Hundreds from Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor ensured New Zealand managed to draw the rain-hit second Test at Hamilton. New Zealand, having won the first Test by an innings margin, won the series 1-0.
New Zealand needed to bat out the final day to avoid defeat as it was helped out by some sloppy bit of work in the field by England.
Williamson, who got three lives including a sitter dropped by Joe Denly, termed it as a good effort to ‘ensure a draw’.
"A lot of hard work had to go into saving the match when time didn't allow us an opportunity to win it," he said.
However, England captain Joe Root said the Test match was always going for a draw even if the weather and fielding had gone his side’s way.
Rain arrived soon after lunch to end the day’s play when New Zealand were 241 for two in their second innings, with the home side 140 runs ahead.
Williamson scored his 21st Test century with a boundary off Joe Root’s off-spin while Taylor got to his 19th ton when he took the charge to England’s captain, smashing a four and two sixes off successive balls.
New Zealand resumed the play at 96 for two with England searching for early wickets to set the tone but that wasn’t helped by their fielders when Pope and Denly dropped simple chances off Williamson’s bat.
Denly’s drop gained a lot of attention on social media, when Williamson was through his shot far too early off Archer’s slower ball but he [Denly] couldn’t get hold of it. The bowler had already started celebrating and Williamson made an apologetic gesture to Taylor, but the catch had been spilled.
"It was a one-off goober," said Root using cricketing slang for Denly’s error.
"We worked very hard to try and create chances on a very flat wicket and they don't come around very often. It's very frustrating and I'm sure Joe will not hear the end of it for a long while," added Root
Williamson was given another chance when he could’ve been well short of his ground on 97 but Curran’s attempt at the non-striker’s end was very wide of the stumps.
Despite all the errors, Root said England’s performance between the two tests had improved and termed it as ‘very pleasing’ ahead of a four-match Test series in South Africa.
Root ended his batting slump with a double hundred in this Test, ending his long struggles with the bat.
New Zealand, on the other head, head to Australia on Saturday for a three-match Test series starting December 12.