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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.

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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