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Overton falls short of hundred as Bairstow leads England advance

prothomalo-english_2022-06_835fd998-d0f8-48f1-bc22-e97ef1fbf03a_648052_01_022225
prothomalo-english_2022-06_835fd998-d0f8-48f1-bc22-e97ef1fbf03a_648052_01_022225

Leeds, United Kingdom: Jamie Overton fell agonisingly short of a debut century in the third Test on Saturday as England continued to pile on the runs against New Zealand.


Overton was out for 97 but Jonny Bairstow extended his overnight 130 not out to 162 on his Headingley home ground on the third day of the third and final Test.


England, already an unassailable 2-0 up in this series, were bowled out for 360 in reply to New Zealand's first-innings 329 -- a lead of 31 runs.


It represented a remarkable recovery after they had collapsed to 55-6, with Bairstow and Overton sharing an England seventh-wicket record stand of 241.


At lunch, New Zealand were 18 runs behind at 13-0 in their second innings.


Overton, selected primarily as a fast bowler in place of the injured James Anderson, was within a shot of getting to three figures in his first innings in international cricket when he nicked Trent Boult low to first slip Daryl Mitchell.


The 28-year-old, who resumed on 89, never found the same fluency that had characterised his innings on Friday.


It was no shock when Boult, who had removed all of England's top three with a superb display of new-ball bowling, located Overton's outside edge.


Surrey paceman Overton received a rousing reception as he returned to the pavilion and the cheers kept coming.


England's new leadership duo of captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum had urged the team to play with freedom after taking charge of a side that had won just one out of 17 Tests prior to this series.


Stuart Broad, a fast bowler by trade but also a fine shot-maker earlier in his Test career, embraced the new approach by hitting Boult for 14 runs in three balls courtesy of two fours and a six to the delight of the crowd.


Broad was eventually bowled by Tim Southee for 42 but by then England had gone ahead.


Spectators had already had plenty to cheer as Yorkshire favourite Bairstow, fresh from his match and series-winning 136 against the World Test champions at Trent Bridge, went to 150.


But one ball after Broad's exit, he holed out off spinner Michael Bracewell to end a brilliant 157-ball innings including 23 fours.


Number 11 Jack Leach hit two fours before he was last man out, lbw to Southee.


Bairstow then resumed his former role of wicketkeeper, with Ben Foakes unable to take the field because of a stiff back.


Stokes took the unusual decision to give a spinner in Leach the new ball following the left-armer's 5-100 in the Black Caps' first innings.


New Zealand, however, got through five overs before lunch, without alarm. -- AFP


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