England have managed to bounce back from a miserable first innings in the first Test against New Zealand in Dunedin. Alastair Cook (116) and Nick Compton (102 not out) led the charge on the fourth day after the Kiwis declared their first innings at 460/9.
The openers put on a wonderful 231-run opening partnership before Trent Boult had the captain caught behind. Steven Finn (0 not out), the night watchman, helped Compton see out play on Saturday.
Earlier, the hosts called time on their innings after adding 58 to the overnight total. Captain Brendon McCullum led the way, with 30 runs from 17 balls in the morning to finish at 74. The brief onslaught took the innings lead to 293 and that would have been an almost impossible total to fight to save this match, had it not been for Compton and Cook.
As things stand, with only one day left in the match, England have an excellent chance of forcing the draw... a situation that looked impossible when the Kiwis were batting. James Anderson was the most successful of the six bowlers used by England, taking four wickets for 137 runs.
England made a slow start to their innings, scoring only 22 runs before lunch but found a groove after the break, with Compton and Cook acclimatising themselves to the nature of the pitch. England were helped by the fact the pitch showed no signs of deterioration and the low bounce was able to nullify the turn by the spinners. Cook hit 15 fours while Compton hit 10 fours to bring England back on track.
England were in dire straits following a disastrous performance in the first innings, where they succumbed to a lowly score of 167 with Jonathan Trott (45) the only batsman to cross the 40-run mark. Neil Wagner and Bruce Martin took four wickets each to restrict the visitors and it was up to their batsmen to put the pressure on England.
The Kiwi batsmen took the invitation with open hands with Hamish Rutherford (171) scoring a century on debut and Peter Fulton (55), Kane Williamson (24), Ross Taylor (31) and Dean Brownie (27) chipping in to form a solid base for the hosts. Tim Southee (25) and Bruce Martin (41) ended with a flourish alongside McCullum to finish the job for the Kiwis.