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Frustration for England as 2nd Test ends in draw

Wellington, Mar 18, 2013 (AFP)

England's hopes of snatching a win in the second Test against New Zealand dissolved in the Wellington rain today, with the match declared a draw after the final day's play was washed out.

The clash at the Basin Reserve ended with New Zealand at 162 for two in their second innings, still 49 runs in arrears after the tourists set an imposing first innings total of 465 and enforced the follow-on.

Not a ball was bowled Monday in a finish England captain Alastair Cook admitted was frustrating after his team dominated but ran out of time pressing for victory.

With the series still evenly poised, Cook said there were some positives to take into the third and final Test in Auckland beginning on Friday, pointing to a much-improved display after the first Test in Dunedin.

"We got ourselves in a really good position to win the game, so we can take a lot from that (after) our first performance," he told reporters.

England's batting was far better than in Dunedin, with centuries to Jonathan Trott and Nick Compton, while Matt Prior made 82, and Kevin Pietersen (73) was also among the runs after two failures in the first Test.

Stuart Broad also returned to his potent best, taking six for 51 in New Zealand's first innings.
Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum admitted his side were outplayed but said the result evened out the ledger after the drawn Dunedin Test, where New Zealand were on top but rain delays let England off the hook.

"It was a draw at the end of the day and if it's viewed as a points decision I guess England will take this one," he said.

"Both teams go to Auckland and we'll just try to make a result in the last game."
The weather is forecast to clear for the Auckland Test and the wicket is expected to provide more bounce than the docile pitches in Wellington and Dunedin, boosting the chances of a series-deciding result.


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