Pope leads England fightback on day three

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Ollie Pope was closing in on his second Test century and opener Alex Lees hit his maiden fifty as England reached 2-195 at lunch on the third day of the second Test against New Zealand on Sunday.

Resuming on 1-90 after the tourists posted a dominant 553 thanks to a well-crafted 190 by Daryl Mitchell, England continued to score runs freely at a sunny Trent Bridge to trail by 358 runs at the interval.

Pope, who took advantage of a dropped catch to race to his half-century on the second day, was unbeaten on 84, with former captain Joe Root on 35 not out, after Lees departed following a poor shot.

Lees excelled in good batting conditions as he fluently drove pace bowler Tim Southee for two fours before reaching his first Test half-century with a four on the leg-side off Kyle Jamieson.

On 67, however, he chased a wide delivery from Matt Henry and edged to Mitchell at slip and the fielder made no mistake, having dropped the left-hander early in his innings. It ended a solid second-wicket partnership of 141.

It was a disappointing end for the 29-year-old Lees, who lasted 125 balls and hit 11 fours.

Root, whose unbeaten 115 guided England to a five-wicket win in the opening test, endured nervy moments and was lucky to survive after flashing at a delivery from Southee, who also dropped him in the slip cordon.

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