England's Matt Prior says victory in final Test against New Zealand still possible
England's Matt Prior says winning the third and final Test against New Zealand in Auckland is still in their sights.
Last Updated: 25/03/13 7:27am
The wicketkeeper and No 7 batsman dominated a century stand with Joe Root, but a solid 73 was a rare bright spot as his team were skittled out for 204 to concede a deficit of 239.
Stuart Broad bagged a pair late on Saturday to leave the hosts wobbling on 35-3 but England still have a mighty task with the ball and at the crease in the last two days to avoid a series defeat.
"We're now in a position where we're going to need a bit of luck and a lot of skill," Prior said.
"But if we can come in the morning and believe we can get early wickets, who knows? It's still a good deck. We're going to have to bat a lot better, obviously but we can chase these runs."
Despite their late wobbles with the blade, Brendon McCullum's New Zealand are in a commanding position and have their star paceman Trent Boult to thank in particular after he finished with a career-best 6-68.
Prior added: "We didn't bat well. I thought they bowled really well. I know Trent ended up with the most wickets, but I thought Tim Southee bowled a couple of very good spells.
"Hats off. Credit to the New Zealand bowlers. Either way, you're behind the eight-ball - quite considerably. We know that, and we've got to front up to that.
"I think we showed we are doing that, with the 20 overs we've just bowled there. To have them three for 30 was a fantastic effort.
"The way our bowlers came out again, after obviously spending a lot of time in the field this Test match, they came in and fought hard."
New Zealand have not secured a Test series triumph against England at home since 1984.
Despite the loss of three quick wickets, Boult said the decision to bat again was the right one.
"To get a rest then look to use the next two days was pretty crucial," he said. "We need to push on tomorrow - 35-3 wasn't in the plan but to have a 280-run lead is a pretty good position.
"There were a couple of signs of a bit of up and down going on, so that's pretty exciting to see from a bowling point of view."