Boult strikes as England collapse in New Zealand finale

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Trent Boult took three wickets as England slumped to 91-6 at tea on the second day of the third Test on Friday, with their previous batting frailties returning to haunt them.

England last week went 2-0 up in the three-match series playing bold and aggressive cricket under their new leadership pair of captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum, a former New Zealand skipper.

But replying to Test world champions New Zea-land’s first innings score of 329, England lost six wickets within 12 overs at Headingley, most of them due to good bowling rather than cavalier batting.

Left-hander Alex Lees, dropped in the slips off the first ball of the innings, was bowled by a superb Boult leg-cutter four balls later.

Ollie Pope, fresh from a hundred in the second Test at Trent Bridge, was also cleaned up by Boult to leave England 14-2.

The out-of-form Zak Crawley was next to fall, bowled middle stump by Boult, who had 3-43 in eight overs at tea, before Tim Southee had star batsman Joe Root caught behind for five on his Yorkshire home ground.

That left England 21-4 and although Stokes counter-attacked by going down the pitch to drive Southee for six, he could only chip recalled left-arm quick Neil Wagner to mid-off trying to play a similar shot.

Three balls later, Wagner had a second wicket in only his first over of the series when wicketkeeper Ben Foakes was plumb lbw for nought to leave England 55-6 in 11.5 overs. Jonny Bairstow, one of several Yorkshireman in England’s XI, had made 27 when Wagner dropped a return catch of a checked drive.

Bairstow (33 not out) and Jamie Overton (16 not out) then managed to make it through to the break.—AFP

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