England face defeat after batting fails

England 303 (Burns 81, Lawrence 81*) & 112-9 (Wagner 3-18, Henry 3-36)
New Zealand 388 (Young 82, Conway 80, Taylor 80, Broad 4-48)
England lead by 37 runs

England face defeat in the series decider against New Zealand after another insipid batting performance on the third day of the second Test.

Joe Root’s side crumbled to 112-9 at Edgbaston, only 37 runs ahead.

England had battled their way back into the contest on an entertaining day, taking the final seven New Zealand wickets for 96 runs to dismiss them for 388.

Faced with a first-innings deficit of 85, the hosts had the opportunity to set a challenging fourth-innings chase, only for their top order to disintegrate.

In the face of superb New Zealand bowling, England found themselves 30-3 and 76-7, and eventually needed a stand of 44 between Olly Stone and Mark Wood to drag the game into a fourth day.

Still, barring something utterly remarkable on Sunday, England will go down to their first home series defeat in seven years.

Dismal England spiral towards defeat

This was another abject performance by England’s callow batting line-up, one that undid the good work of a resurgence that came earlier in the day.

The game looked to be hurrying away from England in an action-packed morning session when New Zealand runs flowed and catches were dropped, only for England’s seamers – led by the superb Stuart Broad – to fight back.

However, the evening collapse that followed evoked memories of the dismal tour of India this year and leaves questions surrounding the future of the majority of England’s top order.

With questionable techniques and low reserves of confidence, they were unable to handle the relentless New Zealand attack on a pitch holding no demons.

By the end, England were again relying on their bowlers, this time to eke out enough runs to avoid an innings defeat.

More to follow.

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