TODAY |

England captain confident of series-tying Test win against Black Caps despite wet Hamilton weather forecast

England skipper Joe Root won't give up on forcing a series-squaring win over New Zealand, even though the odds are stacked against the tourists heading into the final day of the second Test in Hamilton.

Black Caps power pair Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor will need to be prised quickly on Tuesday from the Seddon Park crease if Root's men are to have any hope after the skipper had given his team a sniff via a majestic double century.

Captain Williamson (37 not out) and Taylor (31 not out) saw off the last 26 overs of day four in a 68-run stand that looked set to force a stalemate, with New Zealand 2-96 in their second innings and trailing by just five runs.

Rain is also threatening, something Root says is a major annoyance given the way his team had taken control of the Test.

"The frustrating thing is that the forecast isn't great, hence why we tried to speed things up towards the back end of our innings," Root said.

"But we've given ourselves a chance. If we can try and get a bit of a cluster of wickets tomorrow morning, then you just never know."

If England can't force victory, the Test will probably be remembered for Root's 226, a standout knock given his Ashes series struggles and a double failure in the first Test loss at Mount Maunganui.

It carried England from 5-269 overnight to 476 all out on the stroke of tea, giving them a 101-run lead.

It was the Yorkshireman's longest innings, beginning when his team were on the back foot late on day two. It was also his second-highest score in 162 innings and the biggest score by any Test batsman at Seddon Park.

The 28-year-old said he didn't feel he had anything to prove, although he conceded he felt "more like my old self" as the innings progressed.

"I have been close for a long time in terms of a real big score," Root told the BBC.

"I have never felt like it has been far away. Once I got in, I had the bit between my teeth and wanted to make a big one."

The 441-ball stay ended when Root tried to loft Mitchell Santner and was caught in the deep.

Four balls earlier, Ollie Pope departed in similar fashion for a Test-best 75, caught in the deep off Neil Wagner trying to up England's

rate, ending a 193-run stand.
All five England wickets fell in six overs and the chief beneficiary was Wagner, who finished with 5-124 to claim a ninth career five-wicket haul.
New Zealand's response began by losing openers Jeet Raval and Tom Latham inside the first eight overs.
Raval's two-ball duck was a particular concern ahead of the series in Australia.
The out-of-form opener's lack of confidence was exemplified by his failure to review his lbw dismissal off Sam Curran, even though hot spot replays revealed a clear inside edge.