NZ's hopes hit by rain
LEEDS, England (AP):
New Zealand's hopes of claiming a series-tying win over England in the second and final Test were damaged yesterday by gentle but persistent rain that wiped out more than half of the fourth day's play at Headingley.
Set a world-record run chase of 455, England was 44-0 off 13 overs when rain began to fall just after lunch. The teams came off, and the covers weren't removed for the rest of the day.
England trail by 411 runs, so are likely to set their sights on batting out a maximum 98 overs on the final day to secure a draw and settle for a 1-0 series victory going into the upcoming Ashes against Australia. Some rain is forecast for today, too, further limiting New Zealand's chances.
"You can't control the weather," said New Zealand batsman B.J. Watling, who struck 120 in his team's total of 454-8 declared.
"But we still have 98 overs tomorrow and 30-odd with the new ball, so we are still backing ourselves to win."
As unlikely as it would be, so are England - according its batsman Joe Root.
"We are going to go out all guns blazing," Root said.