Jonny Bairstow saves England with a scintillating century of counter-attacking


Sthe tokes will not recoil. Instead of running into danger, as McCullum likes to say, Stokes sprinted. He advanced down the field, hitting Southee for six and hitting Boult for two fours. The charge just needed to be tempered for a few overs as New Zealand were ready to back down. But he swept away Neil Wagner’s second ball halfway. Three balls later, Wagner fired Foakes for a double-wicket maiden on his first leg of the tour.

Overton survived a first review ball from lbw, was out on five legs before Wagner, but New Zealand made no reference to Hawkeye. He overturned a late start at 13 while Bairstow was dropped at 27 as Wagner instinctively reached out a hand in his follow-up. It was a breathtaking thing.

The ball stopped swinging after tea, New Zealand changed it in vain, and Bairstow passed 5,000 tries with a cut for four.

Overton played like Stokes, beating Michael Bracewell for six games in a row, his fifty came in 68 balls and was soon followed by two fours and a six over Wagner in one over – not all well-timed cricket shots hit.

Bairstow moved to 97 with a straight drive for four against Mitchell, and was at 98 when Williamson brought back his best bowler, Boult. Bairstow attempted his first pitch.

He was too angled and drilled past the midpoint to get everyone on their feet. Boult was led third man for four by Bairstow for the 200 stand and a new England record, beating the previous of 197 by MJK Smith and the late Jim Parks against the West Indies in 1959-60 when no one had heard talk about strike rates let alone beat. to one of almost 100.


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