DUNEDIN, New Zealand (AFP) - A determined England batted through the final day to salvage a draw from the first Test against New Zealand at the University Oval in Dunedin on Sunday.
At stumps England were 421 for six, a lead of 128 runs, after facing a 293-run deficit on the first innings in the rain-interrupted Test.
Despite the best efforts of England nightwatchman Steven Finn and New Zealand quick Neil Wagner on the final day, an outright result was never more than a remote possibility on the unresponsive wicket.
New Zealand saw a glimmer of hope in the first three overs after tea when
Finn was eventually removed after 203 minutes at the crease for 56 and Joe Root quickly followed, run out without scoring.
But Ian Bell, with an unbeaten 26, and Matt Prior (23 not out) carried England through to stumps, seeing off the third new ball of the innings in the process.