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New Zealand v England – story of the match

England’s tough winter finally came to an end in Christchurch

England’s cruel winter ended on an all too fitting note as they extended their winless run of overseas Tests to a national-record 13 with a Christchurch draw and 1-0 series defeat to New Zealand.

Stuart Broad took two wickets with the first two balls of a glorious morning to renew belief that the 10 required might be possible on a flat pitch, and debutant spinner Jack Leach was soon in the thick of it too.

But the resistance of Tom Latham (83) and Ish Sodhi (56no), and five dropped catches in New Zealand’s 256 for eight, left Joe Root’s men with too much to do as the hosts held on bravely for only their fourth series success over England – who had to deal with further frustration on top of their 4-0 Ashes trouncing.

End of the odyssey

England arrived for day five in Christchurch, having played a further 30 in Test cricket this winter as each match has gone the distance – all without reward. The journey began 156 days ago in total, when Joe Root’s tourists flew into Perth on October 29 last year for their first Ashes warm-up match.

It has been a tortured trip at times, albeit with minor respite for all at some point – including the captain, who had an unscheduled few days at home when he was persuaded to sit out the Twenty20 tri-series. It felt unforgiving indeed when his team came up short here too.

Tweet of the day

Jack Leach’s Somerset team-mate Jamie Overton delighted to discover from afar that the spinner had just taken his maiden Test wicket.

Anderson has good reason to be ‘bloody tired’

Fred Trueman famously suggested that anyone who followed him to the sport’s first triple-century of Test wickets would be “bloody tired”. James Anderson has done that, and some of course.

After his 17th over in the second innings here, the Lancastrian also overtook West Indies great Courtney Walsh as the pace bowler who has delivered more balls than anyone else in history – a mere 30,020!

At 35, Anderson has suggested in some quarters he may want to continue for a few years yet. England should be most grateful for his sterling and highly-skilled efforts.

Stat of the day

13 – It was unlucky for two New Zealanders, frontline batsmen Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls both dispatched by England in the morning session. For the tourists, though, it was more so still as they chalked up an all-time national record of a 13th successive away Test without victory.

What next?

A rest.

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