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25-Jun-2022 02:00:00 GMT
Eng vs NZ - 3rd Test, Leeds, day 2

Bairstow, Overton mount stunning England recovery

England 264 for 6 (Bairstow 130*, Overton 89*) trail New Zealand 329 (Mitchell 109, Blundell 55, Leach 5-100) by 65 runs

Headingley: Jonny Bairstow's remarkable unbeaten century and 89 not out from debutant Jamie Overton kept England in the third Test against New Zealand at Headingley.

On another thrilling day in England's new era, the hosts collapsed to 55-6 in reply to New Zealand's 329 on the second day.

But Bairstow and Overton combined for a rollicking unbroken stand of 209 to take England to 264-6 at the close, 65 behind.

Bairstow lit up his home ground with 130 not out, reaching his second hundred in as many innings off 95 balls.

The partnership continued England's hair-raising approach under new captain Ben Stokes, a mindset which looked to have been given a rude awakening during the collapse.

Trent Boult bowled Alex Lees, Ollie Pope and Zak Crawley in a stunning opening spell and Joe Root nicked Tim Southee behind for five.

Stokes looked to counter-attack, only to drive to mid-off for 18 and leave England in a perilous position.

Daryl Mitchell earlier recorded his third hundred in as many Tests for New Zealand, but the tourists left the field having felt the full force of England's wave of positivity.

Bairstow was visibly emotional when reaching three figures as he ran almost to the boundary edge in celebration, his sister one of those in a riotous crowd.

The Yorkshireman is in the Test form of his life with this hundred his fourth in eighth Tests. He also become only the second Englishman after Ian Botham to score two Test centuries at better than a run per ball.

Bairstow was brilliantly supported by Overton, who, despite having scored only one first-class century, batted with technique some of those ahead of him in the order could learn from.

As he became more comfortable his attacking intent grew - he took Neil Wagner for 14 in one over, including a big six over mid-wicket - although he would have been out lbw for five had New Zealand opted for review.

Bairstow and Overton, whose run-rate increased over seven an over in the final 10 overs, capitalised on the fact the ball moved less than it did in the opening period.

When it did move Boult produced an outstanding spell, becoming the first bowler to bowl England's top three since 1949.

He removed Lees for four with a perfect delivery that hit the top of off stump in the first over before two inswingers proved far too good for the defences of Crawley and Pope.

The Bairstow-Overton partnership was also an example to Stokes that, while the aggressive approach has merit, it is best saved for when the new ball has been overcome.

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