CRAIG COMPLETES HALF CENTURY BUT RAIN RULES ON DAY FOUR
Mark Craig struck an unbeaten 58 as New Zealand added 104 runs to set England a massive target of 455.
James Anderson and Moeen Ali picked up two more wickets as England failed to bowl the tourists out as the Kiwis declared on 454-8.
Adam Lyth and Captain Alastair Cook quickly got the hosts up to 44 with no loss, but bad weather prevailed as play was ended for the day shortly after lunch.
Craig started the day on 15 runs but quickly found his rhythm, driving two flowing fours to take him to 24.
He needed some luck though soon after, being dropped by a diving Stuart Broad, as England took their tally to four dropped catches this innings.
After his partner BJ Watling’s century on day three, Watling only managed to compile 13 more runs today, being caught for 120 by Joe Root at third slip, off the bowling of James Anderson with the new ball forcing the edge.
Tim Southee joined Craig at the crease and was in no mood to block as the pair reached their 50 run stand in no time at all.
His powerful cameo was ended by Moeen Ali, being caught at long-on by James Anderson for 40 off just 23 balls, at 435-8.
In the same over, Craig reached an important half century for the tourists, as Skipper Brendan McCullum declared from the balcony with the score at 454-8, after Matt Henry whacked two quick sixes with Craig adding a maximum of his own to set England a monstrous 455 to win.
The highest ever Test run chase was 418-7 for West Indies against Australia in 2003, so the Three Lions will need to break a world record to win this match.
Lyth and Cook had a solid start, adding 32 runs in half an hour to take the match to lunch.
However rain began to fall 20 minutes after the restart and play was subsequently stopped with England on 44-0, with the opening batsmen on 24 and 18 runs respectively.
The weather did not improve, and the play for the day was abandoned just after 17:00 with no further overs bowled since the players first left the pitch.
England require at least a draw in this match to take the series 1-0, while the Kiwis need 10 wickets on the final day to level it 1-1.
By Matthew Tilbury, Image Credit to Sky Sports