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Lord’s Test: Joe Root, Ben Stokes lead England fight back as hosts close in on stunning win vs New Zealand


Former captain Joe Root and captain Ben Stokes led a stunning recovery from England on Day 3 of the pulsating Lord’s Test the hosts are closing in on a victory against New Zealand. Root remained unbeaten on 77 after Stokes’ 54 as England reached 216/5 at Stumps on Saturday, needing 61 more runs for a 1-0 lead in the 3-Test series.

On a day where 10 wickets fell, it is Joe Root’s brilliance that has kept England’s hopes of starting their new era under Ben Stokes’s captaincy on a winning note, alive. After New Zealand collapsed in their second innings, England were set at a target of 277 and things did not start well for the hosts as they were reduced to 69 for 4 after Kyle Jamieson removed openers.

Alex Lees (20) and Zak Crawley (9). Ollie Pope got off to a start bout a Trent Boult special sent him back while Jonny Bairstow suffered a second successive failure with the bat in this Test as Jamieson went through his defence in the 20th over of the innings.

Just when it looked like England would struggle against an inspired New Zealand attack, Root and Stokes led their resistance. The senior batting stars added a 90-run stand, playing out 30 overs to put the hosts in command at Stumps on Day 3.

Incidentally, Stokes was bowled when he was batting on 1 but he got a reprieve, thanks to Colin de Grandhomme who had overstepped. The medium-pacer left the field on Day 3 due to a suspected strain.

ROOT HOLDS FORT FOR ENGLAND

Root remained unbeaten on 77, braving multiple blows to the body while Stokes mixed caution with aggression for his 110-ball 54. The skipper went after left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel, hitting him for 2 sixes in the final session to help swing the momentum in England’s favour. However, Stokes was dismissed before the start of the final hour by Kyle Jamieson, who did the job with a well-directed bouncer.

Root, however, carried on made sure England did not wobble anymore until the close of play. Wicketkeeper-batter Ben Foakes came up with a solid supporting hand, playing out 48 deliveries in the final hour for his 9.

Jamieson was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers in the second innings as he picked up 4 wickets for 59 4uns in his 20 overs.

Earlier in the day, New Zealand collapsed after Daryl Mitchell completed his hundred in the first over of the day. The Black Caps lost their last 6 wickets for just 34 runs after looking good to set a target in excess of 350 runs.

While Mitchell reached his hundred, but Tom Blundell fell agonisingly short on 96 as Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad took the second new ball and swept through the tourists’ batting order.

There were three wickets in a single over from Broad, an effective team hat-trick that started when Mitchell edged to Ben Foakes off Broad for 108 as his partnership with Blundell fell five runs shy of 200 runs.

De Grandhomme was out next ball as he was run out from third slip by Pope, caught out of his crease as he watched the umpires’ reaction to a leg before appeal by Broad.

Broad then dismissed Jamieson first ball as New Zealand slumped from 251-4 to 251-7 by the end of the over.



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