ENG vs NZ, 1st Test: Joe Root’s ton takes England to 5-wicket win against New Zealand at Lord’s
England couldn’t have asked for a better start under the new Test leadership of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum as they registered a fighting win over New Zealand in the first Test at Lord’s.
The win lifts England from the bottom of the World Test Championship standings, leapfrogging Bangladesh to eighth with a point percentage of 19.23. Defending Champions New Zealand are in a spot of bother at seventh, with a 33.33 point percentage.
Lord’s wore a gloomy look on Sunday morning, thanks to overnight rains in London. However, the thick cloud cover over the head did not stop the action from starting on time, with floodlights operating from the very beginning of the day.
Joe Root and Ben Foakes continued where they had left off the day before. Though the boundaries were few and far between initially, the pair ran hard between the wickets to keep chipping at the 61 runs required at the start of the day.
Foakes was the more aggressive of the two on the day while Root was cautious as he neared a double-milestone. Before Root got to his triple digits, the pair celebrated their 100-run partnership.
Batting on 98, Root nudged the ball to deep square to the familiar sound of “Roooooot” from the stands. With the brace, he brought up his 26th Test century and also got to 10,000 Test runs. It was also Root’s first hundred in the fourth innings of a Test.
He equalled the record for the youngest player to achieve this feat – a milestone he now shares with fellow countryman Alastair Cook, who was only 31 years and 157 days old when he reached the 10k club.
With the burden of captaincy off his shoulders, Root looked way more at ease while batting. Once he got to his milestone, he was in a hurry to finish the game off.
He smashed Southee for three boundaries in an over to take England over the line with five wickets in hand – something that looked improbable when they were 69/4 in the second innings.
Foakes let Root walk off to the applause of the Lord’s but the wicketkeeper-batter played his role to perfection after walking in at the fall of Stokes’ wicket at 159/4. This is England’s second-highest run-chase at Lord’s in Tests.
Scores: 1st innings: NZ – 132, ENG – 141. 2nd innings: NZ – 285, ENG – 279/5 | England win by five wickets