England agonisingly lost the New Zealand test by just one run as their decision to enforce the follow-on backfired in a dramatic finish at Lord’s.
The hosts had been in a commanding position after bowling out the Black Caps for just 204 in their first innings, and then enforcing the follow-on. But New Zealand fought back, with Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor both scoring centuries to put the visitors in a strong position.
England then needed just 64 runs to win, but a combination of tight bowling from the New Zealanders and some poor batting from the English saw them fall agonisingly short.
The match had been evenly poised after the first day, with England posting a total of 303 in their first innings. New Zealand then struggled to make any headway in their reply, with only Kane Williamson (67) and Ross Taylor (50) making any significant contributions.
England then enforced the follow-on, and the Black Caps responded with a much-improved batting performance. Williamson and Taylor both scored centuries, while BJ Watling (63) and Colin de Grandhomme (50) also made useful contributions.
The hosts then needed just 64 runs to win, but the New Zealand bowlers kept them in check. Tim Southee and Neil Wagner both took three wickets, while Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme chipped in with two apiece.
England’s batting line-up then crumbled under the pressure, with only Joe Root (30) and Ben Stokes (25) making any significant contributions. The hosts were eventually bowled out for 162, leaving them just one run short of victory.
The result was a heartbreaking one for England, who had been in a commanding position after enforcing the follow-on. But the Black Caps fought back brilliantly, with Williamson and Taylor both scoring centuries to put the visitors in a strong position.
The result means that England have now lost three of their last four tests, and will be looking to bounce back in the next match. It was a dramatic finish to the match, and one that England will be rueing for some time to come.