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New Zealand vs England

Third Test: Matt Prior, Ian Bell and Stuart Broad help England claim unlikely draw

Matt Prior: Led the resistance with a stunning century

Jonny Bairstow walks off as New Zealand players celebrate

A sensational century from Matt Prior and dogged resistance from Ian Bell and Stuart Broad helped England save the third and final Test in Auckland.

England had started the day on the back foot - with New Zealand needing just six wickets to win and claim a 1-0 series victory.

However Prior finished with an unbeaten 110, while Bell's brave 75 and a defiant six off 77 deliveries from Broad saw England to 315-9 and left New Zealand cursing their luck.

It was a day of high drama at Eden Park, with dropped catches, injuries, overturned decisions, a ball that hit the stumps only for the bails to remain in place and some dogged resistance.

Having resumed on 90-4, Bell and Joe Root had batted beautifully for the majority of the morning session to give England hope.

However the game looked to turn with the introduction of the new ball - Trent Boult trapping Root (29) leg before with the first delivery.


Bell and Jonny Bairstow were both dropped during a tricky spell before the lunch interval as New Zealand attempted to turn the screw.

Bairstow, who was put down at gully by Kane Williamson, failed to make the most of his lifeline, though, as he was caught by Ross Taylor off Tim Southee for six.

Bell and Prior then combined to frustrate the hosts, but the partnership wasn't without drama. Prior firstly successfully reviewed a leg before decision while luck was truly on the wicketkeeper's side as a bouncer from Neil Wagner cannoned off the handle of his bat and helmet and into the stumps, but the bails remained intact.

Bell, who had earlier been dropped at slip by Dean Brownlie when on 40, then survived a tricky period against Williamson.

However New Zealand got the crucial wicket of Bell on the stroke of tea, with Wagner finding the edge and Southee taking the catch. Bell had batted for 353 minutes and faced 271 balls for his 75.

Prior brought up his half-century off 75 to keep England in the game and he continued to play his shots. Broad at the other end had looked incredibly nervous and he needed a review to save him after he was initially given out leg before.

He dug in brilliantly, though, to provide the perfect cameo to Prior. He took 62 deliveries and a record 103 minutes to finally get off the mark.

Prior had no such issues scoring as he clubbed the ball away to bring up his ton - the milestone coming off 148 balls - although he needed treatment on elbow shortly after to add to the tension.

New Zealand threw everything at England in the final overs and they set up a nail-biting finale when Williamson removed Broad with 21 balls to go and then James Anderson two deliveries later - Ross Taylor taking both catches,

Somehow Prior and Monty Panesar managed to see out the final three overs - although the spinner was almost run out as he tried to pass on the strike.

Match Details

21st - 25th Mar 2013
England won the toss and elected to bowl.
Eden Park, Auckland
P R Reiffel and R J Tucker


Batsman R
Cook c Brownlie b Williamson 43
Compton c Watling b Southee 2
Trott c Watling b N Wagner 37
Bell c Southee b N Wagner 75
Finn c Southee b Williamson 0
Root lbw b Boult 29
Bairstow c Southee 6
Prior not out 110
Broad c Williamson 6
Anderson c Williamson 0
Panesar not out 2
Extras 1nb, 4lb 5
Total 143.0 Overs 315 - 9
Full Batting Card

new zealand BOWLING CARD

Bowler O M R W
Boult 29 13 55 1
Southee 30 6 77 2
Martin 39 18 74 0
N Wagner 25 8 61 2
Williamson 20 8 44 4
Full Bowling Card