New Zealand vs England: Harry Brook and Joe Root put England on top in second Test after record stand

When New Zealand won the toss and decided to bowl first, England fell to 21-3 at Basin Reserve. Harry Brook, who had his best Test score of 184 not out, led the comeback for the visitors, and Joe Root, who had his 29th Test century, put up an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 294 runs. On day one of the second Test against New Zealand in Wellington, Harry Brook’s brilliant unbroken 184 and Joe Root’s maiden century in eight Tests helped England reclaim the initiative.

The visitors lost the toss and quickly fell to 21-3, but they ended the day on 315-3 thanks in large part to the Yorkshire pair of Harry Brook and Root, who put up the highest-ever fourth-wicket partnership at Basin Reserve with an unbroken 294 runs. After speeding beyond 50 in the morning session, Harry Brook maintained his great start to his international career and went on to record his best total to date, blasting 24 fours and five sixes.

With his innings, the 25-year-old tied the legendary Don Bradman’s record of four hundred in his first six Test matches. Harry Brook was supported by Root, who played a far more patient game and reached his 29th Test century after tea, shortly before the day’s play was stopped by rain, while still unbeaten and on 101.

Matt Henry took two early England wickets after New Zealand chose to bowl first

Matt Henry took two early England wickets after New Zealand chose to bowl first

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With the green surface at Basin Reserve, it was no surprise that New Zealand captain Tim Southee choose to bowl first after winning the toss, and the hosts made early gains to support that choice. After the first Test loss, the Black Caps returned Matt Henry (2-64) and batter Will Young, and it was Matt Henry who caused the most of the early damage by quickly removing Ollie Pope (10) and Zak Crawley (2) from the squad.

Pope, who launched an onslaught with two early boundaries, was back in the pavilion for 10 when he cut one to Michael Bracewell in the slips, while Crawley fell for just two after edging one through to wicketkeeper Tom Blundell. In the seventh over, Duckett (9) was taken out by Bracewell’s outstanding one-handed diving catch for nine, making him the captain Southee’s (1-48) 700th international victim and just the second New Zealander (after Daniel Vettori) to achieve that milestone.

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While he was voted player of the match in England’s 267-run victory in the first Test, Harry Brook continued where he left off when he arrived at the crease for the second Test. He quickly completed his half-century off 51 balls in the penultimate over before lunch.

Harry Brook celebrates his century on the first day of the second Test against New Zealand

Harry Brook celebrates his century on the first day of the second Test against New Zealand

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With England leading 101-3 when play resumed after the interval, Harry Brook and Joe Root immediately put the visitors on the back foot, although each using a different strategy. In the afternoon session, Harry Brook, who was taking part in only his sixth Test match overall, broke out, scoring his century off just 107 balls before passing the 150-run barrier for the second time in Tests off just 145.

Throughout his innings, the right-hander hit 24 fours and five sixes, with medium-pacer Daryl Mitchell taking a particularly hard hit and Neil Wagner being punished for anything short and low. In contrast, Root was content to play more slowly, needing 122 balls to reach 50 and 182 to complete his century in 11 overs after tea. Even so, the 32-year-old was able to display his variety of strokes since New Zealand’s bowlers were unable to adequately counter his and Harry Brook’s inquiries.

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The rain started to fall shortly after Root reached the century milestone, allowing him to match Bradman’s record of 29 career Test tonnes as well. The weather ultimately forced an early end to the day’s play. In order to make up for those missed overs, day two will continue earlier than scheduled at 9.30 p.m. UK time. Harry Brook will then attempt to achieve the first double-hundred of his career in any style of cricket. “That was the regular frame of mind”

Harry Brook, an English hitter, spoke to BT Sport

“Simply put, I was playing with the same mentality I’ve always had while playing Test cricket. As I’ve said several times, try to exert pressure on the bowler and remain as upbeat as you can. “I did make a few little adjustments, but generally speaking, the more optimistic you are, the more you can get away with.

There were a few little errors in gaps and other places where, if they had been made with a little more zeal, I may have sometimes been discovered. I made an effort to think positively at all times. We aim to maintain this advantage over the next several days since we now have them on the back foot.


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