Jonny Bairstow played one of the craziest knocks while chasing, blasting 136 off just 92 while Ben Stokes scored an unbeaten 75 off 70 to take England to a remarkable victory over the Black Caps in the second Test at Trent Bridge.
One year after England refused to chase down 273 in 70-odd overs against the same opponent, the team under the new leadership of captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum showed it is indeed a start of a new era. The hosts were given a target of 299 in 72 overs on the fifth day of the Trent Bridge Test, they did it in just 50.
“This was the greatest win of my career. This blows the Headingley and World Cup final out of the water,”said Stokes who played his crucial part in producing this triumph.
Alex Lees set the tone for England early, smashing three boundaries to Tim Southee in the very first over and scoring 30 off 35 before lunch. After the break the Kiwis made a strong comeback, dismissing first innings centurions Ollie Pope and Joe Root in quick succession. Lees also fell soon with the scoreboard reading 4/93.
It was all a Bairstow show afterwards as the white ball beast brought his power-hitting skill set to the fore and hammered anything in his arc. NZ were handicapped with Kyle Jamieson not available to bowl, and Bairstow made full use of it after Tea, taking on Matt Henry and Trent Boult.
The right-hander completed his century in just 78 balls, and when he ended his innings on 136 off 92, England only needed 27 runs to win. Stokes battled his way through a knee injury and played his part with 75 off 70 as he saw England home along with Ben Foakes. Stokes and Bairstow shared a 179-run stand in just 20.1 overs, putting on a proper white-ball exhibition.
Earlier in the day, Boult frustrated England with the bat and shared an important 35-run stand for the last wicket to take the side to 284.
England clinched the series with 2-0 lead while the world champions New Zealand’s wait to win a series in this cycle continues.
New Zealand 1st Inn – 553 (Mitchell 190, Blundell 106; Anderson 3/62)
England 1st Inn – 539 (Root 176, Pope 145; Boult 5/106)
New Zealand 2nd Inn – 284 (Mitchell 62*, Young 56Stuart Broad 3/70)
England 2nd Inn – 299 (Bairstow 136, Stokes 75*; Boult 3/94)