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Wagner strikes twice as England close on draw
March 10, 2013 , 11 : 21 am
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Umpire Paul Reiffel (L) signals that New Zealand's Neil Wagner (R) has successfully dismissed England's Kevin Pietersen for 12 runs during the fifth day of the first test at the University Oval in Dunedin March 10, 2013. Photo - Reuters
Despite three wickets to New Zealand quick Neil Wagner, England were doggedly working towards salvaging a draw on the final day of the first Test against New Zealand on Sunday. At tea, England were 382 for four with six wickets in hand, holding an 89-run lead with one session remaining.
Nightwatchman Steven Finn continued to frustrate the New Zealand bowlers and was unbeaten on his Test best 56 with Ian Bell on 10. After resuming in the morning at 234 for one, England have added 148 runs while losing three top-order wickets to Wagner, toiling on an unresponsive University Oval pitch.
The unlikely rock for England was Finn who was thrust into the middle before stumps on Saturday when Alastair Cook was removed for 116 to end a 231-run opening stand with Nick Compton. Finn was scoreless overnight and had fortune in his favour in the opening over of the day when he edged Tim Southee but Dean Brownlie was unable to hold the difficult chance.
He also nicked part-time spinner Kane Williamson through the slips but has otherwise remained staunch in 281 minutes at the crease, including taking 72 minutes and 50 deliveries to advance from 53 to 54. ompton was the first wicket to fall after adding 15 runs to his overnight total, trapped leg before wicket by Wagner to be out for 117 in the only wicket to fall in the morning session.
Wagner struck again after lunch when he leapt high to claim a one-handed caught and bowled dismissal of Jonathan Trott for 52, going on to remove Kevin Pietersen for 12. Trott misjudged a delivery which he tried to turn down the leg side and sent a leading edge back to Wagner, while Pietersen edged a wide delivery through to wicketkeeper BJ Watling for 12.
Pietersen, who was dismissed first ball by Wagner in the first innings, lasted 26 balls this time, well short of the long stay in the middle he was looking for. For New Zealand, Wagner had three for 124, while Trent Boult, who removed Cook, was more economical at one for 43
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