When England chased down the improbable at cricket’s home
England created history against New Zealand at Lord’s with a record run chase.
Passing on the mantle
All was not well in England cricket with the team having not managed to make it to the final of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship final. After losing a test series in India by 3-1, they were then annihilated by Australia by 4-0 in Ashes 2021-22 and suffered a 1-0 defeat against West Indies as well, all under the captaincy of Joe Root.
Root finally gave up captaincy after England managed to win just one match in 17 games to Ben Stokes who got the support of former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum who was appointed as the new England coach. Things began to change in the first test match of the English Summer of 2022 against New Zealand.
Getting into new captain’s head
“Amazing, great Test match always seems to be with England v New Zealand, especially at Lord’s,” Stokes said after England’s 5-wicket win. “Summer is always special, regardless of captaincy, always a special feeling to start with a win. I really enjoyed the first week working with Baz McCullum. We obviously got to a great start and pleased with how everyone operated the last week. The game ebbed and flowed and no-one really ever had the upper hand at any stage, to chase down 279 on this wicket is fantastic.”
“To score 10000 runs and a century in the fourth innings, what a player and what a man. Potts took a wicket almost every time he came on, he’s got amazing attitude about the game and it is very exciting to see such a good start. Hopefully it will continue. We know it’s not gonna happen overnight, it will take time but its about those little things. The way Lees and Bairstow played, even for a brief period, that’s the kind of attitude we want. Broad and Anderson were really good, inspiring us to do many great things.”
England turned the corner by dismissing New Zealand for just 132 in the first innings. However, they themselves were rocked for 141 in the first innings and the match was in the balance.
New Zealand set England a target of 277 in the final innings which the team overhauled on the back of a brilliant century from Joe Root and good contributions from Ben Foakes and Ben Stokes as England were successful in registering the third-highest successful chase at Lord’s.