Root and Stokes keep England's first Test with New Zealand in the balance

By Sports Desk June 04, 2022

Joe Root and Ben Stokes put on a 90-run partnership on a gripping third day at Lord's to give England hope of pulling off a huge victory in their first Test with New Zealand.

England were set a target of 277 for victory on Saturday and reached 216-5, helped by Root (77 not out) and Stokes (54), to leave them needing 61 runs on Sunday.

Stuart Broad helped spark England's fightback in the opening session, which was delayed by 30 minutes by rain, with the hosts taking three wickets in three balls. 

Daryl Mitchell (108) was dismissed by Broad, shortly after reaching his second Test century, before Colin de Grandhomme and Kyle Jamieson both went for golden ducks.

Tim Southee looked to keep the runs ticking over for New Zealand, but Tom Blundell was pinned lbw by James Anderson just four runs short of a century.

England maintained that momentum thanks to debutants Matt Potts and Matt Parkinson, who trapped Ajaz Patel (four) and caught Southee (21) at slip respectively.

That left England chasing a target of 277, but they were 99-4 at tea after losing Alex Lees (20), Zak Crawley (nine), Ollie Pope (10) and Jonny Bairstow (16) cheaply.

Jamieson was responsible for the quick wickets of Lees and Crawley, with the openers only able to put up a 31-run stand as the contest again swung back in the Kiwis' favour.

Pope, promoted to number three, was unable to make any significant inroads before being bowled by a Trent Boult beauty, with Bairstow next to fall to Jamieson.

That put the onus firmly on Root and Stokes, who did a good job of keeping New Zealand's bowlers at bay.

The resolve of Stokes, who was saved by a no-ball after chopping on to his own stumps from De Grandhomme on one run, eventually ended when snaffled by Blundell.

Root made it to 77 alongside Ben Foakes (nine) come the end of play, though, meaning England are still in with a big shot of victory heading into day four.

 

Kiwis collapse at Lord's

Blundell and Mitchell put on a 195-run partnership for New Zealand's fifth wicket. Either side of that, the tourists scored just 191 for 16.

The Kiwis lost their last six wickets for just 35 runs, in fact, opening the door for England to pounce.


Root on verge of milestone

Not for the first time, England's hopes of claiming victory on Sunday will likely come down to Root, who added 43 runs from 42 balls after the dismissal of Stokes.

He is now just 23 runs short of becoming the second England player after Alastair Cook to reach 10,000 and the 14th player overall in men's Tests.

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