Kane Williamson, Brendon McCullum and Hamish Rutherford of New Zealand celebrate the wicket of Alastair Cook on Monday. (Getty Images)
Auckland: Peter Fulton reckons the wicket of England captain Alastair Cook late on Monday could prove crucial to their success in the series-deciding third Test at the Eden Park, Auckland. Cook was on 43 when he was caught brilliantly at second slip by Dean Brownlie off part-time offspinner Kane Williamson.
The wicket of Cook is followed by the dismissal of nightwatchman Steven Finn, who too got out to Williamson as the visitors were reduced to 90 for 4 at stumps on day four, chasing a mammoth 481 for victory. New Zealand's charge on Monday also gave them a hope of winning a series against a top 8 Test playing nation in seven years. They last beat West Indies in March 2006.
"I think the third wicket of Alastair Cook was a massive one, really," Fulton told Sky Sports. "He's shown he can bat for a long time. To pick him up was crucial, and to grab the nightwatchman there at the end as well was a nice little bonus.
"There's more hard work to do in the morning, then we've got another new ball which hopefully will create some opportunities. I don't think anyone's getting too far ahead of themselves but... definitely on the right track."
After scoring his maiden Test century three days ago, Fulton played a brutal knock - 110, including 14 fours and five sixes - on Monday. In doing so, the 34-year-old became only the fourth New Zealand player to hit two centuries in the same Test, joining Glenn Turner, Geoff Howarth and Andrew Jones. "It hasn't really sunk in yet. We're just focused on getting out there in the field and hoping we can get some wickets.
"We did a lot of hard work last night, myself and Dean [Brownlie] getting through to stumps. I guess the game was right in the balance this morning when we came out. We had to do some more hard work, and then at the end of that session we had a little bit of fun."