Southee picked up five of the eight England wickets to fall on the fourth day
Southee picked up five of the eight England wickets to fall on the fourth day, claiming a spot on the Lord’s honours board for the second time in his career. However, Burns’ efforts in compiling 132 from 297 balls helped repel New Zealand after they reduced England to 140 for 6 – still more than 200 in arrears – during the morning session.
New Zealand needed to force the pace, and were immediately up and running when Kyle Jamieson found the outside edge of England captain Joe Root with his opening delivery. Burns and Root had lifted England from trouble on day two, before rain further checked New Zealand’s advance on Friday but, following Jamieson’s breakthrough, an inspired spell from Southee saw three wickets fall without addition to the score.
“Yeah, with the wicket of Joe Root from the first ball of the day, we probably couldn’t ask for a better start,” Southee said. “It was a dream start to take those early wickets but we knew there was going to be a counterpunch from England at some stage, they’re too good a side just to roll over.
“Their lower order, especially Robinson, played a nice hand there, and Jimmy hanging around with Burns at the end, putting on over 50, blunted our attack towards the end. But I think if we’d turned up at the start of the day and been told we’re gonna walk off in the position we’re in now we’d have been pretty happy.
“Losing yesterday doesn’t help, but there’s 98 overs tomorrow and it’s always great to turn up on the last day with all results possible. Who knows what may happen but it’s great to be in a position where we can push on. You play to win Test matches for your country and a Test win at Lord’s would be pretty special, so I’d imagine we’ll chat overnight, get together as a side and come up with a plan for day five.”
New Zealand were missing Southee’s regular new-ball partner Trent Boult for this match, but have had more than enough firepower to keep England in check. Southee’s figures of 6 for 43 bettered the 6 for 50 he claimed at Lord’s in 2013, and he may yet have the chance to help his side push for a first win on the ground this century.
“Any time you contribute to the side and do your job it’s very satisfying, and I guess it’s that little bit sweeter when you do it at such a special ground like Lord’s,” he said. “It was a nice day today, and looking forward to getting out there again tomorrow at some stage.”
Alan Gardner is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick