Lord’s, June 6 (SO News/Agency) England defeated New Zealand by five wickets by winning the first Test on the fourth day at Lord’s on Sunday.
Former captain Joe Root gave his successor Ben Stokes the perfect start to his reign at Lord’s, leading England to victory with a match-winning century in the first Test against New Zealand.
Root stepped down as captain in April after five years and a record 64 matches in charge, but he remained the team’s most reliable performer and played a decisive innings of 115 not out in a five-wicket victory at the home of cricket. of
In an ice-cold partnership with Ben Foakes, who scored an unbeaten 32 in a stand of 120, Root led his side in a tough chase of 277 with his maiden fourth-innings century.
In doing so, Root became the second English player to reach 10,000 Test runs – following in the footsteps of his own predecessor, Sir Alastair Cook. The synergy of their achievements doesn’t end there, both men were exactly 31 years and 157 days old when they crossed the threshold.
It was Root’s 26th overall, the same as West Indian great Sir Garfield Sobers, but he will be even more satisfied with his importance to the team. No one has been closer to Root, or done more to back up his leadership, than Stokes and he already seems ready to return the favor.
England were slight favorites as they resumed at 216 for five, with 61 runs still needed and five wickets remaining, but the equation still looked a cab.
With thick, gray clouds overhead and floodlights shining from ball one, the conditions were not ideal for batting. A fragile tail, with at least three natural No. 11s, also took over the overnight pairing of Root and Focus.
A loose stroke or an inspired delivery might have changed the mood, but a game that has seen back-and-forth with a series of twists and turns along the way was put to bed in unusually calm fashion.
Root was the key man and reliably measured up as he scored an unbeaten 77 in extraordinary fashion. However, Focus deserves a lot of credit for holding up their end of the deal.
The Surrey wicket-keeper added to his repertoire after successfully winding down the Kiwi attack on the third evening, with his nine off 48 balls.
With boundaries at a premium he helped himself to two off the dangerous Kyle Jamieson over three deliveries, before driving on and hitting it on the back foot towards third man. Later, with the target dipping below 30, he got back on his heels and pulled Tim Southee between two fielders for another four.
Root went into the 90s by drilling Jamieson down the ground and then got a slice of luck when an under-age save both his stumps and Tom Blundell’s dive on his way to the ropes.
New Zealand hoped to go ahead and needed the second new ball to do some magic for them. However, they could not stop England’s scoring and did not find a new Duke to open up. Root opened the 77th over on 98 runs of the innings and 9,998 career runs and took the Southee to mid-wicket for a couple to complete a proud double.
He punched the air in joy and pointed to the pavilion as the crowd showed their appreciation, the winning line now just a few shots away. Root finished the job in style, hitting the Southee for three fours in an over as he wrapped things up with a delightful swing through midwicket.