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13-Jun-2022 02:24:00 GMT
Eng vs NZ - 2nd Test, Nottingham, day 3

Root and Pope centuries keep England in Test

England 473 for 5 (Root 163*, Pope 145, Lees 67, Boult 3-89) trail New Zealand 553 (Mitchell 190, Blundell 106, Anderson 3-62) by 80 runs

Trent Bridge: 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.

But that was nothing compared with 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.

Pope had not batted at number three in first-class cricket before this series, but was recalled because new captain Stokes was adamant he wanted the Surrey man in his team.

Pope repaid the faith with his second Test century and, curiously, the first of his 14 in first-class cricket made at a ground north of the River Thames.

After being dropped on 37 the previous evening, Pope resumed on 51 and, along with Lees, was determined to pressure the New Zealand bowling on Sunday morning.

Root is so prolific that he is exhausting all the superlatives. This was his 10th century since the beginning of last year and second in as many Sundays.

It was a carefree hundred - at 116 balls the fastest of his 27 in Tests. As a result, there were loose moments - on 27 he burst the hands of second slip Tim Southee and could have been caught on 52 when a top-edged slog-sweep at Southee landed between the wicketkeeper and long leg.

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