Tue, 26 Mar 2013 11:30:00 GMT | By Reuters

England battle to draw in third test

Matt Prior’s century helped England save the series-deciding third test against New Zealand


England battle to draw in third test (© AFP)

Auckland: Wicketkeeper Matt Prior produced a belligerent century to ensure England saved the series-deciding third test against New Zealand at Eden Park on Tuesday.

Kane Williamson took two late wickets to almost snatch victory for the hosts, but Prior's unbeaten 110 carried England to stumps after Ian Bell defied New Zealand for almost six hours and 271 balls for his 75.

Williamson took two wickets in the third-last over of the day to finish with career-best figures of four for 44.

New Zealand had been seeking just their ninth test win in 97 matches against England, and their first series victory against them since Stephen Fleming's team achieved a 2-1 series win in England in 1999.

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