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Kane Williamson previews England – New Zealand third test

Jack Leach completed a career-best 10-wicket match at Headingley to set England on course for another fearless run chase and a series whitewash over New Zealand.

The left-arm spinner followed up his first-innings haul of 5-100 with even better figures of 5-66 as New Zealand set their hosts a target of 296 on day four of the third and final Test.

Ordinarily that would look like a huge ask but, having chased down 277 at Lord’s and 299 at Trent Bridge, England went about their business with a flourish to reach 183-2 at stumps.

Ollie Pope stroked a fluent 81 not out as he continued to grow into his new role at No 3 and Joe Root was at his unflappable best with an unbeaten 55. A sense of inevitability settled over proceedings as they piled on 132 together, leaving an apparent victory lap on day five.

Yorkshire have thrown their doors open to spectators for free, replicating Nottinghamshire’s successful initiative last week, and will hope to fill the stands for a triumphant conclusion to a gripping month-long contest.

Follow all the latest coverage of today’s match with our live blog below:

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England on course for New Zealand series whitewash after Jack Leach career-best figures

The left-arm spinner followed up his first-innings haul of 5-100 with even better figures of 5-66 as New Zealand set their hosts a target of 296 on day four of the third and final Test.

Ordinarily that would look like a huge ask but, having chased down 277 at Lord’s and 299 at Trent Bridge, England went about their business with a flourish to reach 183-2 at stumps.

Ollie Pope stroked a fluent 81 not out as he continued to grow into his new role at No 3 and Joe Root was at his unflappable best with an unbeaten 55. A sense of inevitability settled over proceedings as they piled on 132 together, leaving an apparent victory lap on day five.

Yorkshire have thrown their doors open to spectators for free, replicating Nottinghamshire’s successful initiative last week, and will hope to fill the stands for a triumphant conclusion to a gripping month-long contest.

Luke Baker26 June 2022 19:38

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STUMPS! England 183-2 (Pope 81*, Root 55*) Target 296 – 113 more to win

Another fascinating day of Test cricket. New Zealand dominated the first session, the second was probably split as England dismissed the Black Caps but they got a few more runs but the third and final session was all England. It’s put them in complete control of this game.

113 runs to win tomorrow, eight wickets in hand and both Ollie Pope and Joe Root well set. The series sweep is within touching distance.

(AFP via Getty Images)

Luke Baker26 June 2022 18:53

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50 UP! England 183-2 (Pope 81*, Root 55*) Target 296

The run rate has been above 4.5 in this evening session – England have been rattling along.

Bracewell tosses the first couple up before coming short and Root can turn it through the leg slip area where it runs away for FOUR! That’s 50 UP for Root. Another top innings from him.

Root not done there as Bracewell comes short again and Root pulls him away for FOUR more! Bracewell wastes a bit of time and comes round the wicket to ensure this is the last over. Root sweep for one and off the final ball, Pope flicks another single

Ten off the final over and a brilliant session for England.

Luke Baker26 June 2022 18:51

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England 173-2 (Pope 80*, Root 46*) Target 296

Probably two more overs left today, with play due to finish at 6.49pm.

Wagner comes round the wicket as the ball gets a bit older (37 overs old now). He strays too close to leg and Pope picks up a single but then does beat Root’s outside edge.

The former skipper responds with a flick through midwicket for one. Last over of the day coming up

Luke Baker26 June 2022 18:43

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England 171-2 (Pope 79*, Root 45*) Target 296

Bracewell comes round the wicket with a leg slip and short leg. New Zealand have to do something to mix it up as this game is getting away from them.

Singles off the first two balls before Root tries a reverse sweep from outside leg, it beats the bat, goes past keeper Blundell, slip Mitchell and runs away for FOUR byes. Root really does have his heart set on the reverse sweep as he pulls out another for a single. Pope then flicks a single from the final ball for 8 from the over.

Luke Baker26 June 2022 18:42

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100 UP! England 163-2 (Pope 77*, Root 43*) Target 296

Livin’ on a Prayer played and sung by the western terrace as England are indeed now ‘halfway there’. They need 147 more to win from here. The Pulp Fiction-esque briefcase of balls is back out as New Zealand request another ball change. Wagner continues with the ‘new’ ball.

Pope clubs the ball through backward square leg for FOUR and that’s the century stand between these two. 100 UP! Great stuff.

Pope tries to drive the next ball but an outside edge again sends it flying through a gap to the fence for FOUR more! Now three on the spin as Pope punches one down the ground with the full face of the bat for FOUR! The best of the lot. Two more from the final ball flicked to leg and that’s 14 from the over – England flying.

Luke Baker26 June 2022 18:38

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England 149-2 (Pope 63*, Root 43*) Target 296

Bracewell continues. He’s gone for 49 runs off 8 overs, though he has induced a couple of edges and got Zak Crawley out.

Pope calmly steers the ball for a single before Root reverse sweeps hard and it goes straight through Daryl Mitchell at slip before racing away to the boundary for FOUR! Not much Mitchell could do about it in truth.

Single into the off side for Root before Pope ‘does a Root’ and reverse sweeps. To the fielder in the deep and a comfortable single for seven from the over.

Luke Baker26 June 2022 18:31

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VIDEO: Ollie Pope reaches his half-century

Here’s how Ollie Pope brought up his 50. It’s been a good innings from England’s No 3 and he’s still going strong.

Luke Baker26 June 2022 18:27

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England 142-2 (Pope 61*, Root 38*) Target 296

Southee ties Pope up for the first half of the over but he then squeezes one through the point region that races away but brilliant fielding by Devon Conway prevents the boundary, so just three runs.

Root plays out the final two balls, so it’s just those three runs.

Luke Baker26 June 2022 18:26

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England 139-2 (Pope 58*, Root 38*) Target 296

Bracewell back into the attack. If New Zealand are going to win this game, they need their spinner to deliver. He struggled with length earlier in this session, so let’s see if he can find his range now.

Decent first ball, pitched up and Root backs up before jabbing it to the leg side for one. He comes slightly short and Pope plays a cut to the covers for a single. Then two more for Root as he reverse sweeps to the off side.

Luke Baker26 June 2022 18:22