England close with 264-6, trailing by 65, after an incredible 55-6 comeback led by Jonny Bairstow and Jamie Overton; Trent Boult topped the top order after Daryl Mitchell’s third hundred of the series took New Zealand to 329 in their opening innings at Headingley.
Jonny Bairstow reached a thrilling Test match tenth century to lead a remarkable England comeback after Trent Boult dismantled the first order in a thrilling day two of the third Test at Headingley.
After Daryl Mitchell (109) completed his third century of the series to help the Tourists record 329 in their opening innings, Boult lobbed the ball and castled each of England’s top three before Tim Southee sent off Joe Root to leave the home team 21-4.
That became 55-6 when Neil Wagner scored twice in his first change before an exciting fast-break partnership between Bairstow (130th) and debutant Jamie Overton (89th) brought Ben Stokes’ side back into the game.
The pair put up an unbroken 209 – the highest seventh-wicket position in England history – to close 264-6, trailing by 65, as the hosts listened to their captain’s words and made sure no one in attendance could claim that they had been treated. nothing less than entertainment of the highest quality.
Day three already promises a lot with fast bowler Overton just 11 runs from a century and the outcome of the match is still firmly in the balance.
After a first day in which New Zealand held their races, the second day brought a more positive approach with Tom Blundell submitting his sixth test fifty with a cap to finish the first over of the day.
Both Mitchell and Blundell looked set to impose themselves on the England bowlers, but the former should have returned to the locker room 11 balls after the morning session.
He pushed through a full delivery from Matthew Potts, but with the edge seemingly sailing into Root’s hands on the first slip, Ben Foakes lunged in for a catch, only managing to deflect his former captain.
It was a further frustration for Potts, who had bowled well for no reward on day one but earned his wicket a couple of overs later, Blundell (56) receiving lbw and with DRS temporarily unavailable due to a technical problem, right-handed Kiwi No was able to check despite suspicions that the ball was sliding down the leg.
That ended a 120-run position for sixth wicket and led to an attrition phase of the game in which England managed to tie up Mitchell and Michael Bracewell.
Bracewell was given a life after outplaying birthday boy Stuart Broad in the third slip, only for Bairstow to drop the catch as he headed in with a hand to his right, but the England closer eventually caught his man, caught in the second. slip.
Southee’s arrival saw the run rate rise with the No 9 Kiwi putting Broad into the stands as England resorted to the short ball tactic.
Mitchell was starting to warm up too, needing five to become the first New Zealander to score three hundred in a series in England, he decided to get there in style; jumping down the track and pumping Leach back over his head for six.
Fifties society emerged in just 38 balls and with lunch looming, Stokes raised the field and encouraged Mitchell to repeat the shot that had led to his century. The righty took the bait and when he failed to make a clean connection, Stokes himself was there to take the catch over his shoulder as he ran back from the middle.
That was Leach’s third wicket and four and five came quickly after the break, first Southee and then Wagner looking for the big shot and holed out to give the spinner his first test of five at home.
That was just the beginning of an astonishing afternoon session that saw 95 runs scored, eight wickets dropped and Boult produced a riveting masterclass in the bowling swing.
Alex Lees (4) had already been dropped by Mitchell on the first slip before the Black Caps left-hander hit him with a nearly unplayable five-ball pitch in the inning; the ball tipped before zooming away late to beat the southpaw.
Boult did it again soon after, this time curving the ball generously between Ollie Pope’s (5) bat and bag to rip off the stump.
It almost got worse for England when Zak Crawley called Root for a single that was never there, but the relief that Kane Williamson’s shot missed the mark was short-lived as Boult quickly found his own again.
Crawley (6) was dragged into a loose pitch and Boult’s swinger slid through the gate and hit the middle of the stump, 17-3.
Root has had to dig England out of many holes over the years, but not even he could save them this time. Southee went wider in the crease and made the world’s No. 1 test batsman play with a snort that cut just a fraction to take the feather to Blundell.
Where many sides would have sought to dig in and try to weather the storm of the new ball, under his new regime, England is not one of them.
Instead, in the 3.1 overs between Root’s dismissal and the drinking break, they scored 34 runs as Stokes and Bairstow answered.