Anderson tears through New Zealand's top-order as England capitalise on massive lead
England have put themselves in a winning position after day two of their second Test in New Zealand, with three quickfire James Anderson wickets torpedoing the hosts' chances.
The visitors resumed on Saturday at 315-3 with Harry Brook and Joe Root at the crease, with Brook only adding two more runs to reach 186 off 176 deliveries before getting caught-and-bowled by Matt Henry.
Root, who picked things up at 101 not-out, made his way to 153 not-out from 224 deliveries. After just 28 of his first 101 runs came via boundaries (seven fours), he put the foot down on day two, with 32 of his 52 runs resulting from three fours and three sixes.
New Zealand quick Neil Wagner caused Ben Stokes to mistime a pull shot and lob an easy one to mid-off on 27, and spinner Michael Bracewell removed Ben Foakes (duck) and Stuart Broad (14).
Henry came back in and collected his fourth wicket, dismissing Ollie Robinson for 18, and with England at 435-8 they decided to declare and have a bowl in swinging conditions.
The decision paid early dividends, with Anderson starting like a house on fire.
Anderson got the wicket of opener Devon Conway (duck) in the first over, with a review finding the faintest of edges through to Foakes behind the stumps.
England's all-time leading wicket taker then caught the edge of Black Caps talisman Kane Williamson (four), and Foakes had three catches by the ninth over after Anderson removed Will Young (two).
Anderson's onslaught left New Zealand at 21-3 – the same mark England were before Brook and Root's heroic partnership – but there was little resistance waiting in the wings, as Jack Leach took three wickets and Broad nabbed one to make it 138-7.
For the second day in a row stumps were called hours before the scheduled finish time due to heavy rain, and the weather may be the hosts' only chance of salvaging a result.
Brook second to Bradman
Despite only mustering two more runs after resuming play, Brook's 186 raised his average to 89.88 from nine innings.
Among all players with at least five Test innings, Brook's average is second to only Sir Donald Bradman (99.94).
Anderson's bread and butter
All three of Anderson's early wickets were caught behind by the wicketkeeper – a familiar sight for the legendary quick.
No player has ever registered more dismissals via that method, with Anderson's 191 now giving him 39 more than second-placed Glenn McGrath.
Among the top-five – McGrath, Broad, Courtney Walsh and Dale Steyn – Anderson's percentage of wickets caught behind (27.88 per cent) is the highest.