August 15, 2022

TOP SPIN AT THE TEST: England become the first team to chase over 250 three times in a series

TOP SPIN AT THE TEST: England become the first team to chase over 250 three times in a series after New Zealand victory… as Jonny Bairstow scores the second-quickest half-century in England Test history

  • England wrapped up a stunning 3-0 win over New Zealand on Monday afternoon 
  •  They started the day needing 113 more runs to win and achieved the feat
  • Jonny Bairstow continued his impressive form to inspire England’s victory 

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England cruised to victory on the final day of the third Test against New Zealand at Headingley to seal a stunning 3-0 series win.

Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root put in a dominant unbroken stand of 111 – with Root finishing unbeaten on 86 while Bairstow smashed a whirlwind 71 not out from 44 balls.

Sportsmail‘s LAWRENCE BOOTH provides the big stats from an enthralling final day of action in Leeds. 

Jonny Bairstow was England’s hero again as they cruised to victory against New Zealand

England became the first team to chase over 250 three times in a series, knocking off 277 at Lord’s, 299 at Trent Bridge and 296 at Headingley – the 12th-highest, fifth-highest and seventh-highest successful fourth-innings chases in their history. 

Seven of England’s top 12 chases have now come against New Zealand, and the other five against Australia.

Only once before have England scored more quickly in a Test series than the 4.54 an over they managed against New Zealand. In a two-match series against Bangladesh in 2005, they scored at 5.13.

England became the first team to chase over 250 three times in a series after New Zealand win

England became the first team to chase over 250 three times in a series after New Zealand win

England became the first team to chase over 250 three times in a series after New Zealand win

And only one other team has scored more quickly in a series of three matches or more: Australia managed 4.66 at home to West Indies in 2015-16.

This was England’s first Test whitewash since winning 3-0 in Sri Lanka in 2018-19. It means they are closing in on world champions New Zealand in the Test rankings, having already overtaken fifth-placed Pakistan earlier in the series. 

New Zealand remain fourth, but with their pre-series advantage over England slashed from 23 points to three.

Joe Root was in fine form on Monday as he finished the match unbeaten on 86

Joe Root was in fine form on Monday as he finished the match unbeaten on 86

Joe Root was in fine form on Monday as he finished the match unbeaten on 86

Joe Root took his Test average back above 50 with his unbeaten 86. Only twice before has he averaged more in a series than the 99 he managed here: 103 at home to India in 2014, and 106 in Sri Lanka at the start of 2021.

No England batsman has scored more than Jonny Bairstow’s 394 runs in a Test series at a higher strike-rate than his 120. Ben Stokes scored 411 runs in South Africa in 2015-16, but at a strike-rate of 109. 

Bairstow’s 30-ball half-century was the second-quickest in England’s Test history, behind Ian Botham’s 28-ball blitz against India at Delhi in 1981-82. 

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