In order to help his team tie the series, New Zealand pacer Neil Wagner managed a tense victory over England on day five of the second Test in Wellington. The Kiwis won the see-saw battle between the two teams by a run as Basin Reserve went berserk when the left-arm seamer dismissed James Anderson.
The decisive moment occurred in the 75th over when Wagner sprinted in following a superb stint in which he had previously claimed three enormous wickets to hamper England’s run-chase. As Tom Blundell dove in to grab the catch, Anderson, the final man, gloved a short-pitched pitch to the leg side. With 1 off 31 balls, left-arm spinner Jack Leach maintained his perfect record at the opposite end.
England had a little advantage going into the final day because they had chased 258 and had ended the previous day at 48-1 in 11 overs. Harry Brook, who left for a golden duck after a terrible mix-up with Joe Root, was one of the four wickets the Kiwi bowlers captured in the opening hour. After a 121-run combination, Root and skipper Ben Stokes rekindled England’s hopes. The game was completely opened up by Wagner’s short pitches to Root and Stokes, which tipped the balance in New Zealand’s favour.
Here is how Neil Wagner dismissed James Anderson:
Incredible scenes at the Basin Reserve. A thrilling end to the 2nd Test in Wellington 🏏 #NZvENG pic.twitter.com/tyG7laNtdP
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) February 28, 2023
England had regained composure despite being eight down thanks to a 36-run partnership between Ben Foakes and Leach. Tim Southee returned to bounce out Foakes when seven runs were needed, but Anderson brought his team closer with a boundary in the following over. Wagner, however, had other ideas. He also atoned for his 21-1-119-1 first-inning numbers.
Also, the one-run victory marked just the fourth time a team has triumphed while losing the follow-on. Stokes made the audacious decision to order the home team to bat once again after dismissing them for 209 and holding a 226-point lead. The second innings, however, saw significantly better results for New Zealand, which began with a 149-run opening stand between Tom Latham and Devon Conway.
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