Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes’ special innings handed England a memorable win over the world champions New Zealand in the second Test on the final day.
Bairstow and Stokes shared a 179-run stand in just 121 balls to hand New Zealand a five-wicket defeat on June 14.
Asked about his innings, Bairstow was quoted as saying: “Ben said: ‘Don’t even think about hitting it down, just plant it in the stands. I was just trying to do what the captain said.”
Bairstow smashed 136 off 92 and Stokes scored 75 not out off 70 while chasing the 299-run target on Day 5 thriller.
We’ve just chased 299 in 50 overs in a Test match on day five
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— England Cricket (@englandcricket)
England captain Stokes further added: “Test cricket isn’t necessarily about what you’ve seen there, but you’ve still got to execute your skills, and we wanted to put pressure back on their attack. And once Jonny gets his ‘Jonny eyes’, there’s no stopping him.
“The message at tea was just run into the fear of where the game was, rather than stand still or back away from it. It was pretty much, ‘We’re either winning this game or losing it.’ But we’re never going to be happy with where we are.”
New Zealand made early inroads to trigger an English collapse. The match was going in favour of the Kiwis before the entry of Bairstow and Stokes, who hammered New Zealand bowlers mercilessly at Trent Bridge and helped England win the series with one match to go.
England and New Zealand will travel to Leeds to play the third and final Test match, which begins on June 23.