New Zealand v England: Stuart Broad admits difficult task in final two days

New Zealand v England: Stuart Broad admits the tourists face a difficult task in forcing a victory after day three of the second Test

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Stuart Broad took six wickets as the hosts’ first innings fell for 254 The Sport Review

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Stuart Broad admits England face a difficult task in forcing a victory in the two remaining days of the second Test against New Zealand.

Broad took six wickets as the hosts’ first innings fell for 254, allowing England to enforce the follow-on, but they rallied to close on 77-1 in their second innings, still 134 in arrears.

Broad said: “It’s a good batting track. Our batsmen came off and said we’d have to bowl very well to get 20 wickets.

“We know it’s going to be hard work but we are prepared for that.”

He added: “That is why you work hard off the field and in the gym to be able to bowl and field for a few days on the bounce, and we will have to do that to win this Test match.”

England’s decision to ask New Zealand to bat again was prompted by a forecast that is signaling patchy weather over days four and five.

“Follow-ons aren’t often enforced because bowlers like to have a rest and it’s good to get the opposition back out in the field,” said Broad.

“But the management have been talking to groundsmen and looking at radars, and the forecast isn’t that good for the next couple of days.”

“We don’t know how much time is going to be lost in this Test match so the only real option for us was to try to enforce that follow-on.”

Broad followed up his two wickets on Friday evening with the early scalp of Kale Williamson, before returning later on with the new ball to devastating effect, ending with figures of 6-51.

Though it reaffirms Broad’s Test credentials, and a welcome return to form after being dropped during the tour in India last year, the Nottinghamshire man was quick to pay tribute to the rest of the bowling attack.

“Some guys have worked very hard with this blustery wind and a lot of credit has to go to the likes of Jimmy Anderson and Monty Panesar, who did some hard yards into that wind,” he said.

“It was pleasing for me to get six wickets but, more importantly, the team got 10.”

“Those wickets with the second new ball were really important because being able to enforce the follow-on gives us a chance of winning this game.”

Broad believes patience will be crucial when New Zealand resume on the fourth day, with Peter Fulton unbeaten on 41.

“It’s important not to chase it,” Broad said. “There’s a little but of turn for Monty out there but once the ball gets older there’s not a lot for the seamers.”

“We just need to do a holding role, build pressure, and we know in cricket scoreboard pressure plays a big role in getting wickets.”

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