England v New Zealand Tests - Men's
England crumble to leave New Zealand on the brink
England are on the verge of their first series loss at home in seven years after New Zealand ripped through their batting line-up at Edgbaston
13 June 2021, 07:36 AM AEST
England's fragile batting line-up has been routed by New Zealand on day three of the second Test at Edgbaston to leave Joe Root's side facing the inevitability of a first home series defeat since 2014.
After conceding a first-innings deficit of 85, a combination of reckless shot selection and relentless bowling from a Black Caps side tuning up perfectly for the World Test Championship Final saw England slump to 7-76.
It took tailenders Mark Wood and Olly Stone to take an innings loss off the table but after limping to stumps on 9-122 - just 37 in front - there will be nowhere to hide on day four.
Sri Lanka were the last touring side to deal England a bloody nose on their own soil but New Zealand are now certain to land their first win here in 22 years.
"It's obviously not good enough," England coach Chris Silverwood said.
"We need to improve, there's no doubt about that. There are things to work on without a shadow of a doubt. No-one is going to hide from that or deny it.
"I'm not going to lie: I thought it was a great opportunity for some of the younger lads to come in and stamp their mark on the game. I'm sure one or two will be disappointed they haven't been able to do that.
"When do we stop talking and start delivering? I think we need to start seeing starts turned into big scores now. That's one thing we're looking for: people pushing on and being greedy when they get in."
England had earlier bowled out the Kiwis for 388 and began their innings with a horror six-over spell before tea.
All the ingredients were there for New Zealand to force home their position, but the brevity of England's resistance was remarkable nonetheless.
Rory Burns, the home side's form batsman, left the first ball of the innings but was immediately tempted to push at Matt Henry's second, a nondescript stroke aimed in the general direction of extra cover that instead ended up in Tom Latham's hands at slip.
Dom Sibley fared marginally better and was also back in the pavilion before tea, squared up and poking as Henry probed away on a good line.
The interval offered a brief respite for England but things went from bad to worse in the evening session, with the out-of-form Zak Crawley (17) next on the Kiwis' chopping block.
At the other end, Root was hunkered down in pure defence but could not find a partner to share the load.
Ollie Pope got runs on the board relatively quickly, scoring 23 in 20 balls before Neil Wagner pulled the trigger with a big inswinger destined to clip the top of middle stump, leaving England 4-58.
First-innings hero Dan Lawrence bagged a second-ball duck and James Bracey went to Ajaz Patel for eight before Root's 60-ball resistance ended tamely, slashing a short one from Patel straight into Blundell's gloves.
A lively eighth-wicket stand of 44 between Wood and Stone ensured the tourists would need to bat again, with Wood guaranteeing it with an unexpected flourish as he clouted Patel for six.
Neil Wagner eventually ended Wood's fun for 29 and Boult proved far too good for Stuart Broad, but Stone and James Anderson played out the day to book in at least a sliver of play on Sunday.