LEEDS: Daryl Mitchell hit his third hundred of the series before New Zealand were dismissed for a competitive 329 on the second day of the third Test against England on Friday.
World Test champions New Zealand are 2-0 down in the three-match series but Mitchell has been a shining light and his 109 in Leeds followed scores of 108 at Lord’s and 190 in Nottingham.
Mitchell, 31, is only the fifth New Zealander to score hundreds in three successive Tests.
After resuming on 78 not out, Mitchell also scored the 12 extra runs he needed to break Martin Donnelly’s 73-year-old record for the most runs made by a New Zealander – 462 – in a Test series against England.
But his exit, as one of a trio of victims for left-arm spinner Jack Leach either side of lunch at Headingley, came as New Zealand lost their last three wickets for four runs.
Leach, whose Test career has been blighted by illness, injury and inconsistent selection, finished with an admirable and economical return of 5-100 in 38.3 overs, giving England captain Ben Stokes a measure of control in the field and the ability to rotate the remainder of an attack missing injured pace great James Anderson.
New Zealand resumed on 225-5, with Mitchell and Tom Blundell (45 not out), having once more led a recovery after the visitors slumped to 83-4 with their third century partnership of the series.
Mitchell has been the star man for New Zealand during the series but has had several moments of good fortune and he received another lucky break on Friday.
The middle-order batsman was on 82 when he edged Matthew Potts, only for diving wicketkeeper Ben Foakes to drop a one-handed chance heading to Joe Root at first slip.
Blundell fell in unusual fashion.
Two balls after the players were informed the Decision Review System had stopped working, Blundell was out lbw for 55 to give the persevering Potts, who returned miserly figures of 1-34 in 26 overs, a well-deserved breakthrough.
Although Blundell was struck on the back pad, the ball appeared to be heading down the legside but, with the batsman unable to challenge the decision, New Zealand were now 243-6 following a stand of 120.
New batsman Michael Bracewell fell for 13 when second slip Zak Crawley held a nick to give Stuart Broad a wicket on the paceman’s 36th birthday.
Mitchell completed the fourth hundred of his 12-Test career in style when he lofted Leach over long-off for six.
But trying to repeat the stroke, his 228-ball innings ended when he miscued Leach on the stroke of lunch, with Stokes holding a fine catch running back from mid-off.
Tim Southee made a typically quickfire 33 off 29 balls before he holed out off Leach, with Neil Wagner falling in similar fashion to end the innings.