England's chase of 296 against New Zealand is delayed by rain
England’s fifth-day chase of 296 against New Zealand is delayed by rain at Headingley… leaving fans nervously waiting on a first home Test series whitewash since 2011
- England need just another 113 more runs to win the third Test at Headingley
- Ollie Pope and Joe Root will continue after scoring half-centuries on day four
- But fans are waiting nervously with rain delaying the start of the action in Leeds
- The hosts have not completed a home Test series whitewash since India in 2011
England’s bid to complete a home Test series whitewash for the first time in 11 years has been frustrated after the start to day five at Headingley was delayed due to rain.
Ben Stokes’ men are in a commanding position to complete a 3-0 series victory against Kane Williamson’s men following unbeaten overnight half-centuries from Ollie Pope and Joe Root.
The hosts need just 113 more runs to win at Leeds with eight wickets still in hand, but rain is forecast for the first few hours of play on day five.
England’s bid to complete a home Test series whitewash has been delayed due to rain
Rain has fallen at Headingley delaying the start to day five of the third Test against New Zealand
Fans have been anxiously waiting for a first Test series whitewash since 2018-19
England fans have therefore been handed a nervous wait but will hope it does not prevent them from completing their first series whitewash on home soil since they thrashed India 4-0 in 2011.
This would also be England’s first Test whitewash of a side in any country since they beat Sri Lanka in 2018-19.
Stokes’ side have already taken an unassailable lead in the series after securing dramatic victories at Lord’s and Trent Bridge earlier this month.
A push for victory in Leeds was set up by spinner Jack Leach, who secured the first 10-wicket haul of his career, with New Zealand then bowled out for 326 despite half-centuries from the ever-reliable Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell.
Ollie Pope (left) and Joe Root (right) have put England in a strong position to secure the win
England lost opener Alex Lees early following a Williamson run out and Zak Crawley was also dismissed in feeble fashion by Michael Bracewell.
But Ollie Pope showed excellent form to follow up his century at Trent Bridge with another unbeaten fifty at Headingley, supported by the ever-reliable Root.
‘We need to get a win and then it will be very special,’ said Leach after play on day four.
‘It probably hasn’t sunk in but it’s just great to be out there. And then Pope and Root – that was special batting. It was really good (to watch), until the last 20 minutes when I had my pads on as nightwatchman.’
England have not completed a home Test series whitewash since beating India in 2011
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