Prior and Bell save Test and series

Updated: March 26, 2013

Matt Prior proved the unlikely hero for England scoring a century on the final day, denying New Zealand a series win. On a thrilling final day of the third and deciding Test, only one result looked likely at the start of play, and that was a home win, however Ian Bell and Matt Prior dug deep and salvaged a famous draw for the tourists.

New Zealand had been seeking just their ninth test win in 97 matches against England, and their first series victory against them since Stephen Fleming’s team achieved a 2-1 series win in England in 1999 and with England beginning the day on 90/4 chasing 481 it looked as though the Black Caps would finally end their drought against the visitors.

However it wasn’t to be, as first Ian Bell with 75 in more than 6 hours, and then Matt Prior with 110, his 7th Test hundred, saw England to the end of play, finishing on 315/9 in a thrilling finish that left the 3 Test series all square.

Kane Williamson added to the tension taking 2 late wickets, leaving Monty Panesar to face out the last 19 balls which he managed to do.

England 204 (Prior 73, Boult 6-68) and 315 for 9 (Prior 110*, Bell 75, Williamson 4-44) drew with New Zealand 443 (Fulton 136, Williamson 91, Finn 6-125) and 241 for 6 dec (Fulton 110, McCullum 67*)