash Bracewell's first delivery to the boundary, but Boult is lurking. He takes an excellent catch and Bairstow walks, earning a standing ovation.

Bairstow raises his bat ruefully - GETTY IMAGES
Bairstow raises his bat ruefully - GETTY IMAGES

12:26 PM

OVER 65: ENG 351/8 (Bairstow 162)

It may have been short and sweet, but Broad can be happy enough with that showing.

England are 22 ahead with 65 overs gone. Matthew Potts will come in next.

12:23 PM

WICKET!

Broad b Southee Southee gets a little loose, teeing up Broad for four with a full delivery before his third ball brushes his pads and goes for four leg-byes.

Broad smashes him for four once again, but Southee gets his vengeance with the final ball. The stumps go flying and, with that, Broad's knock is done.

12:18 PM

OVER 64: ENG 339/7 (Bairstow 162 Broad 34)

Bracewell appeals vociferously for lbw after finding Broad's pads, but there's nothing doing. Broad edges the second delivery for four, then adds a single.

Bairstow is almost caught by Bracewell after thrashing a shot straight at him, but the bowler fails to hold it. Bairstow doesn't miss a beat, adding a single before Broad returns the favour.

12:12 PM

OVER 63: ENG 332/7 (Bairstow 161 Broad 28)

Southee bowls the first three balls beautifully, leaving Broad swishing at thin air. The fourth goes for a single, before Bairstow is forced onto the defensive. Good bowling, that.

12:05 PM

OVER 62: ENG 331/7 (Bairstow 161 Broad 27)

Bairstow gives England the lead with a single and the Headingley crowd applauds a genuinely thrilling turnaround.

Broad goes back on the defensive amid an onslaught from Boult. He adds another single before the over comes to a close and, with that, on come the drinks.

12:00 PM

OVER 61: ENG 329/7 (Bairstow 160 Broad 26)

Broad is going hell for leather now. Wagner's first delivery is smashed over long off for four, before Broad tonks another big six.

The batters exchange singles and England draw level. How big a lead can they build from here?

11:56 AM

OVER 60: ENG 317/7 (Bairstow 159 Broad 15)

Having made a somewhat tentative start, Broad suddenly explodes into action. After lashing Boult for two consecutive fours, he thunders the ball down the ground and into the stands for the first six of the day.

Boult manages to produce a dot ball, before Broad adds another single. Bairstow, with a single, is upstaged.

11:50 AM

OVER 59: ENG 301/7 (Bairstow 158 Broad 0)

Bairstow finds the boundary off the first ball of the over, thumping a full delivery from Wagner through covers.

He adds a quick single, giving Broad another chance to get on the scoreboard. He fails to do so, producing several defensive shots before going for the final ball and missing.

11:47 AM

OVER 58: ENG 296/7 (Bairstow 153 Broad 0)

Stuart Broad eases himself in, defending the first ball he faces, leaving the second and swinging at the third to no avail.

11:44 AM

WICKET!

Overton c Mitchell b Boult It's heartbreak for Overton, who's dismissed three runs short of 100.

Bairstow tickles a single off the first ball. Boult goes back to bombarding Overton, almost finding his outside edge with an outswinger. With his third delivery, he traps him and Daryl Mitchell takes the catch. Bairstow goes over to commiserate and give Overton a hug before he leaves the field.

Bairstow consoles Overton as he makes his exit - PA
Bairstow consoles Overton as he makes his exit - PA

11:39 AM

OVER 57: ENG 295/6 (Bairstow 152 Overton 97)

Bairstow brings up 150, driving Neil Wagner's first delivery through covers for two. He punches the air, lifting his bat as Headingley rises to its feet in appreciation.

Bairstow adds a single, then Overton likewise. Bairstow ekes out one more run before Overton fails to connect with the penultimate ball and opts to see out the over with a smart defensive shot.

11:35 AM

OVER 56: ENG 290/6 (Bairstow 148 Overton 96)

Boult makes Overton uncomfortable, teasing out two more big misses. He connects with the fifth delivery but can only find a fielder.

Just when it looks like another maiden over is in the offing, Overton clonks a square drive through for four. England now trail by 39.

11:31 AM

OVER 55: ENG 286/6 (Bairstow 148 Overton 92)

Bairstow and Overton exchange singles before the former finds the gap with a well-placed shot and gets his second boundary of the morning.

Bairstow then pings Southee's final ball through covers to add another two. He's starting to build up a head of steam now.

11:27 AM

OVER 54: ENG 278/6 (Bairstow 141 Overton 91)

Bairstow suddenly roars into life, thumping Boult's second delivery to the boundary after an initial wide. It's the first four of the day, earning a big cheer from the stands.

Bairstow then guides the ball to fine leg and adds two more runs, adding another single before the over draws to a close.

11:24 AM

OVER 53: ENG 270/6 (Bairstow 134 Overton 91)

Bairstow pushes Southee's first delivery to mid on for a single. Overton defends the second ball and leaves the third, then produces a big swing and a miss as Southee beats him for pace.

We end up with five dot balls on the bounce. Overton won't want to do anything to jeopardise his century.

11:16 AM

OVER 52: ENG 269/6 (Bairstow 133 Overton 91)

Trent Boult is next up and produces the first maiden over of the day, Overton deciding that discretion is the better part of valour in the face of a flurry of fizzing deliveries.

11:12 AM

OVER 51: ENG 269/6 (Bairstow 133 Overton 91)

Tim Southee gives Overton something to think about with a wicked outswinger which the England batter narrowly misses. After going on the defensive for the next two deliveries, he crafts a clever single.

Bairstow whips the next delivery through square leg and goes for a slightly uncomfortable second run. With his last ball, Southee threatens Bairstow's off stump but can't quite nick it.

11:05 AM

OVER 50: ENG 266/6 (Bairstow 131 Overton 90)

Bairstow calmly defends the first two deliveries from Michael Bracewell, then runs a cautious single. Overton adds a run of his own to bring up 90, with both batters easing themselves in nicely.

11:00 AM

Bairstow and Overton emerge

... receiving a huge round of applause from the Headingley crowd.

10:58 AM

Umpires take to the field

Only a few minutes until the start of play now.

10:50 AM

A reminder

... that the action is live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Cricket. Take your pick!

10:44 AM

More where that came from?

10:34 AM

Bairstow and Overton back at it

Having saved England's proverbial bacon on day two, Jonny Bairstow and Jamie Overton will resume their record batting partnership this morning.

After the hosts had limped to 55 for six inside 12 overs after lunch, their hopes of a third win against New Zealand looked to be in tatters. Bairstow and Overton did an impressive emergency repair job, however, thrashing out 209 runs in only 37.1 overs to give England their all-time highest seventh wicket stand.

Bairstow starts day three on 130, a total racked up at blistering speed off just 126 balls. Overton starts on 89, meaning 11 more runs will seal his status as the 21st player to make a century on his Test debut.

Thanks to their endeavour, England find themselves on a relatively healthy 264 for six. While Overton was not quite as swish as his partner on day two, his batting was still hugely effective. New Zealand will be desperate to dismiss them early.

Having won the first two Tests at Lord's and Trent Bridge respectively, England have already wrapped up the series and, as such, have little to lose at Headingley. Brendon McCullum has given them license to entertain and Overton and Bairstow, at least, have already delivered.

Nonetheless, a clean sweep against New Zealand would be a worthy achievement and an excellent start to the era of "Baz ball". England still trail by 65 runs but, if Bairstow and Overton can pick up where they left off, they will quickly eat into that deficit. With a raucous home crowd behind them, this should be another thrilling day of cricket.

Speaking at the end of day two, Bairstow gave an insight into his mindset. "I guess it's your personality coming out," he said.

"It's just a more relaxed me at the crease, I'm not necessarily as tense. I've gone back to young Jonny, where I'm watching the ball and seeing the ball.

"There is sometimes a lot of rubbish spoken about a lot of different things, sometimes it gets into your mind and clutters it.

"I have to listen to the people that matter to me and right now I am doing that. The most important thing is me being me."

Jonny Bairstow celebrates his century on day two - AFP
Jonny Bairstow celebrates his century on day two - AFP
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