Southee's big wicket, Prior's rare drop
Breakthrough of the day
Joe Root had batted with as much assurance as anyone in making 40 but his wicket, caught down the leg side as he attempted a leg glance off Tim Southee, precipitated a dramatic collapse. England lost their last six wickets for just 40 runs, including a spell of three wickets for three runs. While providing reward for New Zealand's well sustained bowling performance, it also underlined the worth of Root's contribution with the bat. The batsmen who followed him looked incapable of resisting the swinging ball.
Drop of the day
Kane Willamson was on 23 when he prodded forward to one that left him from the deserving Anderson and edged to Matt Prior behind the stumps. But Prior, diving too far to his right, was unable to hold on to the chance. In a low scoring game, it could well prove to be a crucial moment. It also brought back memories of Prior's remarkably prescient words from earlier in the week when he was deservedly presented with England's player of the year award: "If I punch one on Thursday I'll be rubbish again."
Milestone of the day
The wicket of Peter Fulton, prodding outside his off stump and edging a catch to second slip, gave James Anderson his 300th Test wicket. Anderson is the 26th man to reach 300 and just the fourth England player after Fred Trueman, Bob Willis and Sir Ian Botham and the first since Botham, in August 1984. It was another step on a Test career that began with a five-wicket haul on debut against Zimbabwe at Lord's in 2003. Still aged just 30 and as fit as ever, Anderson would appear to have every chance of overhauling Botham's tally of 383 Test wickets; the record by an England bowler. Anderson achieved the milestone in his 81st Test, the same as Willis, while Botham took 72 Tests and Trueman just 65. The record for players from all countries remains Dennis Lillee, who reached the landmark in only his 56th Test.
Drop of the day
Kane Williamson was on 23 when he prodded forward to one that left him from the deserving Anderson and edged to Matt Prior behind the stumps. But Prior, diving too far to his right, was unable to hold on to the chance. In a low scoring game, it could well prove to be a crucial moment. It also brought back memories of Prior's remarkably prescient words from earlier in the week when he was deservedly presented with England's player of the year award: "If I punch one on Thursday I'll be rubbish again."
Let off of the day
Willamson had another moment of fortune on 27 when, attempting to glance down the leg side off Stephen Finn, the ball brushed his bat on its way to Matt Prior. England appealed but did utilise the DRS, allowing Willamson to survive despite Hot Spot suggesting an edge.
Ball of the day
Tim Southee had generated sharp away movement throughout the majority of the England innings. Bowling at a decent pace and maintaining a probing line and length, he had forced the England batmen into hours of watchful defence. So perhaps it was understandable that Prior, facing his first delivery, should be on his guard against such a delivery. Instead, though, Southee bowled an offcutter that tailed back into Prior and exploited his habit of falling over a little on the off side, defeated his inside edge and trapped him leg before. It was clever, skilful bowling.
Comeback of the day
Ross Taylor has endured a tough time in Test cricket since he was sacked as New Zealand captain. He failed to reach 50 in his comeback series against England in New Zealand and had, at times, seemed a somewhat peripheral figure. Here, though, he produced the most fluent innings of the game to date, reaching his half-century off only 49 balls with a dab to third man. On a pitch on which England had struggled to progress at more than two-an-over, his ten fours had made a huge dent in England's first innings total.
Family moment of the day
With Ian Bell feeling unwell, England were obliged to utilise one of their 12th men for much of the afternoon. That meant that Joe Root and his 20-year-old brother Billy, a current member of the MCC Young Cricketers, were on the field together. They are believed to be the first pair of brothers to appear on the field together for England in Test cricket since Adam and Ben Hollioake played in the Trent Bridge Test against Australia in 1997.