New Zealand 211-2 at lunch on day 5, 2nd test vs. England

HAMILTON, New Zealand (AP) — A dropped catch damaged England's slim hopes of victory on the final day of the second cricket test Monday as Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor combined for a 183-run partnership.

At lunch, Williamson was 96 not out, Taylor was 84 and New Zealand was 211, a lead of 110 runs with two sessions remaining.

New Zealand resumed Monday at 96-2, still five runs behind England, with Williamson 37 and Taylor 31 and all but erased any threat of defeat by negotiating the first session without loss.

England needed to quickly break the third-wicket partnership on the final day to give itself any chance of victory but its best chance to do so literally slipped through its hands.

Joe Denly dropped a simple chance from Williamson at short-midwicket from the bowling of Jofra Archer when the New Zealand captain was 62 and New Zealand was 154.

Williamson played a checked shot at a short ball from the England fast bowler which ballooned gently to Denly who made two grabs at the ball before putting it down.

Wiliamson may have given a harder chance earlier in his innings to wicketkeeper Ollie Pope but at lunch he was batting with typical authority. He hit two fours from Ben Stokes in the final over before the break to move within a boundary of his 21st test century.

Taylor batted with equal authority, passing a major milestone just before the end of the session. At 83 he became the second New Zealander after Stephen Fleming (7,172) to pass 7,000 runs in tests, in his 96th match.

Heavy rain clouds were approaching Seddon Park as players left the field and the threat of rain hung over the remainder of the day, with a draw now looming as the likely result.

New Zealand took a 1-0 win in the two-test series after its first test win by an innings and 65 runs.


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