By BV Swagath
England pulled off a sensational draw in the Third and final Test at the Eden Park in Auckland from a losing position. With the unexpected stalemate, the New Zealand-England series ended with a 0-0 draw. England resumed the final day’s play at 90 for 4 after being set an improbable target of 481.
The visitors had a decent morning session losing only wicket in the form of Joe Root (29) at the stroke of Lunch. After Tea, England lost an early wicket but had a partnership going between Ian Bell and Matt Prior. Ian Bell scored a crucial 75 batting out 271 balls before he fell at the stroke of the Tea Break.
England then batted out nearly 33 overs in the final session and hung in for a draw with just the one wicket in hand. Wicket Keeper Matt Prior held up one end for England to finish with a fighting unbeaten 110* from 182 balls with 20 fours. Prior was helped by Stuart Broad who batted out 77 balls. Monty Panesar towards the end survived five balls to ensure that New Zealand couldn’t take the last wicket and win the Test and the Series. The unusual bowling hero for the Kiwis was part-time off spinner Kane Williamson who took 4 for 44 in 20 overs. Pacers Tim Southee and Neil Wagner picked up two wickets each.