New Zealand 350 and 454 - 8 declared

England 350 and 44 - 0 (after day four)

English supporters may have been glad for once, as the rain came down to shorten the fourth day's action in the second Test. After the tourists had thrashed the home bowlers to all parts of Headingley, England stemmed the tide against them by reaching 44 without loss in their unlikely pursuit of 455 for a second victory in the series. More likely they will resume on the final day simply seeking to bat through to the close, looking for the draw that would clinch a 1-0 series win.

NZ positivity when batting

A feature of the two Tests against England has been the New Zealanders' positivity with bat in hand. Captain Brendon McCullum seems to lead from the front, demonstrating that he wants the game to proceed at a pace to maximise his team's chances of forcing a result. Only when the situation demands it does he steady the ship, as during the innings on day three. Even then, it commonly isn't long before the quick scoring approach resumes.

Resuming their second innings already 338 runs ahead, the Kiwis were in particularly aggressive mood on day four during the morning session. Freed from the need to defend, the remaining batsmen were instead able to fully express themselves.

BJ Watling added 20 to his overnight score of 100 not out, before losing his wicket to leave the Kiwis on 368-7. James Anderson was the benefactor, aided by Joe Root's catching prowess at third slip. Then the 'fun' really began for the tail-enders.

Rapid runs for the Kiwis

Mark Craig and Tim Southee added a highly entertaining 67 runs for the eighth wicket, with Southee's contribution being a quickfire 40 off just 24 deliveries faced.

Southee took 20 runs from one Stuart Broad over, as the England man again played into his hands with short deliveries. When he was dismissed by Moeen Ali, attempting another big hit, the score had soared to 435-8. McCullum still persisted in seeking further runs though, maybe having that 450 figure in the back of his mind.

Declaration eventually made

The expected declaration duly came with the New Zealand total on 454-8, but not before Matt Henry had produced a cameo innings of stunning simplicity.

Four balls which included two scoring shots, both of which were hit into the crowd for six off Broad! He remained unbeaten on 12, ably supported by Craig's 58 not out at the other end.

Cook and Lyth survived intact

England's openers had to endure a tricky spell before lunch, which Alastair Cook and Adam Lyth were able to achieve unscathed. The rain came down after lunch, allowing just four overs to be bowled before play was suspended for the day. Cook (18) and Lyth (24) remained unbeaten, their partnership seemingly key to England's chances of retaining their series lead. At 44-0 it was a solid start, but few would expect a record chase of 455 to be possible for the home side. Keeping wickets intact is the main task at hand.

Dependent on the weather in Leeds on day five, it looks likely to be a testing day for Cook and his men. The New Zealanders have been the better of the two bowling attacks in the match so far, but much looks likely to depend on how the first session goes. Batting has generally become easier as the day goes on at Headingley over the first few days. England 'just' have to find a way to prolong their innings that long.