by Atif Amin.
Brendon McCullum and Stokes era started perfectly for England as they defeated New Zealand by five wickets in the first test played at the home of cricket at Lords. Chasing the target of 277 in the fourth innings, England were in a spot of bother at 69 for four but then a stroke of luck helped England to claw their way back in the test match as Ben Stokes the new English captain was bowled of a no ball from Colin de Grandhomme. Stokes benefitted from the reprieve and scored 54 and shared a partnership of 90 runs with Joe Root for the fifth wicket and took the score to 159.
Root was then joined by Ben Foakes who supported him ably and took England to victory without any further damage. Joe Root once again demonstrated his class and scored a sublime 115 not out with immense concentration and technique on a difficult track. This was Joe Root’s 26th test match hundred just 1 shy of Australian and Indian duo of Steven Smith and Virat Kohli. During the course of his innings Joe Root also completed his 10000 test runs which makes him 14th player in the history of test cricket to have scored over 10000 runs. Sachin Tendulkar leads the runs tally with 15921 runs. Joe Root completed his 10000 runs in his 118th test and he became the first player to achieve this feat within ten years since his debut in 2012.
This test match was a classical test as it changed complexion many times. New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and decided to bat first but his decision proved to be wrong as the recalled England seamers James Anderson and Stuart Broad along with debutant Mathew Potts had reduced New Zealand to 45/7 during the first morning and then eventually bowled them out for a partly 132.
England had a strong chance to bat New Zealand out of the game and started brightly and at 59/0 it seemed that England will get a sizeable lead in the first innings but New Zealand seamers fought their way back and dismissed England for 141 conceding a lead of only 9 runs. In their 2nd dig again New Zealand had a poor start and lost four wickets for only 56 runs. Daryl Mitchel along with Tom Blundell fought back and almost took the game away with a stand of 195 runs but once Mitchel was dismissed for 108, England came back strongly and restricted New Zealand to a lead of 276.
Tom Blundell missed his hundred by 4 runs and was dismissed for 96. The second test match between the two sides will start in Nottingham on June 10.
Brief Match Score:
NZ first innings 132 (Mathew Potts 4/13, James Anderson 4/66)
England First innings 141 ( Tim Southee 4/55)
NZ Second Innings 285 ( Daryl Mitchel 108, Tom Blundell 96, Mathew Potts 3/55)
England second innings 279 ( Joe Root 115*, Ben Stokes 55, Kyle Jameison 4/79)
Match Result: England won by 5 wickets