Johnny Barstow and Ben Stokes thwarted New Zealand’s attack and England won the second Test by five wickets at Trent Bridge on Tuesday to take an unbeaten 2-0 lead in the three-match series. England chased down a difficult target of 299 on the final day to win at Nottingham after the visitors were bowled out for 284 in their second innings. Bairstow, playing with particular aggression, reached the mark of century off just 77 balls. This is the second fastest century by any English cricketer after Gilbert Jesse’s 76-ball ton in 1902.
England needed 160 runs in the last session, Barstow and Ben Stokes Batted aggressively to lead his team to victory. His aggressive batting started from the second session. At tea, Barstow was unbeaten on 43 off 48 balls, while captain Ben Stokes scored a quick 25 not out.
See: Bairstow reaching the century.
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While Bairstow did not make it into the history books, it will be a footnote for a 32-year-old man whose performance will always be remembered by all who saw him.
Bairstow was treated to a spectacular array of barbaric boundaries by a crowd of talent at Trent Bridge, who stunned New Zealand in their 92-ball master class with 14 fours and seven sixes.
After chasing 277 to win the first Test at Lord’s by five wickets, thanks to Joe Root’s not-out 115, Barstow made sure England enjoyed another successful chase on the final day.
At tea, all four results were possible, England needed 160 more runs and six wickets left.
But the thrilling Bairstow, with the help of captain Ben Stokes, smashed the Test World Champions with an unbeaten 75 runs.
It was the highest-scoring chase in the last innings of a Test at Trent Bridge, surpassing England’s previous record of 284 against New Zealand in 2004.
England, who have won just one of their last 17 matches, are gaining momentum under new captain Stokes and new coach Brendon McCullum. His desire for consistently positive and aggressive cricket has been accepted by England and they will try to make a clean sweep of the series in the final Test at Headingley from 23 June.
The victory was even more impressive as New Zealand, impressed by Daryl Mitchell’s 190, scored 553 in the first innings when Stokes bowled first.
It could have been a series-deciding decision by Stokes, but England bowled out their captain for 539 in their first innings, with Root scoring 176 and Oli Pope 145.
The end of New Zealand’s second innings at the end of the fourth day gave England a new impetus to pursue victory.
He took advantage of the opportunity in the first session of the last day after dismissing the Kiwis for 284 runs.
Apparently the match was moving towards the final session, Barristo took matters into his own hands.
The Yorkshire batsman reached 50 off 51 balls in a fitting manner, hitting a four off Matt Henry’s ball.
Swatting Trent Bolt for six in the next over, Barstow was leading England’s charge as he and Stokes scored 42 off the first 16 balls of the evening session.
The attack continued as Bairstow hit two more sixes to Bolt and six more after the break.
England scored 59 runs in five overs to put themselves on the verge of victory as the crowd announced their approval.
Bairstow had no answer for Shell Shock New Zealand as they headed for a stunning century.
Stokes was battling a knee injury but kept away after breaking four more after a physio visit.
After losing the New Zealand bowlers’ plot, Bairstow maintained his attack at the other end but missed England’s fastest century after a pair of defensive strokes.
When Bairstow finally got off to a strong start after being caught behind Bolt, England were impressed with his superb performance and were heading for victory.
With AFP input
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