England player ratings: Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root earn top marks after England’s second Test win at Trent Bridge | Cricket News

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Highlights of day five of the second Test between England and New Zealand from Trent Bridge

Highlights of day five of the second Test between England and New Zealand from Trent Bridge

England secured a stunning series win over the reigning world Test champions New Zealand courtesy of a thrilling triumph in the second Test at Trent Bridge – but who were the star performers and who struggled to make their mark?

Alex Lees – 7
67 & 44

Alex Lees scored his maiden Test fifty in the first innings at Trent Bridge

Alex Lees scored his maiden Test fifty in the first innings at Trent Bridge

Though Jonny Bairstow stole the headlines on day five – and Ollie Pope and Joe Root scored fine first-innings centuries to boot, Sky Sports’ Michael Atherton put it best when he said: “The clearest example of any of the players of the impact of the change in management and leadership of this team, is Alex Lees.”

“Completely transformed in his approach,” he added. And it’s hard to argue. Lees, who was scratchy in his debut series in the Caribbean, had showed the briefest of glimpses into his talent with a fluent 20 in the second innings at Lord’s, but that was a mere amuse-bouche to the main course he served up at Trent Bridge with scores of 67 – his maiden Test fifty – and 44.

Alex Lees took some time out from his second innings to save a ladybird from any danger at the crease

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Alex Lees took some time out from his second innings to save a ladybird from any danger at the crease

Alex Lees took some time out from his second innings to save a ladybird from any danger at the crease

The second of those knocks saw Lees set the tone for England’s remarkable run-chase as, off the first two balls of the innings, he deliciously drove back-to-back fours through the covers. He’ll be kicking himself, however, for not going bigger when the pitch was at its best for batting in the first innings.

Zak Crawley – 4
4 & 0

Four points to represent the four runs Crawley scored in the entire Test, as well as the four balls he lasted in the second innings before falling victim to Trent Boult for the second time.

Trent Boult claimed the wicket of Zak Crawley for the second time in the Test, out for a four-ball duck

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Trent Boult claimed the wicket of Zak Crawley for the second time in the Test, out for a four-ball duck

Trent Boult claimed the wicket of Zak Crawley for the second time in the Test, out for a four-ball duck

In truth, both were good deliveries, with the one that did for him first time around, in particular, a real ripper – nipping back in off a scrambled seam, tucking the right-hander up for room and taking the edge through to the keeper. Second time around, his brain scrambled and footwork non-existent, Crawley poked it to second slip to depart for a duck.

He claimed a stunner in the slips to dismiss Will Young on day one, but also dropped a catch in a Test to forget. Another of those at Headingley and he’ll be nervously looking over his shoulder.

Ollie Pope – 8
145 & 18

One Test century does not make a career, as New Zealand’s fielders kindly reminded Pope as he walked out to the crease in the second innings, but his fine 145 in the first has gone a long way to cementing his England Test future.

Watch the best of Ollie Pope's second Test century in England's second Test against New Zealand at Trent Bridge.

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Watch the best of Ollie Pope’s second Test century in England’s second Test against New Zealand at Trent Bridge.

Watch the best of Ollie Pope’s second Test century in England’s second Test against New Zealand at Trent Bridge.

His hundred may not have been as destructive as Bairstow’s, or as eye-catching as Root’s – with whom he shared an 187-run partnership with for the third wicket – but it showcased precisely the sort of touch, timing and technique that convinced England to stick with him during his barren spell and made Stokes so adamant he wanted him in his side, at No 3.

Celebrating his 25th Test for England, but playing in his 69th first-class match, in a strange statistical quirk Pope’s hundred was his first north of the river Thames, with nine of his 14 career centuries scored for Surrey at The Oval and his only other Test ton coming in South Africa.

Joe Root – 9
176 & 3

The fact that Root can drop two catches, score only three in the second innings and yet still come away with a rating of nine, speaks to precisely how dominant his first-innings 176 was.

Joe Root struck a masterful six in the second Test against New Zealand, reverse-scooping a stunned Tim Southee!

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Joe Root struck a masterful six in the second Test against New Zealand, reverse-scooping a stunned Tim Southee!

Joe Root struck a masterful six in the second Test against New Zealand, reverse-scooping a stunned Tim Southee!

Fresh from his match-winning effort at Lord’s last week, Root’s ton, his 27th in Test cricket, his fourth in his last five matches, and quickest ever, came up off 116 balls – beating his previous best of 118 deliveries against Australia in the 2015 Ashes at Cardiff – and contained a massive 26 boundaries and one sensational six reverse-ramped over third man on the fourth morning.

For once, Root couldn’t be relied upon in the run chase, clipping a leading edge back to Boult fourth ball, but it’s fair to ask if an England batter has ever been in better touch? On the evidence of his exploits in not only the last two weeks, but the last 18 months in which he has reaped 10 Test tons in the most trying of circumstances, you’d have to say no.

All the best moments from the second Test between England and New Zealand at Trent Bridge

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All the best moments from the second Test between England and New Zealand at Trent Bridge

All the best moments from the second Test between England and New Zealand at Trent Bridge

Jonny Bairstow – 9
8 & 136

How quickly this game can change. Literally.

Up until around 3pm on Tuesday afternoon, Bairstow’s rating was likely hovering around half of his final score. But what then took place at Trent Bridge over the next couple of hours was truly remarkable.

Highlights from Jonny Bairstow's incredible hundred in the second innings of the second Test between England and New Zealand

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Highlights from Jonny Bairstow’s incredible hundred in the second innings of the second Test between England and New Zealand

Highlights from Jonny Bairstow’s incredible hundred in the second innings of the second Test between England and New Zealand

Having seemingly refuelled with a tea-time ‘ham and cheese toastie’, Bairstow launched an astonishing assault on the New Zealand attack after the interval, propelling England from 139-4 – the game very much still in the balance – to their victory target of 299 a mere 16 overs later.

Bairstow hit seven sixes, all of them coming in the evening session, along with 10 of his 14 boundaries, as he briefly threatened to break Gilbert Jessop’s 120-year record for the fastest Test century for England. He’d ultimately reach his ninth Test ton one ball shy of that mark, doing so in just the 77 deliveries.

Jonny Bairstow says batting with Ben Stokes in the final innings at Trent Bridge was great fun

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Jonny Bairstow says batting with Ben Stokes in the final innings at Trent Bridge was great fun

Jonny Bairstow says batting with Ben Stokes in the final innings at Trent Bridge was great fun

It was also Bairstow’s third hundred in his last six Tests, yet before his sensational match-winning knock he was perhaps most vulnerable to the looming presence of 2022 domestic run-machine Harry Brook, waiting in the wings for his maiden Test cap.

Ben Stokes – 8
46 & 75no, 2-85 & 0-62

It’s incredible really to think that Stokes can smash the winning runs, finish unbeaten on 75 from 70 balls – an innings containing four sixes and 10 fours – to clinch back-to-back victories and a series win over the reigning world Test champions in his first two Tests as full-time captain, and yet be upstaged. But that is precisely what took place at Trent Bridge.

A man who knows a thing or two about pulling off the unthinkable in a run chase, Stokes said Tuesday’s events at Trent Bridge “blows away” his 2019 heroics at Headingley and in the World Cup final.

England captain Ben Stokes was unwilling to take any credit for his side's stunning second Test win over New Zealand, pointing to the performance of the whole team

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England captain Ben Stokes was unwilling to take any credit for his side’s stunning second Test win over New Zealand, pointing to the performance of the whole team

England captain Ben Stokes was unwilling to take any credit for his side’s stunning second Test win over New Zealand, pointing to the performance of the whole team

“I’m struggling to find the words for what we witnessed out there, it was just phenomenal,” he said. “That is never going to happen again, but if it does, it is probably us who are going to do it.” With Stokes leading from the front in this new England era, you wouldn’t bet against him being right.

Stokes struck an equally important 45 from 33 balls in the first innings, despite England still trailing by over 200 when he strode to the crease. He showed his side the way, helping to haul in New Zealand’s mammoth 553 first-innings score but also in a way that left time in the game to set up the series-clinching heroics on the final evening.

With the ball, he was as relentless as always, steaming in for 40 overs across the Test, this despite a slight side strain concern in the lead-up to the game. Stokes found a better length and more swing than most on the Trent Bridge surface and deserved greater reward than his two wickets.

Ben Foakes – 8
56 & 12no, six catches

Foakes’ eagerness to move on to the third Test at Headingley is no indication of any sort of struggles in this Test but rather a week’s worth of battling with the ‘wobble ball’, with the wicketkeeper describing Trent Bridge as the “worst ground I’ve played at” for the phenomenon. All the more incredible then, that Foakes conceded only 10 byes in the entire Test, including just one in 145.3 overs worth of toil in the first innings.

Nasser Hussain takes a look at why the conditions at Trent Bridge make it an especially difficult venue for the wicketkeepers

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Nasser Hussain takes a look at why the conditions at Trent Bridge make it an especially difficult venue for the wicketkeepers

Nasser Hussain takes a look at why the conditions at Trent Bridge make it an especially difficult venue for the wicketkeepers

This was arguably Foakes’ best-ever game in an England shirt as not only did he deal so impressively with the ball, ducking, dipping and darting all over the place behind the stumps, but he picked up precisely where he left off at Lord’s with the bat. Foakes played beautifully to bring up his second Test fifty in the first innings, while in the second he was there to help England through to victory for the second game in a row.

He’d have no doubt threatened to score his second Test ton first time around, were it not for being sold down the river and run out by his partner Matthew Potts – but we’ll get to that shortly.

Stuart Broad – 6
2-107 & 3-70

It has been a tough week of toil for Broad, with his mind forgiven for being elsewhere following the news that a fire broke out in the pub he co-owns in the early hours of Saturday morning.

He stuck diligently at his task in the first innings and deserved greater reward than his two wickets, with Crawley putting down one chance off his bowling and seeing another fly away unclaimed in the gap between him and Bairstow at second and third slip.

He twice struck in quickfire fashion in the Test, with Broad bouncing out Kyle Jamieson and Tim Southee in the same over first time round, while he then repeated the dose with the wickets of Matt Henry and Jamieson again to some more short-pitched stuff on the fifth morning.

England's strategy pays off as Stuart Broad breaks a key partnership and dismisses Tom Blundell for 24 in the second innings.

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England’s strategy pays off as Stuart Broad breaks a key partnership and dismisses Tom Blundell for 24 in the second innings.

England’s strategy pays off as Stuart Broad breaks a key partnership and dismisses Tom Blundell for 24 in the second innings.

Broad also claimed the key scalp of the in-form Tom Blundell late on day four, top-edging an attempted hook to Stokes at backward square – who pointed in celebration to the England balcony, hinting at a plan devised by the Kiwi collective in the coaching staff.

Matthew Potts – 6
1-126 & 2-32

If we didn’t already know due to his impressive exploits on debut at Lord’s, England have found a player in Potts.

Final match figures of 3-158 in the Test may not scream to that suggestion, but Potts was unlucky to repeatedly beat the edge of the New Zealand batsmen and showed great character in continually steaming in on an energy-sapping surface that favoured bat over ball.

Matthew Potts holds his nerve to remove Michael Bracewell for a quick-fire 25 in the second innings.

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Matthew Potts holds his nerve to remove Michael Bracewell for a quick-fire 25 in the second innings.

Matthew Potts holds his nerve to remove Michael Bracewell for a quick-fire 25 in the second innings.

His dismissal of Michael Bracewell on the fourth evening was a particular testament to his tenacity. With Bracewell taking on the England attack, having already smashed four fours and a six for a quick-fire 25, Potts held his nerve and picked him up caught at mid-on as he attempted one shot too many.

His running between the wickets will have to improve, however, as Potts sold his partner Foakes a dummy during the first innings, calling him through for a single that wasn’t there, only to send him back at the last second – putting his head in his hands when it dawned on him what he’d done.

Jack Leach – 5
2-140, 1-86

A rusty return to the side for Leach after sitting out most of the Lord’s Test with concussion suffered in the field on the first day. And he wasn’t exactly eased back into proceedings at Trent Bridge, getting through 35 overs of toil as New Zealand piled on the runs in the first innings.

Jack Leach endured a difficult return to action in the second Test at Trent Bridge

Jack Leach endured a difficult return to action in the second Test at Trent Bridge

He picked up two wickets, but more due to batsman error than anything else, with little turn and bounce on offer and Leach not at his best to exploit such an advantage even if there had been. He was expected to come into the game more in the second innings, with the pitch wearing slightly, but again his solitary strike came courtesy of a Devon Conway miscue out into the deep.

Leach, you feel, needs a strong showing at Headingley if he is to hold off the challenge of Matt Parkinson for the spinner’s spot in this side, or maybe even Moeen Ali who this week hinted at coming out of international retirement and a possible return to Test cricket.

James Anderson – 8
3-62 & 2-20

Another incredible effort from the evergreen 39-year-old. While those around him were carted about to all parts, going at over four-and-over and at some stages sixes and sevens, Anderson got through 35.4 overs for the cost of just 82 runs, for an economy rate of 2.32 to go along with his five wickets.

Jimmy Anderson hits a magnificent milestone by taking his 650th wicket in the first over of the second innings as he bowls Tom Latham

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Jimmy Anderson hits a magnificent milestone by taking his 650th wicket in the first over of the second innings as he bowls Tom Latham

Jimmy Anderson hits a magnificent milestone by taking his 650th wicket in the first over of the second innings as he bowls Tom Latham

The fourth of those, a beauty which jagged back in sharply off a length to bowl Tom Latham, was the latest milestone of a career littered with them as the Lancastrian hit 650 Test wickets! He later returned to claim 651, spoiling Boult’s fun to end the New Zealand second innings, though there were complaints he was under-bowled with it being only his ninth over of the innings.

That said, despite his age-defying feats, Anderson had got through a massive 27 overs of hard graft over the first two days, and England would be wise to wrap him in cotton wool given his continued excellence at the top level and the raft of injury problems they have to their fast-bowling reserves.

Watch England take on New Zealand in the third Test, from Headingley, live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event from 10am on Thursday, June 23.