Prior helps England hold on for heart-stopping draw
It may not have been pretty, it may not have been assured and it may have owed rather more to fortune than they would have liked, but England's last pair somehow clung on to seal a draw on the final day of the Test series against New Zealand in Auckland
That will be it from one of the finest Test matches in recent memory. Abhishek Purohit signing off, cheers, Test cricket lovers.
The series trophy is handed to both the captains, and that concludes the presentation, without naming any Player of the Series or Match.
Presentation on, and Alastair Cook is called up first as visiting captain. Cook: "Huge relief. We have had to fight. NZ outplayed us over five days. Our never say die attitude, we have proved a hard side to beat. At no stage did we underestimate NZ. We did not play as well as we would have liked, but that takes nothing away from NZ, who put us under huge pressure. I see Monty in those situations, I would not want any one else there. I have had four of these last ball escapes now. To have the support we have with the Barmy Army is fantastic."
Brendon McCullum: "Mixed emotions. Incredibly proud of the boys. We have absorbed pressure and put it on a very good England side. Pretty much tried everything, we came up against some of the best players in the world. We gave it everything, wonderful Test and series. Performances we put in this series we are treading in the right direction. We are not the finished product, long way to go. Peter Fulton, outstanding in this match. Lovely story, absolutely delighted. Fought his way back to international cricket, against one of the best sides in the world."
What a Test match. The opponents are moved enough to embrace, Southee and Prior, then Monty, the Barmy Army sings on and on, Southee pats Prior on the back one final time. Prior walks into the embrace of Stuart Broad, Ian Bell, Jimmy Anderson, Graham Gooch, all hug the saviour
New Zealand do not win too many Test matches, especially against big sides like England. They deserved to win today, it was that one drop, by Brownlie off Ian Bell. Bell batted another session after that reprieve, and Prior took over. But from England apparently just having to turn up to win 3-0, to having to depend on No 11 to avoid a series defeat, New Zealand have shown what they can do.
Kane Williamson's young voice cracks: "Gutted. The boys tried really hard. Good effort across all three matches, but at the moment we are not looking at that."
Tim Southee: "I do not know what the right word is, but we are gutted. To fight so hard for five days and come so close, bit of luck would have been nice, we bowled our heart out and created chances. Prior played one hell of an innings, along with Bell earlier."
Matt Prior: I am not really one to celebrate draws but this was a phenomenal effort. First innings was disappointing. To get to the line is unbelievable. We had to bat 90 overs, the wicket was good, only going to get slower, you don't want to be blocking everything, you want to play your shots. Broad and I have had some good partnerships in the past and we know how to get each other coming. He has worked hard with Andy Flower on his batting and this shows that has paid off. I backed Monty all the way. You want to stay relaxed, but it is hard to."
Jules: "Dear NZ fans, I know sympathy is not what you wanted (especially from an Aussie), but you're team has almost won more respect through this than if that bail had fallen off and they'd won. Well done."
Isaac: "I was fairly convinced we (England) wouldn't do it today, but cricinfo mentioned Faf's epic innings at the start of the day and that gave me hope. I've been up all night and although my sleep pattern is now ruined, I'm thankful to New Zealand and England for giving us a great Test match."
Karl: "Well played England, especially Prior and Bell, phenomenal displays of concentration and determination. But what kept NZ from a win (besides the chances) was a really poor performance from Bruce Martin - 65 overs in the match for no wickets, and outbowled on a 5th day pitch by Williamson's part-time offspin. Not good enough."
John: "The best thing about this game is that we never have to have another discussion about the relative virtues of Test and T20 cricket. We can just point to this game and say "Tests are better" and leave it at that."
Last ball, it has come down to this, McCullum hobbles across for one last chat with his bowler
The Barmy Army like that, they really do
Prior walks up to sound some encouragement
Six balls, one wicket, Monty on strike. Who will it be? It is Trent Boult. Another long discussion between the batsmen, Monty, all grace under pressure, smiles
Prem: "This is it. I need new nails."
Amir: "God, I know you're watching...I'd just like to say THANK YOU!!!"
McCullum has a chat with KW, field set to prevent the single, just one slip in
How did it get so close? how on earth?
What a wasted chance for NZ
Monty in the firing line, before that, he gets a long lecture from Prior
Has to find the single somehow
Mithun: "Start the press!! Stop the press!!! Start the....Forget it. Its still on....I absolutely love Test cricket"