Brilliant Bairstow and captain Stokes put on a show as England claim emphatic Trent Bridge win

By Sports Desk June 14, 2022

England's aggressive approach paid off as Jonny Bairstow and captain Ben Stokes emphatically cast New Zealand aside on day five at Trent Bridge, securing a series victory.

Victory for England looked uncertain at the start of Tuesday's play, but Stokes' side put on a show in Nottingham to win by five wickets.

Stokes (75 not out) and Bairstow (136), who fell just short of setting the fastest Test century for England, were the stars, taking the game away from New Zealand in the final session.

New Zealand resumed on 224-7, leading by 238, but Stuart Broad (3-70) dismissed Matt Henry and Kyle Jamieson to get England on their way.

Daryl Mitchell (62 n.o.) surpassed 50 but James Anderson (2-20) wrapped things up with England left needing 299 for victory.

England were unable to get through to lunch without loss, however – Zak Crawley falling to Boult (3-94) on a duck.

Ollie Pope was put down in the slips, though his fortune was out when he edged a wonderful Henry delivery through to Tom Blundell, and Joe Root failed to build on his superb first innings as he was caught and bowled by Boult on three, the former England captain's lowest Test score at home since he was dismissed for 0 at Old Trafford in the 2019 Ashes.

Opener Alex Lees' stand ended on 44 in the 26th over, and it seemed like the batting collapses that haunted Root's latter days as captain might not be confined to the past. Yet Bairstow and Stokes delivered a 179-run fifth-wicket partnership to turn the match on its head.

The damage was done in a sensational 10-over spell at the start of the third session, when England went from requiring 160 to just 50.

Bairstow set the tone by reaching his 50 with successive boundaries before reeling off five sixes in the space of three overs.

Stokes, hindered slightly by injury, did not let up on the aggression, though it was Bairstow's day when he clipped a shot through the offside to surpass 100.

Michael Bracewell was on the receiving end of two huge sixes and a one-handed four from Bairstow, whose incredible innings was ended by an edge from Boult.

Bairstow's partner in crime was on hand to, fittingly, finish matters off, though – Stokes slamming a four through the covers to seal one of England's finest Test victories.

Brilliance from Bairstow

Bairstow's post-tea onslaught was one for the ages. The Yorkshireman propelled England into pole position, delivering one of the all-time great Test innings in the style of a great white-ball thrash.

His 136 is the highest fourth-innings score by an England batter coming in at number five or lower, beating that famous knock of 135 from Stokes at Headingley in 2019 against Australia. The only disappointment for Bairstow is that he fell just one ball short of matching Gilbert Jessop's 76-ball hundred at The Oval in 1902, which still stands as the fastest Test century for England. 

Stokes era off to a flying start

After just one Test win in 17 matches, England have now won twice in the space of two weeks. Stokes and Brendon McCullum promised a fresh approach, and on this evidence, it will work a treat.

In total, 1,675 runs were scored over this Test match – the most ever seen at Trent Bridge, where the crowd were allowed in for free on Tuesday. That created a brilliant atmosphere, and they were rewarded with equally spectacular cricket, and England will go to Headingley next week aiming to wrap up a series whitewash.

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