NAPIER, New Zealand -- Ryan Sidebottom put England in charge of the third cricket Test against New Zealand with career best figures as 15 wickets fell on a dramatic second day on Sunday.
Sidebottom's stunning seven wicket haul proved a hair raising experience for the England seamer.
England reached stumps in the series decider at 91 for two, an overall lead of 176, after Sidebottom skittled the hosts with seven wickets for 47 runs at McLean Park
Sidebottom's stunning spell, during which he bowled unchanged for 13 overs between lunch and tea, established an 85-run first innings lead after New Zealand were dismissed for 168 having lost their last nine wickets for just 65 runs.
The Nottinghamshire left-arm seamer took his tally for the series to 23 -- the most by an England bowler in a series against New Zealand -- and admitted: "It's the best day's cricket of my career."
"It was pleasing because our backs were against the wall at one stage. We lost some quick wickets this morning, but this has put us in a great position so it's pleasing to do that."
Sidebottom's latest heroics took his tally since returning to England's side last summer to a stunning 51 wickets in 12 Tests and he added: "It was pleasing because our backs were against the wall at one stage. We lost some quick wickets but this has put us in a great position."
England, all out 258 first time around, suffered a quick setback when Chris Martin had Michael Vaughan caught behind by Brendon McCullum for four in the first over.
Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss then put on 72 for the second wicket before Cook was caught behind by McCullum leaving Strauss not out 40 and Kevin Pietersen on seven following his first innings 129.
As momentum swung between sessions New Zealand were firmly in control in the morning, polishing off the last three England batsmen for 13 runs and then pounding the England bowlers, Sidebottom apart, to go to lunch at 93 for one.
Central to the New Zealand batting onslaught was Stephen Fleming who joined Jamie How in the middle when Sidebottom removed Matthew Bell with the third ball of the innings.
Fleming, in his final Test, was particularly harsh on James Anderson, and belted him out of the attack early as he raced to 59 off 72 balls, including nine fours and a six, before falling to Sidebottom three overs after lunch.
It was a disappointing end for Fleming -- caught at second slip by Paul Collingwood -- as he again failed to convert a half century into a 100.
He now needs 54 runs in the second innings to meet his goal of ending an 111-Test career with an average of 40.
Fleming's dismissal started the New Zealand slump as Sidebottom dominated the England bowling attack.
How was next to fall, caught at slip by Andrew Strauss 44, and Sidebottom continued his rampage with the wickets of Mathew Sinclair (7), Grant Elliott (6), Brendon McCullum (9) and Daniel Vettori (14).
Stuart Broad claimed Ross Taylor (2), Tim Southee (5) and Jeetan Patel (4).
Teenager Southee had earlier announced his arrival on the international scene with a five-wicket haul on debut as he wrapped up the England first innings.
When England resumed at 240 for seven, the 19-year-old Southee removed t Broad with the first ball of the day, caught by McCullum for a Test-best 42.
He then finished the innings with Sidebottom caught by Mattew Bell at mid-off for 14, while in between the two Southee dismissals Chris Martin bowled Monty Panesar for one.
Southee returned an impressive five for 55 off 23.1 overs, the third best debut figures for a New Zealand bowler. E-mail to a friend