New Zealand claim miracle one-run Test win over England

New Zealand have become just the fourth team to win a Test after following on with a miracle one-run victory against England in what's being hailed as the greatest Test match ever.

The New Zealanders pipped the Poms on a dramatic day in Wellington when, for only the second time in 2494 Tests, a match was decided by one run.

The other one-run result was Australia's infamous loss to West Indies in Adelaide in 1993.

Australia were also involved in the next three narrowest Test wins by margin of runs: a two-run loss to England 2005, a three-run win over England in 1902 and a three-run defeat to England in 1982.

And Australia were also on the losing end on all three previous occasions when a team won after being made to follow-on - to India in 2001 and to England twice - 1981 and 1894.

The Wellington wonder came after England captain Ben Stokes enforced the follow-on in the second Test with his team 226 runs ahead on the first innings - the tourists made 9(dec)-435 and bowled the Black Caps out for 209.

New Zealand, anchored by Kane Williamson's superb 132, compiled 483 in their second innings to set the tourists 258 to win.

England resumed at 1-48 on the final day but lost four wickets in the opening hour, wobbling to 5-80 when player-of-the-series Harry Brook was run out without facing a ball.

Captain Stokes (33) and his predecessor Joe Root (95) then added 121 runs, reducing England's target to 57 runs with five wickets remaining.

But Stokes and Root were dismissed in a one-run span as the Test tilted in favour of New Zealand.

England's Ben Foakes, shepherding strike from the tailenders and making 35, then wrested momentum but was out with seven required for victory.

After a Jack Leach single, No.11 Jimmy Anderson clubbed a four but was soon dismissed - caught behind down the legside from a short Neil Wagner (4-62) delivery, sparking New Zealand jubilation.

"That game as a whole, in terms of what Test cricket's about, was just incredible," said Stokes.

"Sometimes things don't happen the way you want them to. But it was a good one, wasn't it?"

The defeat snapped England's stretch of six consecutive Test wins and levelled the two-match series as New Zealand avoided their first home series defeat since 2017.

"Only a handful of sides have been asked to follow on and come back to win so I think it's a pretty special one," New Zealand skipper Tim Southee said.

"To be on the back foot after two days, the character being shown in the last three days ... has been very impressive."

Commentators hailed the Test as the greatest ever - a similar moniker was bestowed on their one-day clash in the final of the 2019 World Cup final.

That one-dayer was controversially won by England on a countback of boundaries scored after the teams were tied after 50 overs and then tied again after the super over.

with Reuters