5 talking points as Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes help England seal stunning victory

England completed a record run chase to win the second Test against New Zealand at Trent Bridge and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series after Jonny Bairstow struck a breathtaking 136 off just 92 balls.

In what was a truly remarkable day of Test cricket, England managed to chase down the 299 they needed to win in exactly 50 overs. The day began with New Zealand stretching their lead to 298, largely thanks to a useful 35-run last-wicket partnership between Daryl Mitchell and Trent Boult.

And with 72 overs to complete the highest successful fourth innings chase at Trent Bridge, England immediately laid down a marker when Alex Lees struck 12 off the first over. However, Zak Crawley fell for a duck in the second over, getting caught at slip off Boult in familiar fashion.

After the lunch break, New Zealand began to make some real inroads, with Henry getting first-innings centurion Ollie Pope caught behind for 18 and Boult getting the huge wicket of former skipper Joe Root for just three with an excellent caught and bowled effort. Lees then perished for an impressive 44, with Southee finally taking his first wicket of the match as he got the opener caught behind.

That dismissal brought captain Ben Stokes to the crease to join Jonny Bairstow with England four wickets down and needing 206 to win. Together, the pair continued to attack and added 46 runs in just 52 balls before tea to keep England’s hopes alive.

After tea, Bairstow launched a brutal assault on the New Zealand bowlers, striking England’s second-fastest Test century off just 77 balls. He ultimately fell for 136, but the damage had already been done as Stokes and Ben Foakes saw England home, with Stokes hitting the winning runs by cutting Boult for four in a moment that was eerily similar to how he scored the winning runs at Headingley in 2019.

Here are five talking points from the day’s play…






Daryl Mitchell has been in excellent form with the bat this series


Daryl Mitchell has been in excellent form with the bat this series
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Stu Forster/Getty Images)

More runs for Mitchell

Although New Zealand are 2-0 down and have already lost the series, Mitchell has enjoyed an excellent tour from a personal standpoint. His place in the side at Lord’s was only guaranteed due to an injury to Henry Nicholls and he grasped his opportunity with both hands, scoring a brilliant century in the second innings.

He followed that up with a masterful 190 in the first innings at Trent Bridge and then made an unbeaten 62 in the second. The 31-year-old will be hoping to continue his good form in the final Test at Headingley, with New Zealand searching for their first win of the series.






Jonny Bairstow scored a brutal century for England


Jonny Bairstow scored a brutal century for England
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Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Bairstow’s stunning blitz

In an innings that will go down as one of Test cricket’s greatest, Bairstow fell just one ball short of equalling Gilbert Jessop’s record for England’s fastest-ever Test hundred. He reached his half-century off 51 balls and then went completely berserk after the tea break as he moved to three figures off just 77 balls.

Bairstow had failed to make a significant score in the series before this innings and there was some pressure on him, with an in-form Harry Brook waiting in the wings. However, he has now made three centuries in his last six Tests and is a perfect fit for the way Stokes and McCullum want England to play.

“There are going to be times when it doesn’t come off,” Bairstow admitted after the win. “That’s part and parcel of it. If you keep the intent – to try and be positive. I’ve always tried to be positive.

“Sometimes it’s been my downfall but that’s part and parcel of the game. There’s always periods of time where you look at things and you’re able to change your game and that’s one of the things that I pride myself on, the runs I have scored when it is tough but how I’ve been able to change games when we’ve been OK but also while it’s been going tricky.”






England captain Ben Stokes celebrates after hitting the winning runs


England captain Ben Stokes celebrates after hitting the winning runs
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Stu Forster/Getty Images)

England follow through with vow to chase anything

Speaking before the day’s play began, Broad made it clear that England would attempt to chase down whatever total they needed to win. “We’re going to go for anything,” he told BBC Test Match Special.

“That’s the mindset in this changing room. Whatever comes our way, we’re going to look at. I think everyone in this stadium is in for a fun day.”

And England certainly followed through on that promise, going all out in their bid for victory. Their mammoth chase began with Lees striking the first two balls to the boundary and, after a brief stutter when they fell to 93-4, Bairstow and Stokes shared a brutal 179-run partnership to guide England home.

Reflecting on the win, Stokes said: “Today just, wow, unbelievable. I don’t know what to do. It’s not just about today, it’s about the four days before. The work ethic everyone had before today was fantastic.

“You don’t win from just one day. The way we fought back after 500 on the board. Popey, Rooty. Incredible, incredible Test match. Huge testament to everyone’s character and resilience.”






Zak Crawley's struggles continued as he was out for a duck


Zak Crawley’s struggles continued as he was out for a duck
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Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Pressure mounts on Crawley

Since scoring a century in the first Test against the West Indies in March, Crawley has made a pair of 40s and six single-figure scores. Six of those dismissals have seen him caught behind off an edge either by the wicket keeper, in the slips or at gully.

Since making his Test debut, no other opener edges the ball more often and his dismissal in the second innings at Trent Bridge was all-too familiar as he was caught at first slip for a four-ball duck. With opening partner Lees making a fifty in the first innings and a crucial 44 in the second, Crawley will certainly be feeling the pressure.

Speaking on BBC Test Match Special, former England captain Michael Vaughan said: “Disappointing for Crawley. He’s had a poor match. Opening the batting against someone like Boult is not easy but the lack of runs is concerning.”

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