Recent Match Report – England vs New Zealand 2nd Test 2022/23

Lunch England 435 for Dec 8 and 168 for Dec 5 (Root 74*, Stokes 20*) need 90 more to beat New Zealand 209 and 483

An unbroken stand between Joe Root and Ben Stokes, worth 88 at the lunch break, helped resurrect England’s chances of a series-sealing victory in the second Test, after New Zealand attacked them with four grounds during opening hours at Basin. Reserve.

Root, having finished 153 without coming out in England’s first innings, continued to frustrate the New Zealand attack, taking a run from fifty and going to the interval on 74 from as many balls. Stokes was much more cautious in his approach, twice getting away with edges flying over the cordon for four, but he held his ground with England looking to seal their seventh successful fourth-innings chase since Brendon McCullum took over as manager. last year.

Root’s proactivity was characterized by his portrayal of the supporting role, Michael Bracewell. He scored three fours and two sixes for 32 runs from 12 balls faced, which took England’s target under three figures a few minutes before lunch.

With Bracewell under pressure, the home team’s cause was further affected when Matt Henry was forced off the field with back pain, leaving captain Tim Southee to operate as part of a three-man attack.

New Zealand needed to start well if they were to stop the giant Bazball, and the first hour could hardly have been better for them. England lost 4 for 27, including first-innings centurion Harry Brook’s run without facing a ball, when the score began to shake, but not for the expected reason.

Ollie Robinson, the night watchman, was dismissed in the third over of the morning from his first shot in anger, a top-edge strike across the line that ended up in the hands of slip. With Ollie Pope beaten twice in his first three Southee balls, England looked to safety in Ben Duckett, but he managed to add a single cap and ten runs to his total for the night before coming to a cut at Henry and reaching the goalie. .

A quiet period followed, with Pope and Root struggling to find their feet, before New Zealand struck twice on as many balls to send a flurry of panic among the tourists. Pope had played the authoritative first shot of his, pulling in Neil Wagner for four, when he opted to cut back and deflect the ball straight into the second slip, Tom Latham had a great chance.

England were 80 for 4 and that became 80 for 5 just a minute or two later when Root called not realizing his rear foot touch had missed the cordon, Bracewell pounced from the third slip to fire on a pitch to Tom Blundell that left Brook well short, and continuing his trot back to the locker room.

The danger was too clear for England, but Root took it upon himself to repair the situation. He was busy from the start, clipping his first ball off the pads for two, though he needed a bit of luck when he slipped past Wagner to open his limit count.

Bracewell’s introduction caused a change in momentum, as Root tried to take down the spinning wheel. His first ball went gloved over the keeper’s sweep, and his second went over the deep half-wicket after moving down the pitch, before a pair of fours followed him through the back square leg, the first bringing the 100 from England.

Stokes was circumspect, in stark contrast to his recent approach with the bat, waiting 12 balls to go wide. He was concerned about the extra rebound found by Henry, but with Blundell staying at stump level, a thin edge deflected up and away from the goalkeeper’s gloves for four. When Stokes opted to attack a few overs later, an intermittent drive has just cleared Bracewell’s hand on the third slip.

Stokes also appeared to be concerned with his long-standing left knee problem, wincing after delivering a blunt blow at Bracewell, but showed his appetite for the fight when he hit his third four later in the same over.

Alan Gardner is deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick

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