Kane Williamson He continued to make life difficult for her. England like New Zeland After following the second Test at Wellington, he established a lead.

The Black Caps were up 99 at lunchtime on day four, and then reached 325 on the fifth. England captain Ben Stokes He sent them back after a 226-round first-strike lead, but now faces the prospect of a potentially tough chase.

How much they’ll need is largely up to Williamson.

England took two goals in the first session, one for each. Ollie Robinson and Stuart Broad were showing signs of fatigue only after a long and strenuous task in the field until the second morning.

Williamson started the day by setting the key milestone, pinging James Anderson’s fourth delivery to pass Ross Taylor’s 7,683 Test drives. He received a fitting applause for his efforts, but with the match and series at stake there was still much more to do.

At the other end, Henry Nicholls was off to a less secure start, poking Robinson a yard over the short-legged stick and pad, then playing and losing several times as the net narrowed.

It took 35 minutes before he got too close to one, blasting Robinson into the third slide, where Harry Brook caught him on the third try. By then England’s leadership had been reduced from 24 to just four in one night.

Once that was cleared, Daryl Mitchell began building New Zealand’s lead as they took the driver’s seat from Williamson, scoring 41 of their first 50 laps together. Except for Anderson, he was particularly ambitious, refusing to let the 40-year-old player reach a lengthy deal.

England’s sailors looked justifiably tough as the kicks passed 100 overs to continue with the 53.2 that came before the sequel was implemented, leaving Jack Leach a big part to play. The Somerset man seemed to have the answer when he sweetly spun the outside edge of Williamson at 45 and Ben Foakes swooped in to splash the logs.

It took a long review of slow-motion replays, with the third referee deciding that Williamson’s hind foot was back in the crease, a most marginal decision that potentially held New Zealand’s hopes with it.

Mitchell beat Williamson by 50 even though he was 34 when it came to the crease, and he got there by driving Leach over the ropes for a long time. His aggression soon overpowered him, however, cutting Broad off the toe, giving Joe Root enough time to step back from the slip and settle under the catch.

As England continued to receive reminders that the game was not over yet, Tom Blundell weighed 19 out of 24 before the timeout.