Rain halts New Zealand's victory bid at Leeds

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Leeds, June 2: New Zealand's hopes of forcing a series-levelling win in the second Test against England were dealt a blow after rain washed out most of the fourth day's play at Headingley yesterday (June 1).


The Black Caps thrashed England's bowlers for quick runs to leave the hosts facing a record chase to win the match.

But England, set a huge target of 455 for victory, were 44 without loss when gentle but persistent rain stopped play.

In all, only 29 overs were possible on Monday - 13 in England's second innings - before the umpires called off play for the day at 4:59 PM local time (1559 GMT).

New Zealand will now have a minimum of 98 overs on Tuesday's final day to take the 10 wickets they need to end the series all-square at 1-1 after their 124-run defeat in the first Test at Lord's last week.

Adam Lyth, who scored a maiden Test hundred in the first innings, was 24 not out on his Yorkshire home ground. England captain Alastair Cook, who in the first innings became England's highest run-scorer in Tests, was unbeaten on 18.

Earlier, New Zealand flayed the new ball all over Headingley as they extended their overnight 338 for six to 454 for eight declared. In the face of some wayward bowling with the new ball, the Black Caps struck 116 runs in just 16 overs before captain Brendon McCullum called a halt.

England were left needing 455 for victory, with the most any side have made in the fourth innings to win a Test the West Indies' 418 for seven against Australia at St John's, Antigua, in 2002/03.

England's corresponding record is 332 for seven against Australia at Melbourne back in 1928/29. When McCullum declared, there were 171 overs left in the match but Monday's rain all but ended England's slim hopes of victory, with a New Zealand win or a draw now the two most likely results.


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