Wellington: New Zealand on Tuesday became just the fourth team ever to win a Test match after being forced to follow on when they pulled off a thrilling one-run victory over England in a classic final-day contest, here.
Pacer Neil Wagner (4/62) was the hero for the Kiwis as he had James Anderson caught behind down the leg side to clinch a famous victory for New Zealand in the second Test at Basin Reserve.
The hosts’ hopes had looked forlorn when they were asked to follow on after being dismissed for just 209 in their first innings in reply to England’s 435/8 declared, but Kane Williamson’s 26th Test century on the penultimate day of a topsy-turvy contest gave New Zealand some hope, reports ICC.
England had to chase down 258 for victory in the fourth innings and they looked to be in control when Joe Root (95) and Ben Stokes (33) were at the crease and less than 60 runs were required.
But Wagner and Tim Southee (3/45) dug deep during a tense finale to ensure New Zealand picked up a thrilling triumph to level the two-match series at one-game apiece.
New Zealand joined three other teams to have won a Test match after being forced to follow on, with the most recent prior to this clash coming back in 2001 when India clinched an unlikely win against Australia in Kolkata.
The Kiwis’ winning margin of one-run is just the second time in the history of Test cricket that a match has been decided by that narrow margin, with the only other occurrence coming in 1993 when the West Indies pulled off a similar triumph over Australia in Adelaide.
The match was not part of the current World Test Championship period, with both New Zealand and England already out of contention of reaching June’s final.