Our event of the day is the fourth day of the second Test between England and New Zealand at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch. Already ahead by 231, and with seven second innings wickets still in hand, England will look to build an unassailable lead before they get a chance to bowl at New Zealand on Day 4. The Black Caps bowlers scored vital lower order runs on the morning of the third day, and left themselves with just a 29 run deficit after the first innings, a margin that looked like it would be far bigger at one stage. Stuart Broad (6-54) was the pick of the English bowlers, taking his first five-wicket haul since January 2016 in Johannesburg, while James Anderson (4-76) was typically consistent too.
New Zealand’s bowlers will need to start strongly themselves on the fourth day if they are to have a chance of saving this match. Fifties from James Vince (76) and Mark Stoneman (60) have left England with that big lead and the Kiwis will need to rip through the rest of the England batting line-up to set their batsman a reachable target. Although this is not out of the question, the pitch has turned into a largely batsman friendly one, and so quick wickets may not be easy to come by. If, as expected, England do set up a declaration at some stage on Day 4, all eyes will turn to English debutant Jack Leach who would very much hope he can mark the occasion by spinning his team to victory.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament final between Villanova and Michigan in San Antonio. Villanova are seen as favourites heading into the tournament decider, but Michigan are in great form at the moment, unbeaten since February 6th. Elsewhere in Cricket, the fourth day of the Test Match between Australia and South Africa gets underway with South Africa clearly on top. In AFL, the Geelong Cats face Hawthorn at the MCG, whilst over in Sydney, Wests Tigers play Parramatta Eels in the NRL. In the MLB, the Washington Nationals travel to Atlanta to face the Braves, whilst the NHL’s main matchups see the St. Louis Blues up against the Washington Capitals and the Los Angeles Kings versus the Colorado Avalanche. Football’s EFL Championship sees Preston North End play Derby County, Getafe face Real Betis in La Liga and FC Porto travel to face Belenenses in Primeira Liga action. Widnes Vikings play against St Helens in the Super League and it’s the first day of the Volvo Car Open on the WTA World Tour from Charleston, South Carolina.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by England Cricket; BlackCaps
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