Not quite in a test fashion did England get the win, but did in a fashion of what the hour demanded. In a run feast England’s intent and approach has them with a 2-0 lead in the 3 match test series. Both, England and New Zealand in the first innings put on 500+ totals, but New Zealand’s 2nd innings show wasn’t good enough and England out fashioned Kiwi’s scoring 299 for the win in just 50 overs in their 2nd innings.
ENGLAND’S XI :
Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (C), Ben Foakes (WK) Matthew Potts, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, James Anderson.
NEW ZEALAND’S XI :
Tom Latham (C), Will Young, Devon Conway, Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Blundell (WK), Michael Bracewell, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Trent Boult.
England having won the toss opt to bowl, Anderson was on song and New Zealand did well to see him off with Broad from the other end offered a few boundary balls on which Kiwi openers Latham and Young capitalised on. Broad had a change of the end, but couldn’t find the right length and so did Potts in his opening spell. Skipper, Ben got himself on and Leach from the other end, they too were smashed to the fence by the set Kiwi pair, but Stokes striked and it was Will Young on 47(70), the 84 run opening stand saw curtains. England had back-to-back wickets as James Anderson was back on and first ball dismissed Latham on 26(60). Henry Nicholls and Devon Conway were quite aggressive in approach, Nicholls on 17* was given a life with Crawley dropping one at 2nd slip. Ben Stokes was back on and off the last ball of his 2nd over picked up Nicholls on 30(52). England again managed a wicket more and two set batters departed at the same time and it was Anderson again this time who dismissed Conway on 46. Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell batted brilliantly got to their individual 50’s on day 1. Close of play on day 1 New Zealand were placed strong on 318-4.
Early on day 2, Daryl Michell registered his 100 and had back-to-back centuries. Blundell didn’t fall short this time around and got to his deserving ton. Leach got the partnership draw curtains with Blundell departing for a very fine 106(198). Runs kept flowing and Darly Michell got to his 150*. Debutant, Bracewell batted brilliantly with aggresive intent, but fell 1 short of his half-century with Anderson bagging his 3rd. Jamieson sent a few to fence before Broad striked and even had Southee in the same over. Leach striked Henry on 0 and Potts striked Daryl Michell on 190(318) restricting him for a double ton. A masterclass again from Kiwi middle order saw New Zealand finish strong on 553. For England, Anderson topped the wickets chart with 3 to his name, Stokes, Broad and Leach had a couple each and a wicket to Matthew Potts. Boult handed New Zealand a perfect start with the wicket of Zak Crawley early on 4(6). Ollie Pope and Alex Lees hung in for long and then opened arms when there was oppurtunity, England didn’t lose a wicket more and were well placed with 90-1 at close of play on day 2.
Day 3 play saw Alex Lees with a boundary shot get to his maiden test 50. Matt Henry provided England a much needed breakthrough by dismissing Lees on a fine 67. Root joined a set Pope and both accelerated the English scorecard, boundaries kept flowing and soon Ollie Pope got to his test ton, a bright sign of relief was on Pope’s face. Root got to his 50 off just 56 balls and again well converted it to a ton, making it back-to-back and this time had it come off just 116 balls, absolute machine Joe Root. Post tea, New Zealand finally managed the breakthrough, Boult got Ollie Pope walk back for 145(239), a top knock this from Pope. Bairstow managed a couple away and wasn’t more and Boult had two in quick succession. Ben Stoakes walked out and had a very clear intension, carnage and he managed one with a quick fire 46(33) and it was the part-timer Bracewell with the wicket. Foakes spent time and got in and Root on the other end, flicked one for a boundary and got to his 150 minutes before close of play on day 3 with England comfortably placed at 473-5.
Root and Foakes got England off to a flyer on day 4 with a few lofted shots, Boult broke the partnership and this time it was Root who walked back for a brilliant 176(211). Broad got a couple away and was dismissed on 9 and Bracewell had his 2nd. Foakes got to his fine 50, but soon was caught yards short of this crease. Boult striked Potts for his fifer and Bracewell with his 3rd got the powering English innings to an end on 539 and Kiwi’s managed a 14 run lead. For New Zealand, Boult with a fifer topped the wickets charts, Bracewell had 3 and Henry had a wicket. England were off to a good start with Anderson striking Latham early on the 5th ball and a pumped up Broad had New Zealand in two minds. Conway and Will Young batted brilliantly and had New Zealand out of trouble despite the early wicket, Conway with a boundary got to his 50, the 100 run stand was up, but departed next ball and Jack Leach provided England with the breakthrough. Will Young got to his 50, but on the other end Nicholls departed with Potts gaining his reward bowling a spectacular spell. Things went worse for New Zealand with set Young being run out on 56. Kiwi middle order pair of, Blundell and Mitchell again found themselves with a task in hand, but wasn’t meant to be this time as the English trap had Blundell on 24. Bracewell put up a carnage this time, but lasted long only for 25(17) and a Southee run out first ball in the same over had New Zealand 213-7. Henry and Mitchell saw stumps. With all 4 results possible, a fitting day 5 was anxiously awaited.
Free tickets had the Trent Bridge packed for the day 5 play. England managed a good start with wickets of Matt Henry after going for a couple boundaries, Jamieson early for just 1. Daryl Mitchell continues on his merry way as he got to his half century. Boult managed to put on a good show with 17 to his name and was the last man to be dismissed with New Zealand on 298 and Daryl Mitchell remained unbeaten on a very fine 62. The English bowling card read a couple wickets each to Potts and Anderson, a wicket to Jack Leach and three to Stuart Broad. New Zealand looking to defend had a perfect start with Boult bagging Zak Crawley for a four ball duck, the pair of Lees and Pope got England past 50. Henry got Kiwi’s the breakthrough with the wicket of Pope on 18 and Boult from the other end dismissed Root early on 3 and New Zealand were right in this. Bairstow joined a set Lees and did the stitching, inching close to 100 on 93 England lost their 4th in Lees who walked back for a brilliant 44(81). Stokes and Bairstow played with intent, played attacking cricket and ensured England didn’t lose a wicket more to tea. Post tea, right from the first over Stokes and Bairstow launched on the Kiwi bowlers in one-day fashion and Bairstow rocketed to his 50 and quickly to his ton coming off just 77 balls. England went on scoring just above a 100 runs in nearly an hour and the test that could have had a tricky chase turned out to be a cakewalk just for the fashion England rightly opted to approach it. Stokes danced down the track and hit a 6 to get to his 50, had come off just 55 balls. Bairstow couldn’t hang in for the finish and walked back on 136(92), a blistering knock. Foakes got a couple away and Ben Stokes finished it in a known fashion. A cut for four and the whole of Trent Bridge arose as one. Stoakes and Foakes remained unbeaten on 75*(70) and 12* respectively with England bagging the test by 5 wickets win are now 2-0 up in the three match test series.
In a game of partnerships England’s approach to chase 299 despite being 93-4 and at tea being 139-4 in the final session opted to go aerial and chased down the 160 remaining in just 16 overs was simply incredible. The Bairstow and Stokes intent blew the New Zealand bowlers away and had no sense of what was happening in the middle. The final, 3rd test starts on 23rd of June, the Kiwi’s have enough time to digest the carnage and look for a formula to save a test whitewash while England have cleared their intentions of coming more harder at Headingley to bag the series 3-0.