IMAGES from Day 3 of the opening Test between England and New Zealand at Lord’s on Saturday.
Joe Root hit an unbeaten 77 to steer England to within 61 runs of victory in the first Test while New Zealand require five wickets as the contest remained intriguingly poised at the end of a tense third day at Lords.
England were 216-5 at close, chasing a target of 277 after dismissing New Zealand for 285 before lunch on Saturday.
Root, no longer incumbered by the captaincy, was at his imperious best as he took away the early advantage from the tourists, who had England teetering at 69-4 before tea when seamer Kyle Jamieson made early breakthroughs.
Root and his successor Ben Stokes put together a 90-run partnership to turn the tide with the new skipper scoring 54 before being caught behind -- the only wicket to fall after tea.
Jamieson snagged four wickets, bowling opener Alex Lees (20) and Jonny Bairstow (16) and having Zak Crawley (9) caught behind before snagging Stokes.
Root, edging closer to the milestone of 10 000 Test runs, also featured in an unbeaten 57-run partnership with Ben Foakes, who played a supporting role and resumes on Sunday on nine not out.
Earlier, New Zealand's Kyle Jamieson grabbed three wickets as England struggled to 99-4 at tea as the visitors took the upper hand on the third day of the first Test at Lords on Saturday.
They are six wickets from victory with England still needing 178 runs to win in an intriguing battle after being set a target of 277.
England’s new captain Ben Stokes (15) and predecessor Joe Root (23) were not out at the wicket at the end of the second session after the first four wickets of their second innings fell for 69 runs.
It might have been five wickets when Stokes, on his 31st birthday, was bowled by Colin de Grandhomme for one run only to be called back to the crease after a belated no ball call from the third umpire in a let-off that was greeted by an approving roar from the partisan crowd.
Alex Lees had made 20 when he was bowled by Jamieson before lunch, and Zak Crawley (9), Ollie Pope (10) and Jonny Bairstow (16) followed as the tall New Zealand seamer returned figures of 24-3 off nine overs.
England will look to Root and Stokes to put together a partnership in the last session of the day and give them a chance to turn the momentum back their way after their bowlers dominated the first session, taking six wickets to dismiss New Zealand for 285 runs in their second innings after they resumed on 236-4 overnight.
Daryl Mitchell reached his century in the first over of the day, but Tom Blundell fell agonisingly short on 96 as Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad took the second new ball and swept through the tourists’ batting order.
There were three wickets in a single over from Broad, an effective team hat-trick that started when Mitchell edged to Ben Foakes off Broad for 108 as his partnership with Blundell fell five runs shy of 200 runs.
De Grandhomme was out next ball as he was run out from third slip by Pope, caught out of his crease as he watched the umpires’ reaction to a leg before appeal by Broad.
Broad then dismissed Jamieson first ball as New Zealand slumped from 251-4 to 251-7 by the end of the over.
Blundell was trapped lbw three overs later to Jimmy Anderson, caught plumb in front of his wicket for 96.
Tim Southee hit a swashbuckling 21 off 26 balls but was the last man out as spinner Matt Parkinson took his first Test wicket, having been a late inclusion to the team after concussion ruled out Jack Leach on the first day on Thursday.