The draws are back in town. Today, all things being equal, England will draw their consecutive Test at home for the first time since the late eighties. And though that’s mainly down to the weather, it also speaks of a greater resilience under Chris Silverwood. The Bayliss-era England might have thrown the towel in when they slipped to 140 for six; instead, Rory Burns and Ollie Robinson (with bat and ball) stalled New Zealand’s momentum to such an extent that they finished the day crawling along at two an over.
New Zealand will resume on 62 for two, a lead of 165. With a maximum of 98 overs to bowl, they could still force victory on a pitch is becoming more uneven. But with a forecast for showers – of the meteorological rather than the middle-order kind – that looks unlikely. Madame de Stael said that one must choose in life between boredom and suffering. England politely request a boring last day.
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