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Cricket-Finn helps England to slim lead at lunch against NZ

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

By Greg Stutchbury

DUNEDIN, New Zealand, March 10 (Reuters) - Fast bowler Steven Finn nicked, paddled, slashed and drove his way to his highest test score as England moved past New Zealand's first innings total to establish a 36-run lead at lunch on the final day of the first test on Sunday.

Nightwatchman Finn was unbeaten on 42 alongside Jonathan Trott (37) as the tourists went into the break at 329 for two, having overtaken New Zealand's 293-lead about an hour beforehand.

Centurion Nick Compton was the only batsman to fall in the first session when he was trapped lbw by Neil Wagner for 117.

Short of a massive England collapse, the match, which lost the entire first day and the final session of the third day to rain, looked destined to end in a draw.

Finn offered a chance in the first over of the day when Dean Brownlie dropped a catch at slip but New Zealand's bowlers were largely unable to extract any assistance from a benign pitch.

Prior to Finn's first innings knock of 20 at University Oval, his previous highest test score was 19 against Sri Lanka at Lord's in 2011.

The visitors had resumed on 234 for one after England captain Alastair Cook (116) had been dismissed just before stumps on Saturday.

Cook and Compton had resurrected England's position in the match with a stubborn 231-run opening stand, taking a massive chunk out of New Zealand's first innings lead.

England were bowled out for just 167 inside two session on the second day then placed under pressure by the hosts with captain Brendon McCullum declaring at 460 for nine early on the fourth day. (Editing by Nick Mulvenney)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130309/cricket-finn-helps-england-slim-lead-at-lunch-against-nz