Hello all, and welcome to a very brief dalliance with the OBO for Day 4 of this Test match. Frankly it’s a miracle that we got here. What happened yesterday? Resuming the coverage today, it feels like one of those mornings when you wake up face down on your own living room floor and survey the carnage of last night’s party with total bemusement.
There was a stage yesterday when New Zealand’s first innings had wrapped up that most of us would have thought their lead of 85 was handy. Then there was a stage when England looked like they would turn that deficit into an innings defeat. They managed to at least get in front of NZ’s tally thanks to the tail having a swing, largely Mark Wood who is currently the top-scorer for the innings with 29. And he’s likely to stay that way, with only Olly Stone and James Anderson to resume with the bat today.
If a wicket fell without score, New Zealand would have to chase 38 to win. So let’s say that we’re not expecting play to go on for too long. The best vaguely realistic case for England from here is for this last pair to hang around for a while and annoying the bowlers, and maybe bump that lead up by a couple of dozen runs, giving England the chance for a couple of wickets in the chase. It’s really only about minor consolations from here.