Mark Wood kicks the ball towards the stumps as Ross Taylor (left) runs back to his crease on the fifth day of the first Test at Lord's Cricket Ground on Sunday. AFP
Ross Taylor led a brisk batting display by New Zealand as the tourists pressed for an unlikely win on the fifth and final day of the first Test against England at Lord's on Sunday. Both sides had seen their chances of victory in the first of this two-Test series diminished by Friday's total washout.
But when rain forced an early lunch on Sunday, New Zealand were 169-6 in their second innings following Taylor's 33 off 35 balls, including two sixes.
That meant they had an overall lead of 272 runs with 75.3 overs still left in the day — plenty of time in which to declare against an England side without several batsmen well-suited to a run chase in injured all-rounder Ben Stokes and the rested Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow.
Ross Taylor plays a shot off the bowling of Ollie Robinson during the fifth day of the first Test match in London. AP
New Zealand, who, after next week's second Test at Edgbaston, face India in the inaugural World Test Championship final at Southampton starting on June 18, resumed on 62-2. Tom Latham was 30 not out and nightwatchman Neil Wagner unbeaten on two. Tim Southee took 6-43 in England's first innings 275 on Saturday featuring opener Rory Burns' 132.
England debutant paceman Ollie Robinson then removed both fellow Test newcomer Devon Conway — who made a superb 200 in New Zealand's first innings 378 — and visiting skipper Kane Williamson before stumps on Saturday.
Robinson, who took 4-75 in the tourists' first innings and then made 42 with the bat, continued an impressive on-field debut early in Sunday's play. The Sussex quick, whose performance has been overshadowed by the republication of racist tweets he first posted as a teenager, had Wagner (10) caught by debutant wicketkeeper James Bracey off a miscued hook. But Taylor hoisted Robinson for six.
Latham (36), however was lbw to Broad — the England great's first wicket in a Test in his last 81.2 overs, since he dismissed Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews in the first innings at Galle in January.
Taylor hoisted Robinson for another six before his breezy innings ended when an edged drive off fast bowler Mark Wood was well caught by Bracey, diving to his right.
England captain Joe Root then struck with his occasional off-spin when he had Henry Nicholls well taken at slip by Burns before rain stopped play.
South Africa-born left-hander Conway was in sight of becoming the very first batsman in the 144-year history of Test cricket to carry their bat throughout the entire innings in their first knock in the format when he was run out to end a stay of more than nine-and-a-half hours.
Robinson, in a statement issued after play on Wednesday, said he was "embarrassed" and "ashamed" by the posts. "I want to make it clear that I'm not racist and I'm not sexist," he added.
England has slumped to its first test series defeat at home since 2014 after meekly surrendering to New Zealand in less than an hour of play on the fourth day of the second test at Edgbaston on Sunday.
The news will be a massive financial blow to embattled Cricket South Africa (CSA) and also casts doubt on their ability to host future tours, with Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Australia all set to play in the country in the coming months.
India and Pakistan are set to renew rivalry in a spine-tingling and the most anticipated clash of the T20 World Cup in Dubai on Sunday.
Namibia reached the Twenty20 World Cup second round for the first time on Friday when they defeated Ireland by eight wickets.World number 19 Namibia, the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, chased down their modest target of 126 with skipper Gerhard Erasmus making an unbeaten 53.
Fans from both the nations have shown immense interest in watching Sunday's game in Dubai as tickets for the key contest were sold out hours after they went on sale early this month.
Ireland and Namibia face off in a knockout clash of the T20 World Cup with a Super 12 berth at stake in Sharjah on Friday. The match will mark the exit for the loser while winners will punch a ticket for the Super 12, which gets under way on Oct.23.