Williamson, Taylor hit fighting centuries

NZ draw Test to seal seriesAg AFPHAMILTON: Centuries from Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor ensured New Zealand drew the rain-hit second Test against England in Hamilton on Tuesday, sealing a 1-0 series win.The weather turned sour soon after lunch on the fifth day when New Zealand, having taken advantage of some sloppy fielding, were 241 for two in their second innings, 140 ahead with Taylor on 105 and Williamson on 104.With the weather denying England a second turn at bat, it ensured New Zealand’s series win after their innings victory in the first Test, and improved their record to eight wins, a draw and one loss (to South Africa) in their past 10 series. Williamson brought up his 21st Test century with a four off Joe Root in the third over after lunch, while Taylor reached century number 19 with a flourish in Root’s next over when he smacked a four and two sixes in consecutive balls.Two balls after Taylor had raised his bat and poked his tongue out in his signature celebration, the rain arrived to wash out England’s faint hope of forcing a result although that chance had already been damaged by dropped catches. New Zealand resumed the day at 96 for two with England hunting early wickets but their plans went off track when Ollie Pope and Joe Denly spilled simple chances from Williamson. The New Zealand skipper was on 39 when wicketkeeper Pope put down a regulation offering off the gloves, much to bowler Ben Stokes annoyance, and on 62 Denly inexplicably dropped an even easier chance. Williamson gently chipped a slower delivery from Jofra Archer straight to Denly at short midwicket and, as the bowler leapt in celebration and Williamson made an apologetic gesture to Taylor, the ball popped out of Denly’s hands.New Zealand 1st innings: 375England 1st innings: 476New Zealand 2nd innings (overnight 96-2):T. Latham c Root b Woakes 18J. Raval lbw b Curran 0K. Williamson not out 104R. Taylor not out 105Extras: (b2, lb3, w3, nb1, pen5) 14Total: (for two wkts, 75 overs) 241Fall of wickets: 1-2 (Raval), 2-28 (Latham)Bowling: Broad 9-0-28-0, Curran 16-2-56-1 (2w), Archer 12-1-27-0, Woakes 11-4-12-1, Stokes 14-1-58-0 (1w, 1nb), Denly 9-1-27-0, Root 4-1-23-0Toss: EnglandResult: Match drawnSeries: New Zealand win 1-0Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (SRI), Paul Wilson (AUS)TV Umpire: Bruce Oxenford (AUS)Match Referee: Javagal Srinath (IND).

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