ENG vs NZ | 1st Test Day 3 | Root, Stokes turn England's fortunes as home inches closer

Aayush Mahajan

| Jun 4, 6:56 PM

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In a drastic turn of events, England strangled New Zealand as they returned to fight the odds on Day 3 of the first Test match of the ongoing series. 

An all-round effort from England's pace battery and the valiance of skipper Ben Stokes and his predecessor Joe Root handed the team a great chance of winning their second Test in the last 18 games.

Fast-bowling exhibition inflicts New Zealand's collapse 

Continuing from 236/4 and leading by 227 runs, New Zealand had no business pressing the panic button. But the ghosts of the first innings came alive, with the returning Stuart Broad ensuring England's comeback.

In the first over of the day, Daryl Mitchell brought up his ton. But the Kiwi camp did not know what was going to unfold before their eyes then. Broad brought the Blackcaps to their knees, leaving them in jitters in the space of three deliveries.

Mitchell, Colin de Grandhomme, and Kyle Jamieson all got out on consecutive deliveries, with New Zealand reduced to 251/7.

James Anderson and Matthew Potts hit the nail on the head, widening the damage in the form of Blundell and Tim Southee's dismissals. While Blundell went back to the hutch four runs short of his hundred, Southee wagged a few boundaries, giving New Zealand's innings a final push.

But New Zealand were done and dusted at the score of 285, setting a target of 277 runs for the hosts to chase.

Root and Stokes let the dust settle after usual early collapse

Another horrendous run-chase was in the making as one more loss awaited England. However, Root and Stokes led towards the change of fortunes, with England finally showing guts and aiming for glory.

The score read 69/4 at one stage as England lost Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow in the first 20 overs of their innings.

Stokes as well fizzled at the start and dragged Grandhomme's delivery onto the stumps. But to England's respite, the wicket-taking delivery was deemed a no-ball, and it was the start of an epic saga for the Three Lions.

Stokes and Root stitched a 90-run partnership, with the majority of the share coming from the former's bat. 

Jamieson handed the Kiwis an opening as he sent the England captain packing.

From there, Root saved the bacon working along with Ben Foakes. The duo laid down an unbeaten partnership of 57 runs. At the close of play, England have scored 216 runs, with Root and Foakes batting on 77 and 9 runs, respectively.

Now, it is England's game to lose as the side just need to score 61 runs with five wickets remaining in order to gain a 1-0 lead over New Zealand. 

Brief Score:  

New Zealand - 132/10 (1st innings)

Colin de Grandhomme 42*, Tim Southee 26;

Matthew Potts 4-13, James Aderson 4-66

England - 141/10 (1st Innings)

Zak Crawley 43, Alex Lees 25; 

Tim Southee 4-55, Boult 3-21

New Zealand - 285/10 (2nd Innings

Daryl Mitchell 108, Tom Blundell 96; 

Matthew Potts 3-55, Stuart Broad 3-76

England - 216/5 (2nd innings)

Joe Root 77*, Ben Stokes 54;

Kyle Jamieson 4-59

England need 61 runs to win the match.

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