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Brendon McCullum gave critics of his batting promotion something to chew over but was still left feeling hollow after his fighting knock only delayed England's victory charge in the third cricket test.

McCullum batted a tick over three hours for 71 on a gloomy third day at Trent Bridge, and was in sight of stumps before England paceman James Anderson snuck one through his defences for his eighth wicket of the match.

It left New Zealand entering the fourth day still 64 runs behind the hosts with five wickets in hand after following on when they folded for 123, a hefty deficit of 241.

McCullum copped much of the criticism from England's cricket writers for New Zealand's day two collapse against a devastating spell of swing bowling from Anderson.

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