Cook, Lyth reach milestones before England pegged back
LEEDS, England (AP):
England openers Alastair Cook and Adam Lyth reached significant personal milestones before New Zealand took four wickets in the final hour to leave the second Test evenly poised after day two yesterday.
Replying to New Zealand's first-innings total of 350, England was 177 without loss at one stage but closed on 253-5 - a deficit of 97 runs - after a serious examination by the new ball late in the day.
Cook became England's all-time leading run-scorer in Tests - breaking the record of 8,900 held by his mentor and close friend Graham Gooch - midway through his knock of 75.
"A very special day for me," said Cook, who still sees Gooch as England's greatest batsman. "I can't describe it - to be on top of the list, I probably don't deserve it."
The England captain fell short of a record-extending 28th Test century but Lyth (107) managed to push on to triple figures for the first time for his country, in only his second Test and on the ground where he plays his county cricket for Yorkshire.
Lyth's breakthrough innings ended in disappointing fashion when he was run out for 107, after being called through for a quick single, but England was 215-2 and still in control when he departed.
However, New Zealand took the new ball - and Tim Southee and Trent Boult wreaked havoc.
Gary Ballance was bowled by Boult for 29 in the first over with the new ball and Joe Root (1), England's most in-form batsman, edged a delivery from Southee that seamed away and was caught behind. In the next-to-last over, Ben Stokes (6) edged Boult to Mark Craig in the slips.
Ian Bell (12) and Jos Buttler (6) saw England through to stumps, but not before the momentum had swung back the tourists' way.
England leads the two-match series 1-0 after its victory at Lord's. New Zealand hasn't lost any of its last six Test series.
The second day started with New Zealand's tailenders cutting loose with the bat under blue skies, continuing the free-scoring approach of the opening day.
Stuart Broad took the Black Caps' last two wickets, removing Matt Henry (27) and Boult (15), for figures of 5-109 - his 13th five-wicket haul in Tests.
Craig was left stranded on 41, and New Zealand's innings ended with the team having scored 51 fours and six sixes - a stunning boundary rate in the Test format.
Cook came out needing 32 to overtake Gooch and he achieved that soon after lunch, when he pushed a firm drive through the covers for four to move on to 33 for the innings and 8,902 overall.
Cook waved his bat to the crowd, received a standing ovation and was embraced by Lyth. A century looked on for the captain, only for New Zealand to review a not-out lbw decision off the bowling of Craig. DRS overturned it.
Lyth spent 45 minutes in the 90s, escaping when a substitute fielder misjudged the flight of the ball and missed a possible catch. On the next ball, Lyth went for a slog-sweep and timed it perfectly for four. He swung his bat in delight and removed his helmet to savour the applause.
Mark Craig not out 41
Matt Henry c Buttler
b Broad 27
Trent Boult c Lyth
b Broad 15
Extras: (4b, 14lb, 1nb) 19
TOTAL: (all out) 350
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-2, 3-68, 4-123, 5-144, 6-264, 7-265, 8-281, 9-310.
Bowling: James Anderson 13-3-43-2, Stuart Broad 17.1-0-109-5 (1nb), Mark Wood 14-4-62-2, Ben Stokes 17-4-70-1, Moeen Ali 11-3-48-0.
Adam Lyth run out 107
Alastair Cook lbw Craig 75
Gary Ballance b Boult 29
Ian Bell not out 12
Joe Root c Ronchi
b Southee 1
Ben Stokes c Craig
b Boult 6
Jos Buttler not out 6
Extras: (14b, 3w) 17
TOTAL: (for 5 wickets) 253
Fall of wickets: 1-177, 2-215, 3-238, 4-239, 5-247
Still to bat: Moeen Ali, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.
Bowling: Trent Boult 23-4-63-2 (1w), Tim Southee 23-4-57-1 (1w), Matt Henry 18-4-76-0 (1w), Mark Craig 22-10-38-1, Kane Williamson 2-1-5-0.
Umpires: S Ravi, India, and Rod Tucker, Australia. Third umpire: Marais Erasmus, South Africa.
Match referee: David Boon, Australia.
Toss: won by England.
Series: England leads 1-0.