NZ vs ENG: Harry Brook Equals Don Bradman With His Most Recent Test Ton

Harry Brook
Harry Brook (Image Credits: Twitter)

Harry Brook scored his fourth century of the winter to seize control of England’s series-deciding match against New Zealand, continuing his impressive start to life as a Test cricket player.

In Wellington, Harry Brook and Joe Root put up an unbroken partnership of 216 runs, reaching 136 not out at tea as the Yorkshire pair led their team to 237 for three.

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At 21 for three as Harry Brook got to the crease, England was under pressure after being put in to bat on a green surface at Basin Reserve. But with a brilliant performance, he grabbed charge of the situation and stole the initiative from the Black Caps as he raced to three figures in only 107 deliveries.

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After a wicketless afternoon session, England entered tea in command with Root (72) contently taking the supporting role. In only his sixth Test, Brook matched the feat of Sir Donald Bradman, the Australian legend who is still the sport’s gold standard. The anticipation around Brook is growing practically every time he steps up to the plate.

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Root had a front-row seat to his most recent elegant innings and talked highly of his fellow Yorkshireman following his player-of-the-match performance in Mount Maunganui last week. Root dug in and played a cautious knock of his own as his younger partner went about intimidating the home attack. As he scored at a rate better than a run-a-ball by the half, Brook had hit 18 fours and three sixes.

With Tim Southee winning the toss and excitedly bowling the opponents on a grassy pitch that, according to Ben Stokes, had the English seamers “licking their lips,” New Zealand made a nearly flawless start to the game.

The Kiwis eliminated England’s top order in little more than half an hour, with Michael Bracewell throwing in a magnificent catch at slip to remove Ben Duckett and Matt Henry celebrating his comeback with a twin new-ball strike.

Zak Crawley was the first to go, leaving Henry in the dust with only two goals, his latest ineffective attempt to assuage doubts about his position in the team. In his previous six appearances, he has now been removed for only one run four times, causing his Test average to fall below 28.

Henry added another when Ollie Pope’s thick edge to Bracewell in the cordon proved to be no match for his aggressive off-stump line. It was a good chance that was successfully grabbed, but it was nothing compared to his second grab of Southee when he threw himself back and across to catch the ball with one hand out of the air.

England was now in disarray, but they discovered a pair to build on in Joe Root and Harry Brook. Being the aggressor, Brook used three consecutive goals against Southee to declare his intentions and defy the pressure of the scoreboard. Daryl Mitchell, a medium-pacer, struggled to control his strong down-the-ground strokes and let up two massive sixes in quick succession, while Neil Wagner’s short-pitched strategies only served to highlight his potent pull shot.

As Root flew under the radar as he clawed his way over fifty only one ball before Harry Brook’s hundred, he managed to dodge a DRS referral for lbw off his first delivery.

The English duo owned the afternoon as Harry Brook moved across his crease to confuse the New Zealand bowlers and provide scoring opportunities that Southee had not even considered closing. With Root cheering him on from the non-end, striker’s he crossed the finish line with a hit to the extra cover boundaries after a stint on 99.

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