By: Mohit Singhal
ENG Vs NZ: When England and New Zealand returned to the dressing room after the post-lunch session, it seemed that England will go for a draw as they did last year against the same opposition.
But for a change, this is an English team under the reign of Ex-New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum and kiwi born Ben Stokes under whom three lions stole the game within 1 hour of post-tea play as England crushed Blackcaps by 5 wickets to take an unassailable lead of 2-0 in the three-match series.
In just four overs of play after the tea break, Jonny Bairstow and skipper Ben Stokes accounted for 59 runs striking at a run rate of around 15/over in the longest format of the game.
Even after Stokes suffered a knee injury in the process of going big, the 32-year-old flamboyant didn’t put a full stop on his carnage as he completed his century in just 77 balls, the second-fastest ton by an English man only behind the great Gilbert Jessop (76 balls) in 1902.
Blackcaps resumed their innings on an overnight score of 224 with losing 7 wickets and were well taken to a challenging total of 284 giving a chase of 299 on Day 5.
Daryl Mitchell continued his good turf as he remained unbeaten on 62 in 131 balls with a fighting cameo by Matt Henry who may got used to play short balls very well. The evergreen duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad took 2 and 3 wickets respectively.
Opener Alex Lees looked very much in an attitude of crossing the line in two sessions of play before a sudden collapse of the top order in Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope (18) and Joe Root were dismissed cheap and Stokes’ men found themselves at 93/4 when the skipper joined Yorkshire man in a long run.
There were two options against the duo whether to go big or go slow, and the pair kept the scorecard ticking till the second session ended. As soon as the third session commenced, the crowd witnessed the monster show by Jonny Bairstow who went behind the kiwi pace attack like a fire.
He was well supported by skipper Ben Stokes who in his 70-ball outing remained undefeated on 75 which had 10 boundaries and four over the ropes comprised in it.
The winning shot by the 31-year-old all-rounder must have offered some thrilling vibes of that Headingley test where Stokes pulled out an improbable win against Australia.
White-ball specialist Jonny Bairstow was going good till tea break with 43 on 48 balls. But the minute play resumed after, it was him who created havoc taking on Trent Boult, Matt Henry and Bracewell and was responsible for only 16 overs of the game in the third session as they registered 160 on the board that was needed to start McCullum-Stokes era in a style.
Bairstow smashed 14 fours and 7 sixes over the stand all coming in the third session.
England had chased down the target of 279 in the first Test at Lord’s thanks to Joe Root’s 115* and now they crossed the 299-run barrier in just 50 overs to leave the Kiwi group bewildered.
This was also the highest ever successful 4th innings chase at Trent Bridge shattering the previous record of 284 by England against the same opposition in 2004.