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England’s epic win: Test cricket that was ‘quite simply, out of this world’ 

Victory over New Zealand was one of the most ‘glorious and scintillating’ in England’s history

It doesn’t get any better than this, said Paul Newman in the Daily Mail. On Tuesday, in front of a packed crowd at Trent Bridge, England clinched a series win against New Zealand with one of the most “glorious and scintillating” victories in their history. Star of the show was Jonny Bairstow, whose extraordinary 77-ball century – the second fastest in Tests by an England player – enabled his team to make light work of chasing 299 in 72 overs. Almost as vital was the contribution of Ben Stokes, who partnered Bairstow for most of his innings and whose thunderous boundary, at 5.24pm, brought victory with 22 overs to spare. Together with coach Brendon McCullum, England’s new captain has transformed his team in just two games from a “side devoid of all belief” into one brimming with aggressive intent. 

It’s strange to recall, after such a momentous day, that this Test began with New Zealand scoring 553 in their first innings, said Mike Atherton in The Times. Not many sides lose from that position – and the England of old would surely have been cowed. But the new approach, as summarised by Stokes, is “to run into danger, not back away from it and stand still”. Across the five days of this pulsating Test, his players embodied that philosophy magnificently, whether it was Ollie Pope scoring 145 in the first innings, or opener Alex Lees – a man who just recently “looked frightened to play a shot in the Caribbean” – crunching boundaries off the first two balls of England’s run chase. 

Welcome, too, is the fact that England knocked off the runs without needing a big contribution from Joe Root, said Nick Hoult in The Daily Telegraph. Although their ex-captain hit a century in the first innings, on the final day he managed only three – and when he was out shortly before tea, many assumed that England’s hopes were dead and buried. Bairstow, though, had other ideas. In the riotous passage of play that followed, he struck “one outrageous shot after another” – many of them pulled sixes off New Zealand’s pace bowlers. In just nine overs, England scored 109 runs – transforming the complexion of the match. 

And to cap it all, the “jubilant crowd” at Trent Bridge got to witness such heroics for free, said Ali Martin in The Guardian. In a “generous” move, Nottinghamshire Cricket Club ensured a full crowd for the final day by opening their turnstiles to the public. All this took place on the day it was announced that rights to the Indian Premier League had been sold for an “eye-watering” £5bn – making it more valuable even than soccer’s Premier League. How good to be reminded that the game’s “longest format” can still produce cricket that is, “quite simply, out of this world”. 

England men’s 2022 summer fixtures 

England vs. New Zealand Test series
  • 1st Test at Lord’s: England won by five wickets
  • 2nd Test at Trent Bridge: England won by five wickets  
  • 23-27 June: 3rd Test at Emerald Headingley 
Netherlands vs. England one-day series
  • 17 June: 1st ODI at VRA Cricket Club, Amstelveen
  • 19 June: 2nd ODI at VRA Cricket Club, Amstelveen
  • 22 June: 3rd ODI at VRA Cricket Club, Amstelveen
England vs. India Test match
  • 1-5 July: Edgbaston
England vs. India IT20 Series
  • 7 July: Ageas Bowl 
  • 9 July: Edgbaston 
  • 10 July: Trent Bridge
England vs. India one-day series 
  • 12 July: Kia Oval 
  • 14 July: Lord’s
  • 17 July: Emirates Old Trafford 
England vs. South Africa one-day series
  • 19 July: Riverside 
  • 22 July: Emirates Old Trafford 
  • 24 July: Headingley 
England vs. South Africa international Twenty20 series
  • 27 July: The Seat Unique Stadium, Bristol
  • 28 July: Sophia Gardens 
  • 31 July: Ageas Bowl 
England vs. South Africa Test series
  • 17-21 August: Lord’s 
  • 25-29 August: Emirates Old Trafford 
  • 8-12 September: Kia Oval 

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