England batter Joe Root lavished praise on his fellow teammate Jonny Bairstow after his ‘phenomenal’ batting performance helped the Three Lions clinch the victory in the final Test against New Zealand. Powerful knocks from Root (86*) and Bairstow (71*) guided England to a thumping seven-wicket win over the Kiwis in the final Test at Headingley in Leeds on Monday.
England were at their dominant best in the match. Though New Zealand set a challenging 296 runs to win, the English batters responded with some beautiful hitting, sealing the match by seven wickets and the series by a margin of 3-0.
“It was like some of the 50-overs stuff we normally play, he (Bairstow) is hitting the ball so well. I’m sure everyone were enjoying it. He’s a phenomenal player, he has been for a very long time. It’s great to see him showing to the rest of the world how good he is. Hopefully, he can keep moving forward on that trajectory,” said Root after the final Test ended.
“You try and play what’s in front of you, that’s the most important thing. One of the great things about this series was the guys kept getting more and more confident. It’s such fun to play and to be part of that. We all love playing, it’s great. It’s important that we enjoy this series win,” he added.
Coming to the final Test, chasing 296, England was not off the finest start, opener Alex Lees was run out for just 9 at the team’s score of 17. Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope resumed the chase for England. Their promising stand was cut short at 34-runs after Crawley was dismissed for 25 by spinner Michael Bracewell after being caught by skipper Kane Williamson.
From then on, Ollie Pope and Joe Root took complete control of England’s innings. The duo hit the bowlers around the park. Pope and Root continued their good run in the series, getting to their half-centuries.
The 134-run stand between the duo ended after Southee clean bowled Pope for 82 off 108 with 12 fours.
With England 185/3, The duo of Root and Jonny Bairstow was at the crease. Root kept one end steady while Bairstow continued his explosive run in the second innings as well, bringing his half-century in just 30 balls.
The duo stitched a quickfire 111-run stand, earning their side a seven-wicket win, with Root (86*) and Bairstow scoring an explosive 71 off just 44 balls.
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