Jonny Bairstow’s 77-ball hundred powers England to stunning win at Trent Bridge and series victory

Jonny Bairstow hits 14 fours and seven sixes on a staggering 77 hundred balls as England race to the 299 target against New Zealand to win the second Test by five wickets and take an unassailable 2-0 series lead; England’s first win in the series since winning in Sri Lanka in 2021

Jonny Bairstow crushed England’s second fastest Test hundred, with just 77 balls, as his side hit a target of 299 against New Zealand and cruised to a first series victory in 17 months in devastating style.

Bairstow (136 from 92 balls) appeared on course to surpass Gilbert Jessop’s record of 76 balls, set against Australia at The Oval back in 1902, during an astonishing post-tea attack at a packed Trent Bridge.

Yorkshire man and skipper Ben Stokes (75 for 70) amassed 133 of the first 69 balls in the final session of day five when New Zealand’s short-ball strategy backfired spectacularly and the limits came at will.

Bairstow was on 43 from 48 balls when he came out after tea, and his team required 160 runs over 38 overs to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match contest, having needed just 300 from a minimum 72 overs when the chase began in Nottingham.

Bairstow quickly nailed New Zealand closer Matt Henry with straight fours for a 51-ball fifty-one, and reached triple figures just 26 deliveries later after beating Henry, Trent Boult and Tim Southee all over the field and in the stands. during a breakneck hitting display.

Bairstow was eventually sacked by Boult with 27 runs required, setting off to a standing ovation after unscrambling 14 fours and seven sixes, leaving Stokes and Ben Foakes (12th) in the crease as England galloped to a five-wicket win and the run. most successful test. chase seen in the stadium with 22 of the 72 overs to spare.

Stokes sealed the victory by knocking Boult through the decks for four as a Test that began with New Zealand racking up 553 runs after losing the draw ended with England delivering a truly remarkable triumph and the first series win since a 2-0 win. -0 in Sri Lanka in January. 2021.

Bairstow and Stokes joined forces at 93-4 in the 26th after Southee finished another promising inning from Alex Lees’ growing confidence (44 of 81 delivery).

Lees had pumped the first two balls of the chase, bowled in by Southee, through offside for four to reaffirm that England only had plans to win the game, not bat for a draw.

That was a stark contrast to the Lord’s Test against New Zealand a year ago when the hosts opted not to chase 273 from 75 overs and instead fought their way to a deadlock.

The Stokes and new manager Brendon McCullum have completely changed that mindset, as evidenced by the way England rushed home on Tuesday night, fans who had taken advantage of the offer of free tickets for day five were rewarded. really for doing it.

Things looked dangerous for England when a double strike after lunch (Olie Pope hit Henry from behind for 18 and Joe Root caught and bowled for Boult for three) left them reeling for 56-3 in the 16th, Zak Crawley (0). having watched a boult cutter behind 10 balls in hot pursuit.

But crisp batting later in the day saw England follow up last week’s five-wicket victory at Lord’s – only their second in 18 games – with another memorable triumph and they will now look for a clean sweep by winning the third and final test in Clean Slate. Headingley from June 23.

By morning, and before the carnage, New Zealand had added 60 runs to their 224-7 overnight mark, during which time Daryl Mitchell (62nd) topped 50 for the third consecutive Test innings, having reached 190 in his first shot at Trent Bridge and 108 during England’s victory at Lord’s.

There was also a notable milestone for Boult as he became the 11th highest scoring number in Test history, beating Muttiah Muralitharan’s previous record of 623 during a blustery 15-ball 17 that featured three eye-catching limits. in a Stokes.

Boult was the last man out, wearing James Anderson (2-20) halfway after Stuart Broad (3-70) took out Henry (18) and back injury victim Kyle Jamieson (1 ) around the wicket. Henry couldn’t resist taking the bait after England pulled the man from the depths.

Henry should have gone down on the second ball of the day, when he was only eight, but Root slipped low after Jack Leach induced the rim with a pitch that he grabbed and straightened: Root took a finger hit while trying to catch and left the ball. field temporarily for treatment.

Root was okay at bat, though he lasted just four balls, unable to back up his 176 innings in the first inning. It mattered little, however, as Bairstow and Stokes whipped through a New Zealand attack stripped Jamieson, a victim of a back injury, everywhere.

Spectators, some of whom had probably never witnessed a test day of live cricket before, were treated to a thrilling display of new England at full throttle.

In total in the game, the combined sides hit a record 224 fours and 24 sixes, setting a record for the most limits in a test.

Stokes added three of them in the final over, disposing of Boult for six long-on overs before going four through midwicket and then ending the game with a cut at the cover fence.

England match winner Jonny Bairstow: “Days like this are very exciting. If this is happening now, let’s see what’s going to happen in the next few weeks, the next few months because, wow, it’s going to be a ride.”

“Players in the dressing room can play the positive brand of cricket and that never-give-up attitude, that ever-evolving trust that we have with each other, allows people to flourish.

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