Jonny Bairstow brought New Zealand to their knees and an ability rest of the audience to their feet with an innings of stunning brutality to strength England to a five-wicket victory in the second Test at Trent Bridge, creating a 92ball 136 that Ben Stokes defined as “one of the best things I have ever seen” and making a challenging run chase appear pointless.
Jonny Bairstow and skipper Ben Stokes were both ecstatic after a stunning final day chase in which they set new records.
Bairstow, for one, though it was the captain’s words that set him off.
“‘Do not even consider about striking it down, just plant it in the stands,’ Ben said. I was just attempting to do what the skipper said “Bairstow admitted.
Immediately after finishing the Tea interval, the pair set the tone with an uplifting partnership, and Stokes disclosed what they were beginning to think about during the break.
“The message at tea was to operate into the fear of where the game was rather than stand still or back away from it. It was basically, ‘We are either winning or losing this game.’ But we will never be satisfied with where we are, “said Stokes
‘There has been a lot of talk about England’s Test cricket’: Jonny Bairstow
Bairstow, who claimed he sought to get into the ‘zone,’ also named the innings as his finest in Test cricket.
“‘Determining the best ball’ is something I am not sure about. It is just you and the bowler now, so take it all off. That is the part that can get a little tricky. If you take it back and just watch the ball, you will see the zone right there, and you must enter it.”
“It would be difficult for me not to rank this as No. 1. There is been a lot of talk about England’s Test cricket in recent years, some of it nasty, but I am quite happy with how we have handled it in recent years. It has allowed us to become stronger as a group, and if we can maintain that enthusiasm, anything is possible.”
England chased down a target of 299 in 50 overs, with five wickets in hand, thanks to Bairstow’s 136 off 92 balls and Stokes’ 75 not out off 70.