they were going to go for the win, and here is the proof of their pudding. Ben Stokes salutes a rapt crowd as he marches back to the pavilion. What a tremendous display from the skipper. Second fiddle in spite of making 75 not out from 70 balls, he ceded the post-tea stage to one of the most astonishing onslaughts ever seen in Test cricket. Jonny Bairstow’s 77-ball hundred, and 136 from 92 all told, tore this game from New Zealand’s grasp, just when it seemed that the massive wicket of Joe Root was going to tip the game their way.
played a massive part too, with 44 including an agenda-setting sprint-start, and Ben Foakes was a calm companion to the close, to continue a fine personal series. For New Zealand, there’s no pretty reading. The absence of Jamieson to a back injury was crucial – it left too much on their remaining trio of quicks, including an off-color Tim Southee. Trent Boult never gave up with eight wickets in the match, but with a massive 1675 runs in the entire game, this was not a game in which to be a bowler.
“At tea it was still in the balance but the way Jonny and Ben were able to play was outstanding. A great surface to bat on, wickets hard to come by, to be in with a chance at tea, a couple of wickets there and it’s a different story. A bowler down doesn’t help but they kept coming back and wanting the ball.
“When Jonny plays an innings like that it makes it harder, emotions raw, pretty gutted, another chance at Headingley. Daryl Mitchell has played fantastically well, a great fighter for us. We have a bit of a gap to the next one, a lot of families here, with the WTC on the line, however many we can get is great.”