England 248 for 4 (Trescothick 132, Strauss 62) trail New Zealand 409 (Fleming 97, Papps 86, McCullum 54, Harmison 4-74) by 161 runs
A sixth Test century from Marcus Trescothick helped to put England in a fighting position on the third day of the second Test at Headingley. After New Zealand were bowled out for 409 in the morning, Trescothick and Andrew Strauss added a free-flowing 153 as England closed on 248 for 4, some 161 runs behind.
If England's bowlers found the going tough, then the New Zealand attack found it even more of a struggle. On a two-paced pitch still not easy for the batsmen, England made good progress, keeping the run-rate up to nearly four an over. Bar a spunky partnership between Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vettori, and Trescothick's late dismissal, it was just about England's day. Matthew Hoggard and Stephen Harmison wrapped up the tail in the morning, and that was followed by a lively start to their reply.
England faced a tricky 20 minutes before lunch, but Trescothick crunched Chris Martin for three thumping fours on the off side to get him going - and he didn't look back. The way he waited for the ball was a feature of his innings, as was a host of spanking drives. Trescothick banged 19 fours in all on the way to his 132, the majority of them bludgeoned off the front foot through the covers. All the bowlers received the treatment, and Trescothick notched up his half-century - and the hundred stand with Strauss - with a clip over mid-off from Chris Cairns.
Even though the pitch showed the odd sign of misbehaving, Trescothick made it all look ridiculously easy. He cut Vettori for four and then drove Martin to the fence to go to 98. He signalled his hundred from 161 balls by flicking Vettori through midwicket to start the boozy celebrations in the ground. And he wasn't finished there, easing Vettori down the ground and guiding Cairns for another searing cover-drive. However, the drive eventually proved to be his downfall. After Trescothick and Graham Thorpe has gone off for bad light for 15 minutes, Trescothick perished on his return when he bottom-edged a low delivery from Scott Styris into his stumps (240 for 4).
That wicket slightly took the gloss of England's day, but his stand with Strauss set the tone for England's innings. Strauss had another day for the scrapbook, reaching his third consecutive half-century, even though he did have a few edgy moments early on. He miscued a pull off Martin over the slips for four, but then hit a more orthodox cover-drive to settle the nerves. On 13, he survived a big shout for caught behind when he dangled the bat outside the off stump from Styris, and the replays suggested he might have been lucky to get away with it. However, he made the most of his luck, cutting Cairns for four and later coming down the track to punch Vettori over midwicket. He went to his fifty by slapping Daryl Tuffey through point and then flicking him to the square-leg fence.
At that stage, Stephen Fleming was unable to stop the flow of runs as his bowlers failed to find their range. However, Vettori finally gave the Beige Brigade something to shout about when Strauss top-edged a sweep to Tuffey at midwicket for 62 (153 for 3).
Mark Butcher didn't last long. He never settled, and was given out leg-before against Vettori. The ball pitched outside off, turned sharply and hit Butcher, playing back, on the pad in line with off stump (174 for 2). Michael Vaughan, in his new role at No. 4 - and as a father - was given a warm welcome to the crease by his home crowd, but perhaps nappies and restless nights were already on his mind. Apart from a trademark swivel-pull off Vettori, he wasn't himself and he edged Styris with an angled bat to Fleming at first slip for a laboured 13 (229 for 3).
The batsmen then accepted a final offer for bad light for the second time with 18 overs remaining, with England in a good position, thanks also to the efforts of their bowlers in the morning. Harmison struck as early as the second over when Cairns tamely guided a lifting ball to Strauss at point without adding to his overnight 41 (355 for 7). McCullum and Vettori then held England up with a valuable stand of 54. Vettori started brightly and played his shots all round the ground, while McCullum curbed his natural attacking instincts to concentrate on the ones and twos as he reached his half-century.
However, Hoggard lifted his, and England's, spirits by knocking back McCullum's off stump. The ball pitched on a good length and nipped back in through his defences to bowl him off his pad (409 for 8). Hoggard then quickly dismissed Tuffey, who played all round a straight one and was stone-dead lbw for a duck (409 for 9). The sight of Martin walking to the crease then prompted Vettori to go for broke: he gave himself room to whip Harmison over the off side, but was bowled all ends up going for the big shot for 35.