England lost seven wickets for 52 runs before Stuart Broad made a stand on Sunday morning and helped draw the scores level after the first innings of the second Test at Headingley.
Chasing the New Zealand total of 350, England had been 215-1, and ended the day on Saturday at 253-5 after Tim Southee removed Joe Root and Ben Stokes was undone by Trent Boult followed in quick order.
Southee continued his good work in the morning, sending back Ian Bell (12), Jos Buttler (10) and Moeen Ali (1) as New Zealand continued their tenacious fightback, finishing with 4-83. But Broad struck 46 from 39 balls before being bowled by Mark Henry, while Mark Wood and James Anderson offered gallant support. England’s collapse had left them in a dire position but the last two wickets added 83 runs.
The fifty stand between Broad and Wood came at more than a run a ball and was England’s second highest of the innings. Broad summoned some of the confidence of his early career, carving and swiping his highest Test score since last summer’s series against India, at the end of which he was struck in the face by a Varun Aaron bouncer, a blow that caused more long-term mental damage than physical.
Bell’s wicket was cause for concern, as he has made scores of 11, 1, 0, 0, 1, 29 and 12, a worryingly bleak run for the most experienced member of England’s new-look middle order.
Southee and Boult got through 22 overs together with the second new ball, spread over the second evening and third morning, their combined figures of 6 for 78 ripping the stuffing out of England.