Joe Root’s superb double century was not enough to prevent a 1-0 series defeat in New Zealand, with a combination of a flat pitch, rain and a century from a former Yorkshire team-mate thwarting England’s bid for parity at Hamilton overnight.
While England were the more likely winners in the second and final Test, the hosts comfortably held on to leave Root and co contemplating defeat heading to South Africa later this month for a longer tour comprising of four Tests plus one-day and T20 internationals.
In this short series, England were undone by a failure to build on a promising start with the bat in the first innings of the first Test at Mount Maunganui – 277-4 to 353 all out.
And going beyond 400 in the first innings second time around at Seddon Park was not enough against an impressive New Zealand outfit led by the brilliant Kane Williamson, a White Rose favourite and scorer of 104 not out in the second innings.
He and fellow centurion Ross Taylor successfully overturned a deficit of 101 during today’s rain-affected fifth day.
England go from facing a buoyant New Zealand, who have won six successive home Test series, to facing a South African side encountering problems on and off the field.
They endured a chastening one-day World Cup in England over the summer and have most recently been beaten 3-0 in India.