Blackcaps v England: New Zealand chase key wicket after tourists' top order tumbles on final day at Wellington

The Blackcaps' hopes of saving their test series against England could come down to just one wicket, after they snared four quick dismissals on the final day at Wellington.

The tourists recovered from a sensational top-order collapse to reach lunch at 168/5, with Ben Stokes (20no) and Joe Root (74no) at the crease.

Joe Root in action.
Joe Root in action. Photo credit: Getty Images

England resumed day five at 48/1, needing another 210 runs to win, but were rocked by relentless Blackcaps bowling early in the first session.

Nightwatchman Ollie Robinson (2) was first to be dismissed, with Tim Southee finding the edge for Michael Bracewell to settle underneath and claim the catch.

Just a few overs later, opener Ben Duckett (33) nicked off Matt Henry to wicketkeeper Tom Blundell, before a bewildering Blackcaps double-strike.

Ollie Pope tried to attack Neil Wagner, but couldn't keep the ball down, with Tom Latham taking a superb catch at second slip.

The very next ball stunned the Barmy Army into silence, as a shocking mix-up saw new batter Harry Brook depart without even facing. Root dabbed the ball toward slip and set off on a run, but Bracewell was quick to cut the ball off and find Blundell, leaving Brook stranded short of his crease.

At 80/5, England were teetering and New Zealand were firmly in the boxseat for an unlikely series-saving victory at the Basin Reserve.

A visibly hurt and limited Stokes survived a few nervy moments, with a couple of unsure pokes falling just short of the nearest fielder.

Root calmly brought up his half-century and showed little intent on slowing down, finding the boundary rope with ease, with Bracewell on the receiving end of most of the brunt.

With just three front-line fast bowlers to choose from, the Blackcaps cause wasn't helped by losing Henry in the middle of his spell. The quick tumbled during his fifth delivery on an over and was forced from the field holding his back, before returning later.

Battling a knee injury, Stokes could provide New Zealand the best chance to break the 88-run partnership and bring in England's last recognised batter to the crease.

With wicketkeeper Ben Foakes still to come and Stuart Broad more than capable with the bat, England remain in control of the second test and the series, needing just 90 runs to win.

England 435/8 declared (Brook 186, Root 153*; Henry 4/100) & 168/5 (Root 74*, Stokes 20*, Southee 2/39)

New Zealand 209 (Southee 73; Broad 4.61) & 483 (Williamson 132, Blundell 90; Leach 5/157)

England need 90 runs for victory with five wickets in hand