England batsman Joe Root raises his bat
Former England captain Joe Root scored an unbeaten century to give successor Ben Stokes a successful start to his reign with a five-wicket win over New Zealand in the first Test at Lord’s on Sunday.
Root stepped down as England skipper in April after five years and a record 64 games in charge.
But he remains by far the team’s best batsman, with those hundred in the ‘Home of Cricket’ paving the way for only England’s second win in 18 Tests.
The victory, won with more than a day to go, led England 1-0 over the reigning World Test champions in a three-game series.
England, who had seeded 277 to win, finished 279-five, with Root 115 not failing – his first fourth-innings hundred at this level – after the hosts fell to 69-four.
He received excellent support from wicketkeeper Ben Foakes (32 not out) in an uninterrupted 120 streak, with the pair denying New Zealand a breakthrough after England resumed on Sunday with their 216 for five overnight.
Root became just the 14th batsman and just the second from England to reach the groundbreaking total of 10,000 career Test runs as he completed his 26th hundred at the level.
Root also became the youngest player to hit 10,000 Test runs, equaling retired England captain Alastair Cook’s record of 31 years and 157 days.
New Zealand were sent off for just 132 in their first innings, only for England, who struggled in response to 141.
“Mr. Reliable,” Joe Root stood up. To hit 100 and 10,000 runs – what a player and what a man,” said Stokes at the awards ceremony.
Gamer Root added: “Of course it feels fantastic. Above all, it’s the greatest feeling for us to have won this test match after such a long time.
“I absolutely love the group of players we play with and I couldn’t ask for a better person to lead this team.”
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said after a back-and-forth seesaw game: “I thought both teams fought hard and we saw how difficult it was and how much it’s changed over time but none of that quality of the English performance.”
England entered that series – their first under new coach Brendon McCullum, former New Zealand captain and bottom of the Test World Cup.
And for all the talk of a new era, that win was thanks to some of England’s most experienced players.
The recalled New Ball duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad, England’s two all-time winning Test bowlers, took valuable wickets before Root celebrated his match-winning century.
Play resumed on Sunday under overcast skies promising to help New Zealand’s Quicks, with Root’s 77 not falling and England needing 61 more to win after Stokes’ dashing 54 on Saturday.
However, there were no specialist batsmen left and 15 overs remained before New Zealand’s impressive pace attack could capture the new ball.
But England rallied steady runs on Sunday before root propelled Kyle Jamieson into the 90s.
Root’s legside clip of Tim Southee took him to a 157-ball hundred including nine fours before fittingly hitting the winning runs by pulling the paceman for a stunning four.
Root and Stokes had brought England back into play from the depths of 69 for four with a fifth wicket partnership of 90.
However, Stokes was fortunate to be pardoned on one of those after being blocked by a marginal no-ball from Colin de Grandhomme.
It appeared that the deciding score of that Test would be 195, a New Zealand fifth-wicket record against England shared by Daryl Mitchell (108) and Tom Blundell (96).
But just when it looked like New Zealand were about to take the game out of England’s reach, they lost three wickets on consecutive balls, with Broad knocking out Mitchell and Jamieson on either side of de Grandhomme’s careless run.
The series resumes at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Friday.
New Zealand 1st innings 132 (M Potts 4-13, J Anderson 4-66)
England 1st innings 141 (T Southee 4-55, T Boult 3-21)
New Zealand 2nd innings 285 (D Mitchell 108, T Blundell 96; M Potts 3-55, S Broad 3-76)
England 2nd innings 279-5 (J Root 115 no, B Stokes 54; K Jamieson 4-79)
Result: England won by five wickets
Series: England lead 1-0 in three-game series
Root stars as England beat New Zealand in 1st Test
Source link Root stars as England beat New Zealand in 1st Test