Ben Stokes now has an impeccable record as England’s Test captain after a second consecutive win over New Zealand. England hold an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series with just the upcoming Headingley Test to play.
The five wicket defeat of the visitors at Trent Bridge was in the balance until the final session on the last day. During a breath-taking post-tea period the fearless batting of Jonny Bairstow (136) and Ben (75*) simply overwhelmed New Zealand.
Hours before the Bairstow-Stokes batting onslaught settled the Test, the day started with New Zealand on 224-7 and the match outcome in the balance.
During the morning session, 60 runs were added by the Black Caps, before they were dismissed for 298.
Set 299 for victory, the England batters accepted the challenge and set about rapidly scoring the required runs.
Playing for the draw was not an option – it was win or defeat. This collective mindset saw England wobble at 93-4 before Ben joined Bairstow.
Either side of the tea interval Bairstow, supported by Ben, dispatched the New Zealand bowlers around the outfield, and beyond.
In just 20.1 overs the Bairstow-Stokes pairing bludgeoned 179 runs.
Bairstow fell for 136 and it was left to Ben, with the assistance of Ben Foakes (12), to take England over the line.
While the day belonged to Bairstow, the captain had the pleasure of hitting the winning runs to finish on 75* (4 sixes, 10 fours) off 70 balls.
This was Ben’s third half-century against New Zealand at home and his highest score in Tests at Trent Bridge.
(Phoenix Media Image Created from a Photo by Julian Finney – ECB/ECB via Getty Images)