England need 113 runs with eight wickets in hand today to complete another superb final-day victory against New Zealand in the 3rd Test at Headingley, Leeds, England
Set 296 to win, England hurried along once again to reach 183-2 on yesterday’s fourth day of the 5-day Test.
Ollie Pope made 81 not out and Joe Root an unbeaten 55. They put on 132 for the third wicket after Alex Lees was run out for 9 and Zak Crawley caught for a frantic 25.
After chasing 277 in the first Test and breathlessly pursuing 299 to win the second, victory at Leeds will give England a 3-0 series clean sweep over the World Test champions.
England would have hoped to be given a smaller target when New Zealand resumed on 168-5 yesterday, 137 ahead, but they were thwarted by Tom Blundell’s 88 not out.
Blundell, who had an lbw decision overturned on review when on 52, and was dropped on 67, combined with Daryl Mitchell yet again for their fourth century stand of the series, 120 runs for the sixth wicket.
Mitchell fell lbw for 56 to impressive fast bowler, Matthew Potts, 50 minutes into the afternoon session before Jack Leach took the last four wickets to claim 5-66, and his first 10-wicket match haul in Tests.
If England pull off the win they will become the first team to chase 250 three times in a row.
A full house is expected today after Yorkshire followed the lead of Nottinghamshire, the hosts of the second Test, to allow spectators in for free.