Eng vs NZ 2022: England clean-sweep New Zealand after 7-wicket victory at Headingley

Eng vs NZ 2022
Eng vs NZ 2022: England clean-sweep New Zealand after 7-wicket victory at Headingley. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

England romped home to a seven-wicket victory against New Zealand in Headingley to complete a series whitewash.

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Those expecting an early end to proceedings on the final day were left frustrated early on as rain prevailed at Headingley. With the rain failing to relent, the match officials decided to call an early lunch on day five, leaving the two sides waiting in order to force through a result.

Needing another 113 runs for a victory, there was an early setback for England as they lost the in-form Ollie Pope. The young batter was bowled on 82 by Tim Southee.

But Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root were in a hurry to wrap up the contest, with the former continuing his dominant streak in the series. While Root rotated the strike, Bairstow was in an aggressive mood, hitting boundaries for fun. He brought up his half-century in only 30 deliveries – England’s second-fastest fifty in men’s Tests – as they marched on towards the target.

Bairstow would remain unbeaten on a 44-ball 71, while Root scored 86* as England romped home to a seven-wicket victory.

With the victory, England overtook New Zealand in the standings, with a win percentage of 28.89. New Zealand now occupy the penultimate spot on the table, just above Bangladesh, with a win percentage of 25.93.

Ben Stokes: It has gone really well. A 3-0 win against the best team in the world, it’s absolutely phenomenal. It’s about the change of the mindset of the lads towards Test cricket. To say that we have done it so quickly is unbelievable.

Huge credit to Brendon and the backroom staff. Trent Bridge was incredible but being 55 for 6 and then doing what we did and the manner in which we did was the most pleasing thing. It has really set the level people want to come in and perform for the Test side. Pottsy has taken it like fish to water. Broady, even at 36, bowling these many overs, and fantastic to see Leachy.

When we got together, we picked the players who offer the best in every position. Pope’s been fantastic, carrying his form from Surrey and showing the world what Pope is about. India are a different opposition but we will come out with the same mindset.

Kane Williamson: It’s been an incredible series. We had opportunities in all three Tests but credit to the England side. We were in a fairly good position in this Test. For us, it’s a matter of regrouping. There is a new theme to their approach and they won those fine margins that went a long way in perhaps deciding the outcome of the match.

We sort of opted for the balance and were curious after looking at the surface how it will play. It was seaming today as well. But it was frustrating, we hoped to create more opportunities but it wasn’t to be. It would have been nice for top four to contribute more. I think everyone wants to give more and more to the team. Certainly love this group and love being a leader in this environment. It’s great to be out here, playing along these guys and against England.

Eng vs NZ 2022
Photo Credit: Getty images.

Daryl Mitchell is the Player of the Series from the New Zealand side. “We want to come over here and win as a series but I am very proud of the effort boys put out there,” he says. “For me, it’s really proud to be part of this group. To get any chance to play a Test for your country is special. [On from IPL to here] It’s the nature of international cricket to adapt to different formats. Lord’s is a historic place but every Test hundred is special. [On partnership with Blundell] He’s a great man, we spend a lot of time together.”

Joe Root is the Player of the Series from the England side. “It was like some of the 50-over stuff. He [Bairstow] has been hitting the ball really well. He has been a phenomenal player. It’s great to see him do that, to bat with the confidence and freedom. One of the great things about this series was guys keep getting more and more confident about how they want to go about it.

It’s important that we enjoy this series. It has been a rocky road for the Test series. If you cannot enjoy this series, then what do you play for? I think we should concentrate on what this team has done over the last few weeks. I am sure Ben has got the plans for the India Test and the next series as well.”

Jack Leach is the Player of the Match for his ten-wicket haul. “It’s nice to comeback after 2019, great memories from that day,” he says. “So yeah, here again. It did look dry and Stokesy came to me straightaway and said it’s going to spin. The seamers made it easy for me. Pottsy deserved five wickets as well. And I think Jonny deserved this award as well. He was unbelievable. To take wickets early was important. So yeah, good fun.”

England 360 (Bairstow 162, Overton 97, Boult 4-104) and 296 for 3 (Root 86*, Pope 82, Bairstow 71*) New Zealand 329 (Mitchell 109, Blundell 55, Leach 5-100) and 326 (Blundell 88, Latham 76, Mitchell 65, Leach 5-66) Eng beat NZ by seven wickets.


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