Root, Pope smashes ton each, Upsets Kiwi bowlers
As England drew in on New Zealand’s total of 553, Joe Root continued his fine run of form with a second straight Test tonne and his 10th since January 2021.
A 187-run partnership between Ollie Pope and Joe Root and half-century stands with both Ben Stokes and Ben Foakes with the No. 4 batsman were the highlights of a good day three at Trent Bridge for England.
A total of 383 runs were scored in 88 overs at a pace of 4.35 by Root, who was unbeaten on 163 off 200 when England reached Stumps, only 80 runs shy of New Zealand’s first-innings total of 389.
In a strong opening session for the batsmen, Pope and Alex Lees extended their overnight partnership to 141 runs, with 105 runs coming at a pace of 3.75.
Lees smashed a four to square leg off Kyle Jamieson to get his first 50 at the plate in a succession of cover drives from both hitters. In addition, Pope edged the ball twice, but both times it dropped short of the slips. When he attempted to force a Matt Henry delivery away from his body, Lees edged it to Daryl Mitchell at slip to leave for a well-made 67.
Lees had 11 fours by then. Before lunchtime was through, Root had had seven fours under his belt. Trent Boult’s four was edged, and Tim Southee missed out on a good opportunity as he dived for it at second slip.
Root’s upbeat attitude continued in the second session, as England racked up 136 runs at a pace of 4.85 in the second session. Early on in the session, Pope reached the three-figure mark and even hit Henry with an uppercut for a six.
While both batsmen contributed with consistent boundaries, former England skipper Alastair Cook was the one who controlled the partnership.
During the first hour after lunch, nine fours were hit, while seven were smashed in the second half of the session, as Root made his 116th and last delivery of the innings.
With the exception of a top-edged sweep off Southee that went over the heads of the fielders, Root seemed in complete command as England continued to have a ball.
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Second session wicketless, New Zealand bounced back after tea with an invigorated Dukes ball that had only been used twice. Seconds later, a ball that swung sharply and clipped the glove of keeper Jonny Bairstow sent the England batsman crashing back to his feet.
The DRS stepped in to help New Zealand by confirming the occurrence of these occurrences for the country. A run of boundaries came off of Stokes’ bat, including one over mid-off on his way down to Southee.
A four-four off left-armer Boult nullified his threat, and a six off Jamieson eliminated his threat before the bowler exited with what was subsequently discovered to be a lower back ailment.
As Root swung at Henry for his first four after tea, the pacer continued to bleed runs, having surrendered 106 in the previous 20 overs.
A boundary from Joe Root and a six from Ben Stokes put England on the verge of a 400-run victory against Australia. In the same over, England captain Alastair Cook was dismissed for a slog-sweep, breaking a partnership of 61.
During the same over off Henry, New Zealand lost a review for a leg-before judgement against Root and Ben Foakes successfully used the DRS to overturn a caught-behind decision.
When Root missed a sweep off Bracewell in the second review, they also lost that appeal1
When Root and Foakes began their stand, they were more cautious than the previous combinations since they largely dealt with singles. Will Young’s catch at backward square leg denied Southee a wicket for Foakes.
Root and Foakes both hit fours off Southee after that. Against the same bowler, the former England captain hit three boundaries in an over, taking his score to 150 from 181 balls as England reached the 450-run mark.
Two late wickets from Henry and Root from Boult put England on the verge of victory in the final session as they ended with 142 in 32 overs to round off their magnificent innings.