England face a mountainous task to avoid a defeat in the third and final Test of the three-match series against New Zealand in Auckland, after Trent Boult and Tim Southee put the hosts in a commanding position on an action-packed third day.
The Kiwis, who had posted 443 in the first innings, dismissed England for 204. However, the home side decided to bat again, instead of enforcing the follow on, and ended the day on 35/3, amassinga massive lead of 274.
Earlier on the day, Boult ran through the England batting order, taking six wickets for just 68 runs. He was well supported by Tim Southee who ended with the figures of 3-44. Among the visitors' batsmen, only Matt Prior and Joe Root offered some resistance. Prior scored 73 before he was caught at point off Neil Wagner, while Root made 45 before he was bowled by Southee.
England fell short of the follow-on target but Brendon McCullum decided against enforcing it. New Zealand's second innings got off to a bad start as Hamish Rutherford was caught at gully for a duck in the first over off Stuart Broad. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor soon followed, falling to James Anderson and Broad, leaving the Black Caps Kiwis struggling at 8-3.
However, Alastair Cook's side were unable to make any further inroads as Peter Fulton and Dean Brownlie saw New Zealand through to the close. The Kiwis will now be confident of their chances of winning the match and the series, after the first two Tests ended in draws. The Black Caps have not won a Test series against England at home since 1984.