Root (163*), Pope (145) frustrate New Zealand on day three


Scintillating centuries from Joe Root and Ollie Pope kept England in the second Test with New Zealand on a riotous third day at Trent Bridge.

Root, in form far beyond anyone else in the world, is 163 not out, while Pope vindicated his selection at number three with 145.

After Alex Lees fell for 67, Root and Pope flayed the New Zealand bowling in a third-wicket stand of 187.

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But that was nothing compared to the entertainment provided by England captain Ben Stokes, who crashed 46 from only 33 balls.

Calm was only restored late in a day when England added 383 runs, the home side ending 473-5, 80 behind New Zealand’s 553.

There is still work to do for England, but they should be looking to first get level with New Zealand, then build a handy lead.

Their Sunday effort has given them a strong chance of preserving their 1-0 series advantage, and maybe even a shot at victory.

Ollie Pope scored his second Test hundred (Photo: Getty Images)

‘Bazball’ gets England back in it

This was the day when the influence of new England Test coach Brendon McCullum has been most obviously on show.

At 90-1 overnight, 463 behind, it would have been typical of England to wilt. Instead, they attacked from the outset, with every batter looking to get after the New Zealand bowling.

Aided by a true surface and lightning-fast outfield, this was England playing ‘Bazball’ to devastating effect. The scoreboard rattled along to the delight of the energetic Trent Bridge crowd.

New Zealand did not help themselves – they missed catches off Root twice and gave a life to Ben Foakes to go with reprieves handed to Lees and Pope on Saturday, while off-spinner Michael Bracewell was underused. The Black Caps also had to deal with a back injury to fast bowler Kyle Jamieson.

But this was an exhilarating assault by England, one that has brought this Test to life and set up the possibility of a thrilling final two days.

For England to win they will have to wind a way of dismissing New Zealand in their second innings – a big ask given the nature of the pitch.

Still, McCullum will ask them to believe that anything is possible. (BBC Sport)

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