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Swann helps give England command

Graeme Swann led the way as England moved into the ascendancy on day three of the second Investec Test against New Zealand.

Spinners do not traditionally prosper at Headingley yet the off-break bowler starred today having gone wicketless in his only other five-day appearance at the ground, against Australia in 2009.

Swann, not selected when England tackled South Africa at Leeds last year, bowled with drift and considerable turn in claiming 4-42 as New Zealand were dismissed for 174 replying to the hosts’ 354.

Steven Finn also deserves great credit following an outstanding spell that yielded three wickets, while Stuart Broad finished with two and James Anderson one.

Alastair Cook opted not to enforce the follow-on – the target was 204, 50 less than usual due to the first day being washed out – and duly struck an unbeaten 88 as England closed on 116 for one, 296 ahead.

It seems strange that a day of such dominance began poorly for England as their attempts to add quick runs, having resumed on 337 for seven, were undermined in the morning.

Matt Prior, who moved fluently to 38 in an unbroken half-century alliance with Swann last evening, edged Tim Southee to slip in the day’s second over before Trent Boult completed figures of 5-57 by castling Finn and having Anderson caught and bowled.

It appeared his efforts would prove important when the Black Caps began their reply in fine style, Peter Fulton and Hamish Rutherford peppering the boundary in a fifty alliance.

With the ball not swinging for England’s destroyers at Lord’s, Anderson and Broad, it was left to the other member of their pace triumvirate to do the damage.

Some had questioned Finn’s place heading into this series, with the now fully fit Tim Bresnan waiting in the wings, yet he delivered the perfect riposte today.

While Broad, Anderson and Bresnan gain their best results from a full length, it cannot be denied Finn brings something different; added pace from such height can be a lethal combination, as it proved today.

Having been gifted a caught-and-bowled wicket when Fulton bizarrely looped a leading edge in the air attempting to whip through midwicket, the paceman delivered an outstanding fiery spell either side of lunch.

Rutherford, who had initially looked good en route to 27, was worked over, beaten by three successive balls before being held by Ian Bell at gully driving away from his body.

Ross Taylor was another not up to the task, looking scrambled as Finn reared the ball up and hit him twice at pace. The delivery which ended his innings was a beauty, the fast bowler finding inward seam movement and bounce to clatter into the stumps via a bottom edge.

Suddenly, it was a different game and – no doubt much to the delight of team director Andy Flower – Swann, recently back from an elbow operation, got in on the act as if to prove all England’s bowlers could make decisive contributions in this series.

Drift and prodigious spin brought three wickets in 12 balls; Dean Brownlie and Martin Guptill were bowled off stump and Kane Williamson trapped lbw, albeit with the help of the Decision Review System.

The Black Caps never fully recovered, Swann picking up a further scalp in between Broad grabbing two. Anderson then capped things off by bowling Neil Wagner.

The quick 52 Wagner added alongside Boult, who struck Swann for three mighty sixes, could not take New Zealand beyond the follow-on mark – although it did not matter.

Cook decided adding to England’s lead was the best method, and set about doing it quickly.

Profiting on New Zealand being shorn of Boult after the left-armer’s first two overs – he left the field with a side injury – the skipper made hay.

Having tucked into a couple of short balls from Wagner, he began to unfurl an array of drives that became increasingly fluent.

Cook began to slow up a little after passing 50 - yet still produced the more eye-catching strokes for England as a 25th Test century edged closer.

Nick Compton struggled to seven before eventually gloving Williamson to short-leg, while Trott also looked ungainly in reaching 11 not out from 69 balls – not that those efforts took the gloss of a fine day for the hosts.

Evening Session

Here are the highlights from the evening session on day three at Headingley.

England 2nd Innings

7:02pm - STUMPS! England 116 for one; Cook 88, Trott 11 - A clip off the pads for four takes Cook into the 80s and he ends on 88 as Williamson is cut to the boundary in the day's last over; all eyes will be on England's captain tomorrow as he hunts a 25th Test century.

6:41pm - Cook takes England's score into three figures with a flowing cover-driven boundary.

6:20pm - There is very little happening at Headingley now, both Trott and Cook content to just let the game meander along.

6:07pm - Time for a drink. While you're waiting, why not watch the highlights from a thrilling afternoon session?

6:03pm - Trott ends the impasse with a lovely straight-driven four that precedes a fan running around the field for a couple of minutes

5:48pm - It's all gone a little quiet for the moment, with Jonathan Trott playing himself in and Cook retreating slightly.

5:31pm - WICKET! Compton c Rutherford b Williamson 7; England 72/1 - Well, Compton was really struggling and now he's gone, gloving Williamson on to pad and watching as the ball loops up to Hamish Rutherford at short-leg. Umpire Marais Erasmus turned down the appeal, but Brendon McCullum rightly called for a review.

5:17pm - FIFTY! Cook (63b 9x4 0x6) - Cracking stuff from the captain, who brings up a quick half-century by late-cutting Wagner for four. The Kiwis are missing Boult, who is off the field with a side injury.

4:49pm - More exceptional work from Cook, who's now 36 not out from just 35 deliveries. New Zealand, meanwhile, now have a new ball with the first one apparently out of shape. Off-spinner Kane Williamson will get the first crack with it.

4:35pm - Oh, he's really getting stuck into the left-arm seamer now, cover-driving and cutting further boundaries before Wagner sends four byes down the leg side. The wheels are coming off for the Black Caps it seems.

4:25pm - That's what Cook's been waiting for! New Zealand have been disciplined once again but the England skipper hits two fours off Neil Wagner, first via a cut and second by clipping through leg. 

4:10pm - Cook and Nick Compton both get off the mark in the opening set of six. Tim Southee will come in from the other end.

4:06pm - Here we go. Trent Boult has a new cherry in his hand and Alastair Cook is facing the first over.

Afternoon Session

New Zealand 1st Innings

3:51pm - TEA! - England do not enforce the follow-on - Well, England have opted to build upon their lead and will set about doing so after the interval.

3:46pm - WICKET! Wagner b Anderson 27; New Zealand 174 all out - Well the fun ends as James Anderson returns. The Lancastrian sees his first ball struck for four by Wagner but gains revenge when castling the left-hander. New Zealand trail by 180 and we await news of whether England will enforce the follow-on.

3:42pm - More to cheer for the Kiwi fans. Boult hits two further maximums off Swann in three balls, the first an ungainly slog over long-on and the second a more cultured straight strike. 

3:34pm - There are some brief moments of joy for New Zealand as Trent Boult crunches Graeme Swann over long-on for six before Neil Wagner edges Broad for four. For those interested, by the way, here are the highlights of the morning session.

3:26pm - WICKET! McCullum c Prior b Broad 20; New Zealand 122/9 - The end is nigh it seems! McCullum plays expansively outside off stump and feathers behind off Broad.

3:21pm - WICKET! Bracewell c Bell b Swann 1; New Zealand 122/8 - Swann gets another! Doug Bracewell prods forward, the ball hits pad and rolls off the face of the bat to silly point, where Ian Bell takes the catch.

3:08pm - WICKET! Southee lbw Broad 19; New Zealand 119/7 - And DRS works in England's favour once again. Umpire Erasmus delivers another not-out verdict after Broad pins Southee, who had just driven a powerful straight four, on the pad - in fairness, it did appear there was an inside edge. England send it upstairs and replays show the ball hit pad first; Southee has to go.

3pm - Amid Tim Southee looking indifferent at the other end, McCullum capitalises on Swann bowling too full by unfurling a glorious cover drive.

2:50pm - We've just had drinks and England are ready to continue their charge.

2:33pm - WICKET! Williamson lbw Swann 13; New Zealand 82/6 - When Swann got his first, the Western Terrace broke into a "Swann will tear you apart" chant. Well, that's exactly what he's doing. After Brendon McCullum inside-edges his first ball just past short-leg, the tweaker raps Williamson on the pad - only for umpire Marais Erasmus to deliver a not-out verdict. England rightly review and it is plumb, meaning Swann has three wickets in two overs! New Zealand, by the way, require 204 to avoid the follow-on; the figure is 150 less than the hosts' score - rather that 200 - because the first day was washed out.

2:29pm - WICKET! Guptill b Swann 1; New Zealand 81/5 - This is a joy to watch, it really is. Swann has just delivered an identical delivery to his previous dismissal, albeit this may have turned more, and clipped the top of Martin Guptill's off stump.

2:20pm - WICKET! Brownlie b Swann 2; New Zealand 79/4 - True beauty at Headingley! The perfect off-spinner's delivery accounts for Brownlie as Graeme Swann gets a little drift away and sharp turn back in to castle the batsman.

2:13pm - Ah, we've got a good contest brewing here. England are keeping things tight impressively as Kane Williamson and Dean Brownlie fight for survival - particularly against the dangerous Finn.

1:57pm - WICKET! Taylor b Finn 6; New Zealand 72/3 - Got him! Finn is really in the mood now. After Taylor powerfully cuts a rare poor delivery for four, the paceman nips one backs and bowls the number four via an inside edge. Cracking stuff.

1:48pm - After Stuart Broad gets proceedings back under way with a tight over, Finn sends down an eventful one, during which he falls over in his delivery stride and hits Ross Taylor.

1:39pm - Here come the players for the middle session of day three. England will be eager to build on Steven Finn's double strike prior to lunch.

Morning Session

1pm - LUNCH! New Zealand 62/2; Williamson 4, Taylor 0 - Finn sends down one more delivery, and it's a good one that hits Ross Taylor.

12:58pm - WICKET! c Bell b Finn 27; New Zealand 62/2 - Brilliant stuff from Finn, who is rewarded for a fine spell to Rutherford when the opener edges an expansive drive to Ian Bell at gully. Earlier, Williamson got off the mark with a lovely drive through mid-off.

12:49pm - Finn appears to have his tail up now and has just beaten Rutherford's edge with a beauty that lifted and moved away. Kane Williamson edged Anderson just short of slip in the previous over.

12:36pm - WICKET! Fulton c & b Finn 28; New Zealand 55/1 - It's not looking so easy anymore. Fulton again tries to work the ball through leg but is undone by extra bounce as a leading edge goes high in the air, allowing Finn to take a comfortable return catch. 

12:33pm - New Zealand's openers are making this look very easy at the moment, Fulton whipping another boundary through leg. The fifty partnership comes up soon after, with Steven Finn proving expensive.

12:22pm - England have been complaining about the ball a little and now have a new one! It was out of shape, although the second cherry does not appear to be doing much either, illustrated by Rutherford's glorious back-foot punch through cover off Anderson.

12:10pm - Well, there's not a great deal happening for England's opening bowlers at the moment. Fulton and Rutherford are beginning to look confident, both driving fours down the ground before the latter cuts another boundary.

11:57am - Fulton, who is short of runs on this tour to put it mildly, shows signs of form when whipping Broad confidently through midwicket for four.

11:47am - After Stuart Broad sends down a solid first set of six, Anderson almost gets a breakthrough when Hamish Rutherford inside-edges past his stumps and through fine-leg for four.

11:38am - James Anderson finds a little movement in an opening over that Peter Fulton safely negotiates.

England 1st Innings

11:25am - WICKET! Anderson c & b Boult 0; England 354 all out - Well, that's that then. Hardly the fireworks England hoped for this morning, with Boult completing figures of 5-57 when taking a fine return catch from James Anderson's leading edge. Graeme Swann ended unbeaten on 26.

11:21am - WICKET! Finn b Boult 6; England 354/9 - Brilliant stuff at Headingley. After being crunched down the ground by a brilliant Steven Finn strike, Boult responds with a swinging yorker that uproots off stump.

11:19am - Cracking stuff again from the Black Caps bowlers as Southee and Trent Boult cause problems. Yesterday, Jonny Bairstow looked good against an impressive attack in striking 64. Here is an interview with him.

11:08am - WICKET! Prior c Taylor b Southee 39; England 345/8 - This wicket will certainly represent a disappointment for those in attendance. Matt Prior, having been beaten earlier in the over, flashes outside off stump and edges Tim Southee to first slip, where Ross Taylor claims a very impressive catch falling backwards.

11:06am - Trent Boult gets off to a wayward start as a delivery flies away for four byes; England will take all of the runs they can get.

Pre-Play News

10:53am - We're almost ready for the action in Leeds, where once again the sunshine is truly glorious. What's more, the forecast suggests it will remain that way through the day.

10:41am - All eyes will be on Matt Prior and Graeme Swann this morning following their unbroken half-century alliance towards the end of yesterday evening. Day two, meanwhile, will be remembered largely for Joe Root's exploits; read our report here.

10:30am - Hello and welcome to's live commentary of day three between England and New Zealand. The second Investec Test is intriguingly poised with the hosts 337 for seven at Headingley.

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