New Zealand v England: Matt Prior believes tourists are in control

New Zealand v England: Matt Prior is confident the tourists are in control of the second Test after reducing hosts to 66-3 on day two

Matt Prior believes England are in charge of the second Test after they reduced New Zealand to 66-3 in reply to their own total of 465.

With Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford and Ross Taylor falling cheaply, Prior, who earlier hit a fluent 82, said: “It ended up a pretty good day for us”.

“Those late wickets swung it in our favour but it’s very important we come in hard [on day three] and try to force the advantage we have.”

England began the day on 267-2 but lost overnight centurion Jonathan Trott first ball, before sliding to 325-5. Half-centuries from Kevin Pietersen and Matt Prior swung the initiative back to the tourists.

“When I first came in it was time to buckle in a little bit,” added Prior. “We wanted to make sure we batted long and make sure we got a very good score on the board, which we ended up doing.”

The wicketkeeper put on an eighth-wicket partnership of 83 with Steven Finn, and praised the work the bowler has put in to his batting.

“It’s nice to score some runs but more important to me was the contribution Finn made again.”

“He has put in a huge amount of work with Andy Flower and Graham Gooch and, seeing what he did in the last Test and then again today in that partnership, it’s outstanding.”

England were all out on the stroke of tea, giving them 33 overs in which to make inroads in the New Zealand lineup.

“That session was a nice amount of overs for us,” said Prior. “Our quick bowlers could have short fiery spells and Monty Panesar could get in a bit of rhythm.”

“The day panned out brilliantly for us. We are in a very good position.”

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