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Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

England hoping to shine through the Christchurch gloom

Tom Latham could hold up tourists' victory charge

Tom Latham will be aiming to dig in and frustrate England's bowlers
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New Zealand v England
Sky Sports Cricket, 11pm Monday

New Zealand 278 (Watling 85, Broad 6-54) & 42-0 require 340 more runs to beat England 307 (Bairstow 101, Southee 6-62) & 352-9d (Vince 76, De Grandhomme 4-94)

Bad weather left British racing fans bereft of turf action on Easter Monday and England's cricketers will be hoping it doesn't scupper their chances of a rare away Test win in New Zealand.

The fifth day of the second Test in Christchurch begins with the Kiwis requiring 340 more runs with all their second-innings wickets remaining.

However, bad light forced an early end to day four and the autumnal conditions mean more overs are likely to be lost on the final day, which explains why the draw is favourite at 8-11.

England, who have failed to win any of their last 12 away Test matches, are 8-5 for victory while New Zealand are 12-1 to reach a mammoth target of 382.

England's batsmen started the fourth day slowly before their charge towards a declaration but it was another frustrating innings for spread punters who bought the tourists' match ton-ups.

Four of England's top five reached 50 but James Vince's 76 was the highest score of the innings and Jonny Bairstow's first-innings 101 is their only ton of the two-match series.

With New Zealand 1-0 up in the series, openers Tom Latham and Jeet Raval should be more focused on occupying the crease than blazing away in pursuit of 382.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad, who shared all ten scalps for England in the first innings, probably hold the key as the 31 overs of spin bowled in the match have failed to produce a wicket.

Latham should relish the opportunity to make up for a third-ball duck in the first innings and he is worth a small bet to be the Kiwis' top second-innings runscorer.

The gritty, well-organised left-hander offered Vince a tough chance at slip but battled on to reach 25 not out by the close of play.

He batted for almost eight hours for his 177 against Bangladesh in Wellington last January and made 68 and 41 not out against the Tigers in his last Test at the Hagley Oval so England may struggle to dislodge him early on the final day.

Recommendation
T Latham top New Zealand second-innings runscorer
1pt 5-2 bet365


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Bad light forced an early end to day four and the autumnal conditions mean more overs are likely to be lost on the final day
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