The second session of Day 4 turned out to be another heartbreaking experience for England in the field as Mitchell Santner and BJ Watling put up a wonderful performance against England, with the home side reaching 590 for 7, leading by 237 at the Tea break. Watling completed his maiden double century, while Santner scored his maiden Test century.
After a slow-paced first session, Santner and Watling decided to up the match with a flurry of shots. Watling took on Jofra Archer’s short ball by upper-cutting the pacer over the third man for a six. Santner joined the party by collecting three boundaries off Stuart Broad in the 176th over. When Leach was introduced into the attack, Santner repeatedly used his feet to loft the spinner down the ground. By then, the all-rounder had taken New Zealand past the magic 500-run mark and was closing in on his maiden Test century.
Santner soon reached the coveted milestone with a pull off Stokes to fine leg. Once he completed the landmark, Santner upped one more gear as he sent England on a leather hunt, before finally falling to Sam Curran. By the time Santner was dismissed, he and Watling had broken the record for the highest seventh-wicket stand in New Zealand’s Test history. At the other end, Watling slowly but steadily inched his way to his maiden double ton in Tests. He also cracked the occasional pull and cut to keep the scorecard ticking over.
Earlier, in the morning, the pair of Watling and Santner helped New Zealand take control of the proceedings. At the start of the day, Archer and Broad bowled with discipline and also created a few problems, but Watling and Santner were able to last through that tricky period. Once the pair got through the initial phase, they started to showcase their wonderful batting skills against England.