Joe Root (77th) brings England within 61 runs of victory over New Zealand; the former captain shares the fifth-wicket tier of 90 with new skipper Ben Stokes (54) after Stokes was reprieved for a foul on the ball in one – watch day four of the first test from 10:15am Sunday on Sky Sports Cricket
England’s hopes of victory remain very much alive in the first LV= insurance test after Joe Root and Ben Stokes revived their team on day three of Lord’s absorbing clash against New Zealand.
England are 216-5 in a 277 chase and will need another 61 runs on day four to win the first Stokes Test as captain and claim just a second win in their last 18 matches in the longer format.
Former captain Root (77th from 131 balls) is the key man, with Stokes (54th from 110) departing in the final session after sharing a 90-run, fifth-wicket position with Root to resurrect England from a woeful position at 69. – 4.
Stokes thought he had been sacked by one when he dragged a delivery from Colin de Grandhomme to his stumps (England were 76-4 at that stage), but he earned a reprieve with the New Zealand bowler going too far.
Stokes was later sacked by the impressive Kyle Jamieson (4-59), but Ben Foakes (9th of 48) stayed with Root until the end during an unbroken stoppage of 57 to set up a potentially exciting Sunday morning.
England crawled back into the game on Saturday morning by seizing six wickets for 34 runs, including three on as many balls during a thrilling Stuart Broad over, to see off New Zealand for 285 after the tourists resumed at 236-4 with a healthy lead. from 227.
It was a big New Zealand lead though, as Jamieson vaporized Alex Lees (20), Zak Crawley (9) and Jonny Bairstow, and Trent Boult (1-61) floored an Ollie Pope (10) with a beauty.
Root and Stokes subsequently led England’s comeback but New Zealand will rely on the length of the hosts’ tail: Matthew Potts topped No 8 followed by Broad, James Anderson and Matt Parkinson.
Kane Williamson’s tourists were heavy favorites heading into day three, thanks to an unbroken 180 between Daryl Mitchell (108 of 203 balls) and Tom Blundell (96 of 198) that had revived them from 4-for-59.
England needed a wicket noise and they duly arrived, after a 30-minute rain delay and Mitchell notching his second 189-ball Test century.
Broad was England’s catalyst on the ball, as he often is, forcing Mitchell to sneak behind Foakes and setting off a team hat-trick drama.
On the next delivery, De Grandhomme (0) was knocked out by a direct hit from Pope who had missed his ground following an appeal from Broad, while the ball after that Broad shattered Jamieson’s stump: New Zealand he sank from 251-4 to 251-7 in an instant.
Anderson denied Blundell a third test ton by pinning the lbw batsman; Potts grabbed his seventh wicket of a fine debut by catching the leg of Ajaz Patel (4) early and Parkinson ended the innings, claiming his maiden test scalp when Root took out Tim Southee (21) in the slip.
Crawley and Lees led England to 31-0 shortly before lunch, only for Lees to opt for an expensive license and be brought down by the impressive Jamieson.
Jamieson took out Crawley and Bairstow after the break, with the former overcoming a rising pitch to Gully and the latter clipping a nip-backer on their stumps that had previously been set by balls holding their line.
Bairstow had come out with real intent, hitting three limits in a 14-race Boult, shortly after Boult splashed Pope’s stumps.
Stokes splashed his own stumps after advancing De Grandhomme but was saved by no-ball and the bowler’s day was made even worse when he followed that aberration and an earlier golden duck by limping off the pitch with a torn heel. which has since been discarded. from the rest of the test.
Stokes soon bowled Patel for six in the first over of the roulette match and added two more highs during a Patel over in the final session shortly before clinching his 27th Test fifty with a four over Jamieson.
The bowler got his man five balls later, with Stokes caught by Blundell on the last delivery before drinks as he attempted an uppercut – New Zealand buoyant at that stage and England fans probably fearing the worst.
But Root remains: the milestone of a 54th Test now secured, the prospect of a 26 Test ton and 10,000 Test races to come, and leading England to victory at the start of their new era very much on his radar.
23 – The number of runs Joe Root needs for a century and also to reach 10,000 runs in Test Cricket
99 – the number of trial grounds Stuart Broad now has at Lord’s
6 – the number of successive test innings for Alex Lees between 20 and 31