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Cricket news - New Zealand lose two but build lead on third morning

The visitors scored 97 runs in the opening session

The visitors scored 97 runs in the opening session

Another day and another session went New Zealand's way in the second Test after they wiped off the deficit and went into the lead in Birmingham. Although they lost two wickets in the session, New Zealand scored 97 runs in the opening session on Day 3, with 326 for 5 on the board when Lunch was called, scoring at a rate close to 4.

Ross Taylor seemed more like the batsman he's renowned for, with an aggressive and attacking approach in the first hour, much in contrast to the scrapped innings from yesterday. Having lost Will Young in the last over yesterday, Taylor led New Zealand's charge with boundaries flowing fluently, with England having a poor start to the day. Taylor and Henry Nicholls added 50 runs for the fourth wicket, of which, they had scored only 39, with England offering them freebies. The quickfire stand helped New Zealand inch towards 300 with 63 runs being scored in the first hour without losing a wicket.

The jinx of the eighties, however, continued to haunt the Edgbaston Test with its latest victim being Taylor, who fell soon after the drinks break for 80. Taylor, who yesterday had 16 runs in 57 balls, scored his next 59 runs off just 76, taking on England's bowlers, who couldn't make good use of the second new ball. England only had themselves to blame with dropped catches hurting them. If Joe Root and Zak Crawley were the culprits on Day 2, Sam Billings and James Bracey spilled straightforward catches in the morning session. Taylor went after a short ball, pulling it to Sam Billings who ran in from fine leg, but he couldn't hold on. But Bracey redeemed himself to pluck a sharp catch to dismiss Taylor, who went chasing a full delivery outside off with some away movement.

Bracey was having a dismal day behind the stumps, and matters only got worse when he put down Tom Blundell after Taylor's wicket. Blundell had a nervy start, unable to find answers to the bowlers who had their tails up. However, a full length dive sent Nicholls back, falling prey to the short-ball ploy employed by Mark Wood to give England two wickets in the second-half of the session. Blundell, though, saw through the session with Daryl Mitchell with New Zealand extending their lead to 23, unbeaten on 24.

Brief scores: England 303 (Dom Sibley 35, Rory Burns 81, Dan Lawrence 81*; Trent Boult 4-85, Matt Henry 3-78, Ajaz Patel 2-34) trail New Zealand 326/5 (Devon Conway 80, Will Young 82, Ross Taylor 80; Stuart Broad 2-40) by 23 runs.