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Panesar puts England in sight of victory

  • Story Highlights
  • New Zealand reach 222-5 in second innings, seeking a record 553 for victory
  • Monty Panesar takes 3-49 on fourth day as England seek 2-1 series victory
  • Spinner ended international career of former NZ skipper Stephen Fleming
  • Fleming made 66, his second half-century of the match, before bowing out
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NAPIER, New Zealand -- England need to take only five wickets on the final day of the third and deciding cricket Test against New Zealand to clinch a 2-1 series victory after dominating the last session on Tuesday.

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Monty Panesar celebrates after claiming the opening wicket of Jamie How at McLean Park.

The tourists claimed four wickets for 25 runs as New Zealand -- set a record 553 to win -- lost their way after a promising start.

Spinner Monty Panesar halted a second-wicket partnership of 99 between Matthew Bell and Stephen Fleming, dismissing both batsmen to end with figures of 3-49, then pace bowler Stuart Broad also claimed two quick wickets.

New Zealand could have been in even more trouble, but Kevin Pietersen dropped a sharp chance at gully from Brendon McCullum off the first ball of the final over of the day by James Anderson -- and the batsman then clipped 10 runs from the remaining deliveries to leave the hosts 225-5 at stumps.

England, who lost the first Test in Hamilton but bounced back with a resounding victory in Wellington, resumed the day on 416-5.

Monday's hero Andrew Strauss could add only four runs to his overnight total before being caught at mid-off by Bell off the bowling of off-spinner Jeetan Patel for 177, ending a marathon eight-hour innings.

Fellow overnight batsman Tim Ambrose lasted three further overs before he was caught and bowled by left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori for 31, but Broad (31) and first-innings bowling hero Ryan Sidebottom put on an unbroken 42 before skipper Michael Vaughan declared at 467-7.

New Zealand started well as openers Bell and Jamie How added 48 for the first wicket, but the introduction of Panesar brought the breakthrough.

The left-armer trapped How leg before wicket for 11 to bring to the crease the veteran former skipper Fleming -- playing his final Test innings in his 111th match.

The 34-year-old, who made 59 in the first innings before the Kiwis collapsed, cruised to his 46th half-century with a sweep through midwicket off Panesar.

And when he reached 54, it raised his career average to 40 -- considered the benchmark for a recognized batsman.

At the other end, Bell -- battling for his place after a poor series so far, including a duck in the first innings -- also passed the half-century mark for only the fifth time in 32 Test innings.

But, three balls after tea, he blew all his good work when he gifted a catch to Broad at deep backward square off Panesar with his score on 66.

Panesar ended Fleming's international batting career two overs later, with the left-hander edging behind to wicketkeeper Ambrose on 66.

Fleming, who made his Test debut against India in 1994, finished with a total of 7,172 runs with nine centuries and a highest score of 274 not out against Sri Lanka.

Buoyed by the dismissal of New Zealand's senior batsman, England struck again when the struggling Mathew Sinclair (6) edged a rising Broad delivery to Ambrose and Grant Elliott jabbed another short ball to Ian Bell at short leg.

It capped a miserable debut for the South Africa-born Elliott, who tallied just 10 runs for the match after making six in the first innings and took one wicket, having been called up to replace injured all-rounder Jacob Oram.

Ross Taylor made a patient unbeaten 34 to steady the innings, adding 50 with McCullum -- who rode his luck to end the day on 24.

But the New Zealanders will need more than a slice of fortune to survive another three sessions, despite the ever-easing batting conditions, and England go into the last day as overwhelming favorites to take the series. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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