Rain delayed England’s bid to make a clean sweep in the test series against New Zealand as no play was possible before lunch on the fifth and final day of the third test on Monday. With still heavy cloud cover and slight drizzle at Headingley, early lunch was taken at 12:30 p.m. local time.
England needs 113 runs to sweep the three-test series with Ollie Pope (81) and former test captain Joe Root (55) set to resume at 183-2. Both batters have already shared a healthy stand of 132 runs at an impressive run-rate of 4.91 as England’s aggressive approach in the series under new skipper Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum has decimated New Zealand.
Jonny Bairstow’s masterful 162 and debutant Jamie Overton’s 97 lifted England from a precarious 55-6 to 360 all out after New Zealand had made 329 in its first innings. Left-arm Jack Leach ended up with his maiden 10-wicket haul in a test match before New Zealand was bowled out for 326 which set England a target of 296 runs.
New Zealand had fought back through its two prolific run-getters in the series — Tom Blundell (88 not out) and Daryl Mitchell (56) — in the second innings but the top order’s struggle in the series has let down the Kiwis.