Joe Root scores century as England rack up the runs on day three to eat into New Zealand’s lead in second Test

England scored 383 runs in an impressive day of play, closing 473-5, with Joe Root still unbeaten on 163; Ollie Pope (145) scores his second test century – watch day four of the second test at Trent Bridge from 10.15am Monday, Sky Sports Cricket

Joe Root scored a magnificent, unbeaten 163 as England brought down New Zealand, cutting the away team’s lead to 80 by stumps on day three of the second LV= Insurance Test at Trent Bridge.

Root’s ton, 27th in Test cricket and fastest, came off 116 balls, while Ollie Pope (145) also hit triple figures, achieving his highest Test cricket score and his first batting at number 3.

Alex Lees (67) also impressed, but the starter will be disappointed after not getting more out on a flat deck after his first Test fifty, and Ben Stokes shot 46 from 33 balls late as England closed out 473-5 in their first entry. .

Root and Pope’s superb 187-run partnership was certainly the highlight of the day, with New Zealand’s weary attack particularly put to the test in an afternoon session that produced 136 such runs from just 28 overs.

Pope had been somewhat overshadowed in the morning, deprived of the strike as he added just 33 to his overnight score of 104 total runs made before lunch. Lees splashed the edge of coverage regularly to run into his half-century, before an angle change, Matt Henry (1-128) from over the wicket, took the lead to Daryl Mitchell on the first slip, who this time he was not mistaken. after scoring two on Saturday.

Root, reaching the crease with 100 runs on the board for the third time in his last 45 innings, went off the mark with two clipped first balls and then fired the first of his 25 bounds through the covers soon after: a sumptuous drive. which was to be a feature of his excellent entries.

Root had a half chance when at 27 in the last over before lunch, showing off an attempt to slice Trent Boult through the hands of Tim Southee on the second slip who, despite his six-foot stature, could only stop it until the third. – fence man for four.

England then racked up runs after the interval, the first of which came courtesy of deflected shots and a reckless and unnecessary oversight on Michael Bracewell’s stumps that beat the backing fielder to run from four on four.

It earned Pope five runs, which he quickly added to with a couple more bounds from his own bat, before taking out his second Test hundred with a knockdown and crashing into the covers for two – Root ran 40 yards to his partner to celebrate. the milestone. .

Root, meanwhile, ran to 56 balls and fifty in the next over, as 33 runs were stolen from the first five overs of the session, which later became 58 from the first 10 when Root and Pope brought up their position. of the century.

The racing continued to be thick and fast, with Root sheepishly celebrating consecutive hundreds, and a fourth in five tests, with possibly his ugliest shot of the day, a wild hit that took his inside lead and slid. from the stumps of him and up the fence on thin legs.

New Zealand claimed the second new ball just before tea and brought them a couple of quick strides after the interval when Pope finished off a Boult (3-89) serve attempt to the fine leg – the Surrey batsman perhaps distracted after a short delay to change one of his pads, and Jonny Bairstow (8) was shown to glove his left arm quickly at the review.

Stokes quickly signaled his intent, coming off target with four in the hip, while it wasn’t long before he came out of his lane to hit Southee (0-119) straight to the ground for four more.

Back-to-back bounds soon followed Boult, while the first of two sixes of Stokes’ entertaining cameo came when Kyle Jamieson (0-66) threw back over his head and into the stands.

His second top was another glorious direct hit, this time against spinner Bracewell (1-48), but Stokes then pocketed the next ball as he looked to clear the strings again, this time aiming for the deep mid-wicket but only managing to pick Boult. . In the limit

Ben Foakes (24th) came in and picked up where he and Root left off at Lord’s, the pair played very well in an unbroken 68-run position, although Foakes should have gone for nine, went down in a deep square leg against Southee – New Zealand . fourth mistake on the pitch to go with England’s top five.

The Black Caps were dealt a further blow when Jamieson left the field late, experiencing “acute pain in his left lower back” while bowling. Meanwhile, Root continued on his merry way, sweetly timing a few more to the fence to pass 150 in trials for the 13th time of his career.

1 – Pope’s century was his first first-class hundred north of the River Thames, with his other Test century at Port Elizabeth and nine of his previous 13 tons scoring for Surrey at The Oval (The Ageas Bowl, Guildford, Dubai, home of others ).

3 – Root’s arrival at the crease represented only the third time in his last 45 Test innings where England’s score exceeded 100.

116 – balls for Root’s fastest century in Test cricket, beating his previous best of 118 deliveries, made against Australia in the ashes of 2015 in Cardiff.

85.55 – Root is averaging more at Trent Bridge than any other local venue where he has played at least two Tests, with his last ton in his fourth (to go with two fifty) in his 11 innings at the venue.

Watch day four of the second LV= Insurance Test between England and New Zealand, at Trent Bridge, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10.15am on Monday.

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