England dig in to save first Test after Root falls cheaply

Mount Maunganui (New Zealand) (AFP) –


England lost captain Joe Root while crawling to 98 for four at lunch Monday as they battled to save the first Test against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui.

Just 43 runs were scored from 31 overs in a two-hour session on the final morning during which Root was out for 11, his second failure of the match.

Joe Denly was on 21 from 97 balls faced and Ben Stokes, who faced 24 deliveries before getting off the mark, was on 13.

The tourists need a further 164 to avoid an innings defeat after New Zealand declared on Sunday at 615-9 in response to England's first innings 353.

New Zealand had their own concerns with speedster Trent Boult bowling just one over before leaving the field with an side strain.

Spinner Mitchell Santner, who enjoyed a golden Sunday with his maiden Test century and three wickets before stumps, sent down 14 overs for a miserly 17 runs on the fifth morning without further success.

Colin de Grandhomme claimed Root's wicket with a bouncer that the England skipper could only steer to Tom Latham in the close-fielding cordon who snapped up a smart catch.

It ended a disappointing match for Root who only managed two in the first innings after moving back down the order to his favoured number four slot, having batted at three during the recent Ashes series.