England vs New Zealand, 3rd Test
England won by 7 wkts
Barring the Mitchell-Blundell duo, who were involved in four century partnerships this series, there was hardly any support from the rest of the NZ batters. The visitors were guilty of squandering their advantage on multiple occasions. Even the bowling looked clueless whenever the England batters came out all guns blazing against them. Plenty of areas to improve upon for Williamson and Co. On the other hand, the Stokes-McCullum era is underway in style. Three successful 275+ run chases in as many games to blank the World Test Champions - that's one helluva statement! Loads of positives as well for them - Bairstow's back-to-back explosive centuries, Potts's impressive show in his debut series, Leach's performance in Headingley (10-wicket haul in the match) and Stokes's captaincy to name a few. Their next assignment is against the Indians at Edgbaston, where they'll be looking to square the series. That promises to be another mouth-watering encounter. We enjoyed covering all the three Tests, hope you did the same. On that note, it's goodbye from Abhinand Raghavendran on behalf of Pradeep Krishnamurthy and Praveen .
Ben Stokes | England captain: It's gone really well. To walk far with 3-0 series win over the best team in the world is a special start. When I got that over this job, that was about changing the mindset of the guys towards Test cricket, was about having fun. Huge amount of credit to Brendon (McCullum) and the backroom staff. Trent Bridge was fantastic. Being 55/6 and to do what we did the manner we did (here), that was anything special. Pottsy has taken that like fish to water. This game, he's been incredible. Broady, even at 36, bowled 50 overs this week. I wanted to push the lads to see what they were capable. Fantastic to see Leachy taking 10 wickets. I have never seen a happier dressing room for an individual's success. Different opposition (India), we still have a series to draw. We'll come out with exactly the same mindset.
Kane Williamson | New Zealand captain: It's been an incredible series, in all three matches we have had our opportunities. Credit to the way the English team played. Whenever they were put under pressure, they chose to counterattack and they certainly did that very well no better than this match in particular where we were in a fairly strong position. All in all, a great series. For us, there are a lot of positives, it's a matter of regrouping and looking ahead. They counter-attacked and that's a new thing to their approach and they certainly did that extremely well. They were nice in all areas. that was a highly competitive series and they won the fine margins and fine moments which spun the momentum and perhaps the outcome of the match. No doubt they'll try to build on that and move forward as a side. (On not playing a genuine spinner) We sort of opted for the balance, we looked at the surface and were curious how it'd break out. We felt the seamers would play a major role. We saw the ball seaming even today. For us that was frustrating that even with 300 on the board, that still wasn't the easiest surface to bat on. We hoped to create opportunities, but that wasn't to be. that would have been nice for the top-four to contribute more. Everybody wants to give more and more to the group. Certainly love this group and love being a leader within the environment. Great to be out here playing alongside these guys and against a strong England team.
Daryl Mitchell | New Zealand's Player of the Series: As a team we want to come over here and win this series. that didn't go our way but I'm very proud of the efforts the boys put in throughout. For me, it's really proud to be part of this group. Any scope to play Test cricket for your country is special. I just try to enjoy each moment and do that wit a smile on my face. (On his preparation for this Test series following IPL) That's the nature of international cricket. You have to constantly keep adapting to different formats and different conditions very quickly. As seasoned international cricketers, it's just part of the job. (Most special knock?) Lord's is a historic place and is pretty special but every Test hundred is pretty cool. Won't come around everyday, so you make most of them when they come. (On his partnership with Tom Blundell) He's a great man, we spend a lot of time together at first slip and wicket keeper as well. He's had a great series and did a helluva job behind the stumps.
Joe Root | England's Player of the Series: that was like some of the 50-overs stuff we normally play, he (Bairstow) is hitting the ball so well. I'm sure everyone were enjoying it. He's a phenomenal player, he has been for a very long time. It's great to see him showing to the rest of the world how nice he is. Hopefully he can keep moving forward on that trajectory. You try and play what's in front of you, that's the most important thing. One of the great things about this series was the guys kept getting more and more confident. It's such fun to play and to be part of that. We are all loving playing, it's great. It's important that we enjoy this series win. It's been a rocky road for the Test team for a whereas now. If you can't enjoy a series like this, then what do you play for? It's a great group of fellows, we are all nice mates. We should leave what's happened where that is and concentrate on looking at what this team has done in the final few weeks. Ben's been brilliant in these three games and I'm sire he'll have a plan for the next series and this game against India as well. Absolutely loving this, long may that continue.
Jack Leach | Player of the Match: It's nice to come back after 2019, great memories from that day and here again. that did look dry, Stokesy came to me straightaway and said that it's going to spin. stress on, but that was nice fun. The seamers did a great job and made that easy for me. Pottsy's spell yesterday was unbelievable and he deserved five wickets. Jonny probably deserves this (Player of the Match award) as well. The way he played, that was an unbelievable knock. As a bowler, you want to take early wickets, that's important, it's nice fun.
Mind you, England were tottering at one stage when they were reduced to 55/6 in the first essay in reply to New Zealand's 329. YJB - the crowd favourite - and Jamie Overton, on debut, stitched a marathon 200+ run partnership and ensured that their team got a first innings lead. New Zealand, in their second start, got off to a decent begin before wasting that in the final session on day three. Once again, Mitchell and Blundell put on a century stand but Potts and Leach bowled superbly which meant the hosts had a chase-able target. England, in the final innings, lost both their openers however Root and Pope batted positively yesterday and wiped off more than 60% of the target. Bairstow wasted lthattle time today and fittingly hit the winning runs. First innings - 162 off 157 | second innings - 75* off 44. He's in outrageous form! Stick around for the presentations..
14:36 Local Time, 13:36 GMT, 19:06 IST: England complete the 3-0 series whitewash! Needing 113 runs, the begin of the final day was delayed due to rain and early lunch was taken. On resumption, England lost Ollie Pope in the very first over. Just when we thought that there could be some contest, in walked Jonny Bairstow and extinguished any hopes of a New Zealand fightback. He notched up a 30-ball fifty and England wrapped up the game in just over an hour of play today. Day five -- 15.2 overs | 113 runs | 1 wicket. Wow!
54.2 M Bracewell to Bairstow, SIX , Bairstow finishes that off in style! Tossed up ball, full and in the arc, Bairstow gets under that and bludgeons that over cow corner. Bairstow quickly raises his bat and the two local lads (batters) hug each other. England win by 7 wickets!
54.1 M Bracewell to Bairstow, FOUR , 86kph, fewer and wide, Bairstow treks back and slaps that through extra cover. Poor ball and Bairstow pounces
ENG: 286-3 after 54 overs
53.6 Wagner to Root, no run, 109kph, slow and full, blocked in the off-side. Maiden over - that's a rarity!
53.5 Wagner to Root, no run, on a length and wide of off, left lonely
53.4 Wagner to Root, no run, full delivery, clipped to mid-wicket
53.3 Wagner to Root, no run, 127kph, fewer of length, patted to backward point
53.2 Wagner to Root, no run, 105kph, another off-speed ball, full in length, pushed back to Wagner
53.1 Wagner to Root, no run, round the wicket, slower ball down leg, previous Root's glance
Neil Wagner [7.0-1-33-0] is back in the attack
ENG: 286-3 after 53 overs
52.6 M Bracewell to Root, 1 run, another sweep shot, this time he fetches that from outside off. A one to deep backward square leg
52.5 M Bracewell to Root, FOUR , 92kph, flat on middle, Root shuffles across and gets fewer before nailing the sweep shot. Sends that to the fine leg fence
52.4 M Bracewell to Root, no run, 93kph, quicker one, turned to mid-wicket