DUNEDIN — New Zealand continued to turn the screw on day three of the first Test against England as they opened up a 235-run lead in Dunedin last night.
Hamish Rutherford went on to complete a memorable century on his debut at the University Oval as the hosts reached 402 for 7 before rain and bad light brought a premature end to the day’s play.
The arrival of the new ball did offer England some relief, though, with James Anderson managing to pick up 4 for†108.
It was Rutherford who stole the show, though, as he registered the highest score in a debut innings against England with 171 — six more than Chris Bannerman’s previous record back in the first-ever Test match in 1877.Rutherford brought up his century off just 139 deliveries, with Peter Fulton posting just his second Test 50 from 153 balls.
Together the pair put on 158 for the first wicket before Matt Prior held on to a low catch off Anderson to remove Fulton (55).
Hopes this could be the turning point for England failed to materialise, though, as Rutherford shared a stand of 91 with Kane Williamson.
Monty Panesar, who had suffered at the hands of Rutherford, did finally strike when he bowled Williamson for 24, however it took the second new ball for England to really get amongst the New Zealand innings.
Rutherford was the first to depart in the afternoon session as Anderson ended his 217-ball onslaught, substitute fielder Chris Woakes holding the catch at midwicket.
Three more wickets fell for 16 runs as England reduced the hosts to 326-6 — with Anderson taking two of them. Birthday boy Ross Taylor (31) was caught at second slip, while Dean Brownlie was bowled for 27.
BJ Watling then came and went without troubling the scorers as he left his first ball from Stuart Broad and was bowled off-stump.
Brendon McCullum and Tim Southee, though, went on the attack in a stand of 44 in six overs to take their team more than 200 runs in front.
Southee departed for 25 off 21 deliveries as Broad got one to sneak through but McCullum (44no) and Bruce Martin (17no) were able to see New Zealand extend their lead before the weather ended hopes of any further play on day three. (SKY)††