3rd Test Match at Headingley England v New Zealand

Neil Whitaker reports

Day 1

THE Kiwi run machine Daryl Mitchell was at again at Headingley hitting his eighth Test fifty and his fourth fifty of the series.

Again his partner in crime was Tom Blundell as they made their third hundred partnership of the series. They have scored the most runs by a pair against England in the first three matches of a series. They came together in a bizarre way. On the stroke of tea after adding 40 in 21 overs with Henry Nicholls, Mitchell was involved in breaking the partnership.  Nicholls went down the wicket to Jack Leach and drove him straight and as umpire Richard Kettleborough ducked for cover the ball hit Mitchell’s bat and rebounded to Alex Lees at mid off.

New Zealand batting coach Luke Ronchi said: “I like those sort of things that happen in the game because they make the game exciting because you can always say that you were there. If you took those sort of things out of the game it can become very boring.”

Leach said: “ It was  unbelievable, I didn’t know whether it would be allowed, I’d take any wicket I can,  it was unlucky for Nicholls but very lucky to me. I didn’t like the dissmissal.  It’s a stupid game.”

Ronchi added: “ Mitchell and Blundell have been brilliant all series.  Today they worked hard and put us in a different position. We would have liked to have been in a better position after winning the toss. Mitchell is positive and knows his game plan and he’s sticking to it.”

Mitchell’s fifty came from 53 balls and included two sixes.  He  danced down the wicket to Leach and planted him into the Howard stand for the first six of the match.  He got his second six when he gently eased him over long off again   into the Howard stand to bring up his fifty and the fifty partnership with Blundell. 

He pulled Jamie Overton to the square leg boundary for his first boundary of his innings.  On eight Matty Potts went up for a leg before appeal against Mitchell and umpire Marais Erasmus  ruled it was missing. Stumper Ben Foakes agreed and  told Ben Stokes it  was going down leg. Stokes declined to review it but replays showed it to be crashing into the  middle stump.  The Kiwi two hundred was brought up when Mitchell pulled Overton to the fine leg boundary evadeing Leach who was only a few yards to his right.

For the early part of their partnership Blundell was the silent partner but he did have his moments.  He drove Stuart Broad straight with the minimal amount of effort.  

England brought in Overton to replace the injured James Anderson as the only change from Trent Bridge, and the  now Surrey player  got his first Test wicket  in his sixth over when Dean  Conway tried to drive him but got an inside edge and Foakes took his third catch of the innings.

For,  New Zealand captain Kane Williamson came back into the side replacing the injured Kyle Jameson and Neil Wagner was selected instead of Matt Henry.  Williamson won the toss on a beautiful day and decided to bat on a straw looking pitch and again  lost their first wicket in the first over of their innings.  Tom Latham edged Broad’s  sixth ball, bowling around the wicket, to Joe Root at first slip who took a comfortable waiste height catch.

The Kiwi’s lost their second wicket on the stroke of the first drinks break.  Will Young’s bat got tangled up with his pad that he missed Leach’s first ball and was leg before.  Throughout the day Leach  bowled more consistently than he did at Trent Bridge and he bowled 30 overs. 

Leach added : I don’t think that I bowled as well as I good at Trent  Bridge but to get an early wicket today was great and It’s  to be back at Headingley. I stuck to my task.  To get an early wicket meant I was on my front foot. I was ready to do what I had to do, I tried to be aggressive and bowl to my field.  I thought that the lads put in a great effort today. It was great to see Overton get his first wicket.  It’s been a really good day for the lads but  we need to get a few breakthroughs tomorrow.”

He became the first English spinner to take a wicket with his first ball before lunch in England since Johnny Wardle did it against the West Indies in 1950 at Lord’s.  The last English spinner to bowl before lunch at Headingley was Ray Illingworth in 1968 against Australia.

Kane Williamson looked at ease and poised for a big score but he became Broad’s second victim of the morning when he pushed forward and edged him to Foakes.

Conway,  needed to repeat his form at Trent Bridge if not get better, clipped Broad beautifully off his legs to the mid wicket boundary and three balls later flayed him to the point boundary. The Kiwis added two more and Broad should have got his third wicket of the morning when Conway on one got a thick inside edge but this time Foakes couldn’t take the hard  chance. 

England took the new ball when it became due and it was shared between Overton and Potts but after one over from Overton he was replaced by Potts.

Day 2

JONNY Bairstow hit his  second century of the series, in the second Test his century won the match today it rescued England’s first innings.

To bring up his century he drove Trent  Boult to long off boundary and then he set off on a run of over 40 yards to celebrate his century. His century came off 95 balls with 15 fours.

Consecutive boundaries from Bairstow to the third man boundary off Tim  Southee brought up his 32nd Test fifty from  51 balls.  He dismissively,  drilled Neil Wagner to the long on boundary. On 82 he toe ended Wagner just evading the outstretched hand off Kane Williamson at mid off.

Bairstow said: “I am pretty pleased with that and hopefully we can carry on tomorrow ina similar manner.  At 55 for six you can either go into your shell, or take the game to them.  Full credit to Boult and Southee because they bowled really well at our top order.

We’re looking at playing the game differently to keep the game moving forward and change games.  I love playing at Headingley, it’s a special place, it’s my home and I always  want to score runs here.”

After seeing the departures  of Joe  Root and  Ben Stokes,  Bairstow  needed someone to stick with him and he did  in Jamie Overton.  When they came together the prospect of New Zealand batting again on the second day was very much on but by the close England were on the verge of overtaking New Zealand’s total as they broke England’s record seventh wicket stand against New Zealand.  At the close of play they had added 209 in 37 overs.

Overton hit the highest score by a number eight batter on debut for England and he needs another 11 to reach his century. He had fun getting to 89, he swung Wagner to the square leg boundary to bring up his fifty from 68 balls in 112 minutes with seven fours and a six.  He backed away from Wagner and top edged him between Tom Blundell and Daryl Mitchell at slip for another boundary and slapped Wagner into the western terrace and he followed that with a classical off drive.  He wrapped the over up with a cut to the cover boundary.

Bairstow added: “I thought that Overton played unbelievably well.  He did did serious striking and hopefully in the morning he will experience his first Test hundred.”

Before they came together wickets tumbled on the second day, especially in the afternoon session when eight wickets fell for 95 runs in 25 runs and six of those wickets were England’s.

Having dismissed New Zealand for 329 things started to go wrong for England in the first over.  Alex Lees edged the second ball from Boult through the slips but Daryl Mitchell despite getting his fingers to the high chance couldn’t take it.  But it wasn’t too expensive because three balls later Lees was bowled by some late movement.

England lost their second wicket when Ollie Pope played over a straight ball from Boult and lost his off stump. Boult got his third wicket when he swung one in at Zak Crawley and smashed into his middle stump.  There now must be a question mark against Crawley’s future as a Test player.

Finally Boult allowed someone else to get in on the act when Southee got his first wicket in the next over when he angled one in at Root who edged it to Tom  Blundell.

The fall of Root’s wicket brought Stokes to partner Bairstow and rekindle memories of Trent Bridge.   Stokes showed his intention by going down the wicket to his first ball from Southee.  For  a time the runs came easy as they added 34 in four overs.  Ben Stokes hit Southee for a straight six. But after the drinks break Williamson brought Wagner on, dropped  himself deeper.  Stokes obliged by driving Wagner to Williamson.

Wagner showed what New Zealand have been missing when two balls later he trapped Ben  Foakes legs before for a duck.  He should have had his third wicket of the innings when Bairstow on 27 gave a return catch but Wagner couldn’t hold it in his follow through.

Earlier, Mitchell joined Sir Don Bradman in hitting three Test centuries against England in a series in a series in England.  He reached his century in the same way  as he did when he reached his fifty with a six off  Jack Leach.  His century included three sixes and nine fours from 228 balls in 339 minutes.

On 80 he edged Matty Potts and Foakes dived to his right in front of Root at first slip but couldn’t hold on to the chance.  England found yet another bizarre way to break a partnership in this series. Blundell was wrapped on the pads from Matty  Potts and after an enthusiastic appeal from the England players and an age umpire Richard Kettleborough gave him out.  Blundell couldn’t review it because both  DRS and Hawkey had gone down.  

Blundell and Mitchell had added 120 for the fifth bringing the number of runs they’ve added to 621 the first New Zealand pair to add more  600 against England with the possibility of more to come.

After finding bizarre ways of breaking partnership’s England couldn’t take conventional ones when another chance went down when Stuart  Broad found  Michael Bracewell’s edge, Bairstow at third slip dived to his right one handed  but  the ball wouldn’t stick.

Finally England took a chance when Broad squared Bracewell up with the second ball after the ball had been changed and Crawley took a knee high catch at second slip.

Southee got off the mark by taking a couple of steps down the pitch to Leach and belted him for a four over long on just over Bairstow.  In the next over he gracefully pulled Broad for a six over fine leg.  

After adding a quick fire 80 in nine overs with Southee, Mitchell fell in the last over before lunch when he drove Leach over mid off looking for another boundary he found  Stokes running round from mid off facing the West stand to take the catch.

Southee soon joined Mitchell in the hutch when he drove Leach but took his hand off his bat and skied the ball to Stokes at mid off.

Leach took his fifth wicket when Wagner got underneath his drive and Bairstow at long on took a spiralling catch.  It was Leach’s third  five wicket Test haul but his first in the first innings and the last English spinner to take five wickets in the first innings was Jim Laker against New Zealand in 1958 also at Headingley.

 New Zealand lost their last three wickets for four runs in nine balls.

Day 3

ENGLAND another gained narrow first innings lead of 31 and by the time rain ended the third day they had taken five New Zealand second innings wickets.

Jonny Bairstow hit his second highest Test score of 162 before he was ninth man out after coming in at 17 for three.  But it took him  20 minutes to hit his first boundary of the day when he drove Tim Boult through extra cover.  He reached his 150 when he drove Neil Wagner for a couple.  His 150 was the second fastest by an Englishman coming from 144 balls in 257 minutes with 23 fours. 

He pulled Boult for a single to give England the lead and smashed Michael  Bracewell straight back but the spinner could only tip it over.   The Kiwi’s got  rid of Bairstow when he drilled the ball after Stuart Broad’s departure to Boult at long off who took a low catch.  His 162 came from 157 balls, 10 minutes shy off five hours and amazingly it  didn’t include a six but he did hit 24 fours.

Bairstow didn’t have time to rest because when New Zealand batted for the second time he was behind deputising for Ben Foakes who had a stiff back.

The crowd came to see Jamie Overton get his first Test century but they were to be disappointed. He fell three runs short off his century on his Test debut when he edged Boult, who had bowled magnificently in the morning, to Daryl Mitchell at first slip who took a low catch.  Whether,  he was thinking about reaching  his first Test century but he couldn’t get going for 32 minutes then he drove Tim  Southee to the cover boundary. 

He said: “I didn’t get a good night's sleep,  I was tossing and turning a lot.  I was always going to be nervous  but I felt in a good place this morning.It was disappointing to get out for 97 but I felt that I’ve contributed to the team.”

As he walked off  Bairstow ran from the bowler’s end to give Overton a big hug but at least Overton could  reflect on breaking the seventh wicket partnership for England. They added 241 in 48 overs beating the previous record of 197 made by Mike Smith and Jim Parks against the West Indies at Port of Spain Trinidad in the 1959/60 season.  Overton added: “We put ourselves  in a good position in the game. Bairstow said to me just soak it up you played a good knock.”

Broad batted like Overton did on the second day. He started by smashing Boult for  a couple of fours and then a six into the Howard stand.  In the next over he pulled Wagner into the East stand for a big six.  Broad went down the pitch to Bracewell and edged the spinner past both Blundell and Mitchell.  His entertaining 42 from 36 balls ended when he was bowled by Southee but  Broad held  his pose and the crowd were stunned into silence when they saw Broad walking off. With Bairstow they added 55 in only seven overs.

Jack Leach hit two fours and was then plumb leg before.

Trailing by 31 The Kiwi’s opening pair Tom Latham and Will Young had  19 minutes to face  before lunch, but England sprung a surprise when Leach opened the bowling at the Howard end. Yes, a spinner opening the bowling in a Test match at Headingley!

Latham got off the pair by placing Broad through the covers for three, but they lost their first wicket when Young edged a drive off Marty  Potts to Ollie Pope at third slip in the third over after lunch and they were still three runs behind England.

The Kiwi’s took the lead when Latham clipped Broad off his legs to the mid wicket boundary. After 22 overs Ben Stokes brought himself into the attack and Kane Williamson greeted his arrival into the attack  by gracefully drilling him to the extra cover boundary.  His first over cost him 15 runs and saw Latham reach his fifty from 70 balls.  He drilled Stokes for consecutively to the extra cover boundary.  In Stokes’ next over Latham clipped him there again.

On 72 Latham edged a full length ball from Broad and Joe Root dropped a regulation slip catch moving to his right.  England got rid of Latham with the first ball after tea when he pushed at Overton and got a thin edge to Bairstow. With Williamson they added 97 in 26 overs

Overton’s first ball at Dean Conway hit Conway on his helmet. Eventually when  play restarted Conway and Williamson not only had to contend with the pace of Overton and Broad but with darkening clouds as Headingley became surrounded by rain.  Overton was replaced by Root so the players could stay on but after two balls the rain came and the players were taken off.

After a break for 19 minutes Conway pushed at the first ball from  Root and Pope at short leg took an excellent boot high catch. Two overs later England got the big wicket of Williamson who tried to play Potts through the offside with a straight bat instead of cutting it and he edged it to Bairstow.

The Kiwi’s lost their third wicket after the restart when Nicholls took a step down the wicket to Leach and succeeded in pushing the ball back to Leach.  That wicket brought together the dynamic duo Mitchell and Blundell.  Overton said: “ That last session has put us in the box seats and hopefully we can get the two key wickets early on.”

Boult said: “It was disappointing to lose those two wickets just after those breaks wasn’t ideal. The breaks came at the right time for them  and the wrong time for us.  Hopefully if Mitchell and Blundell can bat like they have they have done and with a couple of cameos.  I’ve no idea what target we need, as many as possible.  It’s been an exciting series and there’s still a lot to play for.”

At 6.00 the rain came back with the New Zealand lead at 137.  The New Zealanders wore black armbands in memory of New Zealand  cricket historian Don Neely who died recently.

Day 4

JACK  Leach became the ninth spinner to take 10 wickets in a Test match at Headingley as he took five for 66 to go with his five for 100 in the first innings.

Leach said: “It still hasn't sunk in. I am quite proud of what I’ve done because I never thought that it was possible for me but Ben Stokes has belief in me.  This morning we tuck at our task really well this morning but we didn’t get our rewards.”

His first victim of the day was Michael Bracewell in the 45th over of the day.  At the start of the over Bracewell launched Leach into the Howard stand for a straight six.  Two balls later he clipped Leach off his legs but found Zak Crawley five yards in from the square leg boundary.

Tim Southee on one cut Leach  but the ball hit Joe  Root at slip before he could react but Southee only added another single before he was  beaten by one that spun back in at  him. Five balls later Neil Wagner edged Leach and Sam  Billings became the third England wicket keeper  to take a catch in the match as the ball lodged between his thighs.  Billings was playing because before play started on the fourth day stumper Ben Foakes was ruled out of the rest of the match after testing positive for Covid-19.

Trent Boult edged Leach but Root spilled the chance and in Leach’s next over. Boult smashed Leach to the mid wicket boundary.  But that was that for New Zealand as Boult charged down the wicket to the next ball, missed the ball and was bowled.   

Tom Blundell was unbeaten on 88 bringing his run tally for the series to 373 at an average of 74.6.  He said: “We’re going to fight tomorrow and we’re known for fighting, if we get a couple of wickets you never know.  The pitch is deteriorating and it’s getting hard to drive the older ball.

As a group this series has been disappointing but on a personal level it’s been fantastic.  It’s been good to have those partnership’s with Daryl Mitchell but it’s just unfortunate that a couple of games have gone against us.”

To have a chance of winning the match New Zealand had to bat long to reduce the time that England would have to chase a target, in the end there were 41 overs left in the day when New Zealand were all out. 

Mitchell and Blundell made it through to lunch adding 66 in 31 overs.  The only scare for them was when England thought they had broken the partnership when Mitchell pushed forward at Leach and umpire Marais Erasmus gave him out.  Mitchell was  on 17 at the time and reviewed it and the replay showed it to be going over the top.

Mitchell ran Stuart Broad to the third man boundary to bring up his fifty from 105 balls with nine fours. England and Broad were certain they had him in Broad’s next over when Mitchell played around a straight ball and umpire Richard Kettleborough gave him out.  Mitchell reviewed it again and again, Mitchell was correct.

Eventually England got him, two overs later when Matty  Potts got him leg before. For the third time he reviewed it but this time the replay showed it to be hitting.  Mitchell’s 56 took his tally in the series to 538 with an average of 107.6.  With Blundell they added 113 in 32 overs bringing the runs they added in the series to 724

England took the new ball immediately  it was due, two overs before lunch.  After lunch Blundell edged Leach between Billings and Root for a couple to bring up his fifty from 105 balls with eight fours,

Chasing 296 to win Alex Lees got off the pair  when he edged Boult’s second ball which luckily ran through the slips to the boundary, Before he had scored Crawley edged a drive off Boult but despite Southee’s leap at third slip he couldn’t take the catch.  England lost their first wicket in the fifth over when Crawley drove Boult to mid off and thought it was a boundary.  Lees set off and  was sent back and Kane Williamson at mid off lobbed the ball to Boult who broke the stumps.

Bracewell was introduced early into the attack  and got the wicket of Crawley in his second over.  Crawley who didn’t look confident in his short innings managed to hit six fours in his 25, had to reach to drive Bracewell to Williamson at mid off diving forward.

The Kiwi’s lost two leg before review’s against Root in two balls.  Root took full advantage and brought out the reverse sweep with good effect finding the boundary regularly off Bracewell but he should have got Root when he edged Bracewell between Mitchell at slip and stumper Blundell.

The bizarre shot of the day was when Root reversed ramped Wagner for a six over third man to bring up the England hundred.  Ollie Pope was fortunate that an inside edge off Southee brought up his fifty off 66 balls because Pope had no idea where the ball had gone.  After three consecutive fours from Pope off Wagner the Kiwi’s looked a beaten side.  Root swept  Bracewell for two boundaries to bring up his fifty in the final over of the day.

Day 5

IT took England 66 minutes to knock off the 113 needed in 15.2 overs to beat the world champions by six wickets and take the LV Insurance Test series three nil with Jonny Bairstow unbeaten on 71 and Joe Root 86 not out.

England captain Ben Stokes said: “Coming away with a 3-0 victory over the World champions is a great start to the side moving forward and something to work on.  Everyone has brought into the new mentality that we wanted  and I couldn’t ask for anymore.

Bairstow’s knock at Trent Bridge was good but his innings in the first innings was something special.  The most pleasing thing about this week is the position that we were in and to come out with a lead after being 55 for six and end up winning the game is something very special and it’s going to give us confidence when we find ourselves in tricky situations.

The last three games should have sent a message to those players who aspire to play for England that it’s not all about stats it’s about the way you play the game, they know what they have to do to get in the team.

Jack Leach’s mindset is now about taking wickets not keeping the runs down and he got his rewards with his 10 wickets in the  match.  I’ve not seen a dressing more pleased for anyone.”

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said: “In every game we found ourselves ahead of the game but still they took the game from us so it’s been very frustrating not to get a result but full credit to England in each match they played the small moments that swung the matches.  

They came out and played with freedom and counterattacked rather than play themselves out of trouble. They have always had quality throughout their team and now they play with an approach which they are happy with. To come here compete and get ahead of the game and go away with  nothing is very frustrating.  We did a lot of good things but not enough, to have them 55 for six and then to see them swing it in two sessions  was very hard to stop. 

Bairstow has adapted his approach to the white ball game to the red ball game.  He’s had the courage to do what he did because he has been encouraged to do it. He’s one of the best white ball players in the world and now he’s  looking to play the same in red ball cricket.

We picked   Michael Bracewell  because historically Headingley has been good for seamers and even today it did something for them. The pitch deteriorated after a couple of days and brought the spinner in, it was one of those decisions you make and had to commit to it.”

Play was supposed to start at 12.00 after rain from 9.30 but just before noon the rain came back and play eventually started at 1.30.  Needing another 113 to win, England added two to their overnight score when  Ollie Pope was beaten by that nipped back from Tim Southee and lost his off stump.

Then we were treated to yet another batting masterclass from Bairstow.  Despite the morning rain the ball flew to the boundary as the England target went below 100 and he guided Trent Boult to the point boundary to bring up the England two hundred.

He drove Southee for a straight six over long on. After hitting the Boult out of the attack after bowling three overs for 28, Bairstow clipped Bracewell’s first ball to the fine leg boundary.

Root’s and Bairstow’s fifty partnership came off only 39 balls.  Bairstow danced down the pitch to Bracewell and smashed straight on to the first floor of the Howard stand. In the next over he hit Southee for a one bounce four  to bring up his fifty from 39 balls, the second fastest Test fifty for England.

Bairstow cut Bracewell to the point boundary leaving six needed to victory,Bairstow couldn’t finish the match with a six could he? Why ask? He blasted the next ball over long on for a six to win the match.


June 23, 2022 11:26 pm

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