Ben Stokes became just the third Test cricketer to reach 100 sixes in the longest format, but his England side were taking a bruising in the third match of the series against New Zealand.

England captain Stokes had seen New Zealand advance from their overnight 225-5 to post 329 all out, before a collapse saw the home side slump to 21-4 in reply at Headingley.

That brought Stokes to the middle, and he elected to go immediately on the attack.

From the third ball he faced, Stokes slapped Tim Southee's delivery high over the long-off boundary.

It took him to a career haul of 100 Test sixes, matching the total achieved by former Australia wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist.

The only man to plunder more is Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand great who is now England's Test head coach.

McCullum cleared the ropes 107 times in his distinguished Test career.

The all-out-attack approach from Stokes did not bring the desired results, with the skipper cracking a delivery from Neil Wagner to Kane Williamson at mid-off to be out for 18 from 13 deliveries.

When Ben Foakes was pegged leg before wicket three balls later, without any addition to the score, England were in deep trouble on 55-6, having earlier seen Alex Lees, Ollie Pope and Zak Crawley bowled by the hugely impressive Trent Boult.

The final match of the series is effectively a dead rubber, however, with England holding an unassailable 2-0 lead.

Daryl Mitchell continued his remarkable series with the bat against England as the New Zealand all-rounder shook off his role in a freak dismissal at Headingley.

The 31-year-old Mitchell has produced career-best form on this tour, despite England getting the better of New Zealand and coming to Leeds with an unassailable 2-0 series lead.

This third Test produced an absorbing first day, with New Zealand reaching stumps at 225-5, an impressive recovery after teetering at 83-4 early in the afternoon.

It was Mitchell, after centuries at Lord's and Trent Bridge, who led the resistance, with able support from Tom Blundell, also enjoying a stellar tour with bat in hand.

Mitchell reached the close on 78 not out, with Blundell alongside him on 45, their partnership already worth 102 runs. Mitchell had enjoyed a moment of good fortune on eight when he was pinned in front by Matthew Potts but given not out, with England not challenging the decision. Replays showed he was plum in front.

The sixth-wicket pair were brought together after an extraordinarily odd end to Henry Nicholls' slow-paced vigil.

Nicholls had crawled to 19 from 98 balls when he drove uppishly down the ground off Jack Leach. The ball looked destined for the boundary but instead clattered off the raised bat of Mitchell at the non-striker's end and deflected away almost at a right angle to find the alert Alex Lees at mid-off.

Lees held on, as Leach wore a look of complete confusion and Nicholls cursed his luck.

Stuart Broad had earlier struck in the first over, drawing an edge from Tom Latham to Joe Root at slip. Leach took a wicket with his first delivery, beating the confused defences of Will Young and pinning the batsman in front. New Zealand challenged, but DRS showed the ball would have hit two thirds of the way up middle stump, with no suggestion of an edge.

Broad drew a thin edge from Kane Williamson just as the New Zealand captain was beginning to look like anchoring the innings, and England newcomer Jamie Overton bowled Devon Conway via an inside edge for a maiden Test wicket.

Nicholls departed in absurd circumstances, but Mitchell and Blundell again looked the part either side of a short rain delay, with this Test boiling up nicely.


Black Caps out to recapture former glories

New Zealand beat England by 199 runs in their last men's Test at Headingley, in May 2015. Both teams made exactly 350 in the first innings of that contest, before New Zealand took control to earn just their second Test win against England from eight meetings at the Leeds venue (D1, L5).

Joe Root made scores of 1 and 0 in that match, and keeping England's batting danger man down to another low score when the home side get to bat could again be key this time.

Mitchell making history

Mitchell's Test batting average now stands at a remarkable 65.69, with this his 12th Test. Among players to have played 10 or more Tests, that is the third-highest batting average in history, behind Australian great Don Bradman (52 Tests from 1928 to 1948, 99.94 average) and New Zealand's Stewie Dempster (10 Tests from 1930 to 1933, 65.72 average).

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was non-committal on his future but insists he is passionate about the leadership in his side.

Williamson has passed 50 just once in his past eight Test innings, with his most recent century in the five-day game coming in January 2021, when he scored 238 against Pakistan in Christchurch.

Former Black caps bowler Simon Doull, who played 32 Tests for his country before moving into commentary, suggested Williamson should relinquish his role to focus on delivering with the bat.

That move would not be an unfamiliar one, given Joe Root has posted centuries in each of his previous two international red-ball outings after resigning as England captain.

"I just don't know about the longevity of Kane Williamson the captain," Doull told The Guardian. "He is, without doubt, the best player we've ever produced outside of Richard Hadlee.

"He is world-class and I'd love him to be just the best player we've ever seen, and if that means giving up the Test captaincy to prolong his career, I think he should.

"He's never been a lover of doing the media – he's just not that guy – he's a real cricket guy, he loves the game, studies the game.

"I just don't know that he can sustain all three formats. I would rather he was just New Zealand's one-day and T20 captain."

Doull suggested Tom Latham, who stepped in when Williamson missed the second Test against England due to COVID-19, is ready to take the reins.

Williamson offered assurances he is still passionate about the role as he insisted his focus was on developing New Zealand as a team.

"The picture of leadership in this side is something I'm very passionate about," Williamson said ahead of the third Test at Headingley against England, who have already won the series.

"Certainly I love playing for my country and there are a number of leaders in this team that share that passion to take steps forward and become a better side.

"Our focus is to keep getting better. We are up against a strong English side who are always tough to play against. It's trying to learn from some of those lessons.

"We've had two really good games, they have had some special performances that have driven them forward."

Ben Stokes is out to make some more happy memories at Headingley as England look to complete a Test series whitewash of New Zealand in Leeds.

Stokes and England have not played a Test at Headingley since his remarkable showing in the third Ashes Test with Australia in 2019, which saw him rescue the hosts and lead them to a one-wicket win with the highest successful chase in their Test history. Stokes' unbeaten 135 propelled England past the target of 359 and is regarded by many as the greatest Test innings of all time.

After replacing Joe Root as captain, Stokes – along with new head coach Brendon McCullum – has inspired another transformation in his first series as skipper, his side claiming successive wins over New Zealand, having previously won one of their last 17 Tests, to wrap up the series with a game to spare.

The second Test at Trent Bridge saw England ruthlessly chase down 299 in front of a packed day-five house, the hosts prevailing despite conceding 553 runs in the first innings.

It was a match that saw a Test-record 249 boundaries (225 fours and 24 sixes) struck. Seven of those sixes came in Jonny Bairstow's critical 136, the Yorkshireman reaching 100 off just 77 balls as he went into Twenty20 mode having recently returned from the Indian Premier League.

And Stokes says his side will play in the same attacking manner as he targets more joy at Headingley.

"The first time we've played Test matches since that game [versus Australia in 2019], so it's amazing how fast time goes," said Stokes. 

"There are obviously some great memories here at Headingley, we've got a good record here as a team so, yes, looking forward to getting going again.

"I was pretty simple and clear in the dressing room. I said this week, let's try and think like we're in the entertainment business rather than the sporting business because I feel like we've managed to do something over the last two weeks.

"There's a reason why we had 20,000 people that are at Trent Bridge on day five, because they want to come in and watch this new brand-new cricket that we're playing.

"I set a challenge to the team to come out and be even more fearless, more positive and more aggressive than we were last week."

 

Anderson out but Williamson returns

England's sole change from that win sees Jamie Overton replace James Anderson, who is out with an ankle injury.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson returns after missing the second Test with COVID-19 and he is not concerned with England's change in style under Stokes.

"Their style is theirs," Williamson said. "It appears to have evolved a little bit.

"For us it's focusing on our cricket and finding different areas of the game to target and be aware they are choosing to play a different brand that seems to be suiting them.

"The focus is us and wanting to be better."

New Zealand's attack has been depleted by injuries to Colin de Grandhomme and Kyle Jamieson. Neil Wagner and Ajaz Patel are each in consideration to come into the side.

Stokes' six appeal

Stokes hit six maximums in the second Test and is now on the verge of joining a select group. He needs one six to become just the third player to hit 100 in men's Test cricket (Brendon McCullum – 107 and Adam Gilchrist – 100).

The omens are good. Stokes has hit more than one in each of his last three Test innings against New Zealand, after hitting only four across all his 12 innings prior in the format against the Black Caps.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) Men’s Selection Panel has named an unchanged squad for the second Padma Bridge – Dream Fulfilled - Friendship Test match against Bangladesh.

England captain Ben Stokes has confirmed Jamie Overton will make his Test debut against New Zealand on Thursday, replacing the injured James Anderson.

Having ensured a series victory with a five-wicket win over the tourists at Trent Bridge last week, England go in search of a 3-0 triumph when they head to Headingley for the third and final Test.

They will be without Anderson - who claimed 11 wickets across the first two Tests - for that contest after the paceman suffered an ankle injury.

But Stokes, who was originally a doubt himself after feeling unwell, hopes the addition of Overton to the XI will provide a boost for Brendon McCullum's men.

"Unfortunately Jimmy has not pulled up as well as we would have liked," the skipper told Sky Sports. "So Jamie Overton is going to make his debut this week.

"It's unfortunate for Jimmy but we've obviously got a massive Test match against India next week to look to as well. He didn't pull up as well, so it's great Jamie gets the opportunity to represent England."

Asked about Overton's potential, Stokes added: "He's been very impressive.

"The way that he's bowled, we always want a point of difference in our side, and Jamie's been bowling with some serious pace and been changing games as well.

"So to have someone come in, in obviously a different role to what Jimmy normally plays, and in the back pocket having someone who can bowl 90 miles an hour and bowl aggressively, is exciting to have in the team."

Overton has taken 21 wickets for County Championship Division One leaders Surrey at an average of 21.61 this season.

His twin brother Craig was also called up to the England squad for the final Test but has narrowly missed out on selection.

A motivational team talk from Brendon McCullum inspired England to their thrilling chase at Trent Bridge against New Zealand, with Ben Foakes likening the message to a battle cry.

England managed a fourth-innings chase of 279 in the opening Test against the Black Caps at Lord's, with Joe Root posting a majestic unbeaten 115 to guide his team to victory.

More heroics were to follow in Nottingham when England had to chase 299 on day five.

Jonny Bairstow smashed England's second-fastest Test century as Ben Stokes' side plundered in the last session to secure an unassailable 2-0 series lead.

McCullum's coaching methods, which are said to focus on mentality as opposed to technique during the match, have been praised, and Foakes credited his coach's team talk before the final session.

"Baz's team talk at tea – it was like William Wallace!" Foakes said to ESPNcricinfo, referencing the famous Scot who battled in the First War of Scottish Independence and was depicted in the film 'Braveheart'.

"After he was done, everyone was desperate to get out there.

"The traditional Test approach in that situation would be 'see how it goes, see how many wickets we've got left, then if the situation isn't there, do we shut up shop?'

"He was like, 'Nah, we're not doing that. We're winning this game. If we don't, so be it – we've done it the right way. It doesn't matter if we don't win this game.' And it took the pressure off."

Foakes has taken the gloves for England, with new captain Stokes repeatedly expressing his support for who he feels is the best wicket-keeper in the world, and the Surrey star has subsequently delivered.

He has also experienced an upturn in his batting, scoring an unbeaten fourth-innings 32 alongside Root at Lord's before managing 56 and 12 not out at Trent Bridge to see England over the line.

England will look to complete the series sweep against New Zealand at Headingley starting on Thursday, and Foakes says the leadership of Stokes and McCullum has reinvigorated his enjoyment of cricket.

"It has changed the way I look at Test cricket," Foakes added. "With playing for England, there are obviously a lot of pressures, a lot of criticisms and things like that.

"If you think about that too much, it weighs on you. But over the last two weeks, it's clear to see the positives and how amazing playing for England can be.

"Baz and Stokesy, the way they are, promote that. When I think about it, my approach to Test cricket has always just been about endurance, mentally slow for a reason, and meant to be calculated.

"When you play for England, there is another side to it – the entertainment factor. I guess it's similar to the game a year ago [at Lord's, where England declined to chase 273 in 75 overs]: we could have gone for the win, but didn't.

"For pure entertainment value, within the crowd and at home, even if you lose that game at Trent Bridge, you're probably doing more for Test cricket.

"There's a balance in the game and trying to improve the viewership of it as well."

The West Indies are on the brink of victory after Saturday's day three of the first Test against Bangladesh thanks to an excellent spell of bowling from Kemar Roach at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in Antigua.

Bangladesh carried on from their overnight 50-2 to reach 245 all out off 90.5 overs thanks to Captain Shakib Al Hasan who got his second fifty in the match with 63 and wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan who got 64. Opener Mahmudul Hasan Joy earlier got 42.

Roach, who now has 249 Test wickets, was brilliant for the hosts with 5-53 off 24.5 overs while Alzarri Joseph and Kyle Mayers supported well with 3-55 from 19 overs and 2-30 from 13 overs, respectively.

The hosts, needing 84 to win, got off to a terrible start and were 9-3 after four overs, losing captain Kraigg Brathwaite, Nkrumah Bonner, and Raymon Reifer in quick succession.

Opener John Campbell (28 not out) and vice-captain Jermaine Blackwood (17 not out) then combined to ensure the hosts lost no more wickets, ending the day 49-3 off 15 overs, needing a further 35 runs for a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

Khaled Ahmed took all three wickets for Bangladesh.

The first Test between the West Indies and Bangladesh is evenly poised after Friday’s day two at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in Antigua.

The hosts carried on from their overnight 95-2 to be bowled out for 265 after 112.5 overs.

Captain Kraigg Brathwaite carried on from his 42 on day one to eventually be dismissed for a marathon 94 off 268 balls including nine fours.

Vice-captain Jermaine Blackwood also showed good form with a 139-ball 63, also including nine boundaries.

Off-spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz led the way with the ball, with 4-59 off 22.5 overs, while pacers Ebadot Hossain and Khaled Ahmed ended with figures of 2-65 off 28 overs and 2-59 off 22 overs, respectively.

Bangladesh then struggled to 50-2 off 20 overs, trailing the Windies by 112 runs at the close, with Mahmudul Hasan Joy (18) and Najmul Hossain Shanto (8) at the crease. Alzarri Joseph took both wickets for the West Indies.

 

An excellent bowling display left the West Indies in a commanding position against Bangladesh after day one of the first Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.

The hosts won the toss and decided to bowl first, a decision which proved to be correct as the tourists were, at one point, struggling mightily at 45-6 after 15 overs of play with three top-order batsmen being removed without scoring. 

They eventually recorded six ducks in total as a fighting 51 from captain Shakib Al Hasan and 29 from opener Tamim Iqbal helped the Bangladeshis stumble to 103 all out after just 32.5 overs.

Jayden Seales (3-33 from 10 overs), Alzarri Joseph (3-33 from 8.5 overs), Kemar Roach (2-21 from eight overs) and Kyle Mayers (2-10 from five overs) were the wicket-takers for the hosts.

In their reply, the Windies ended the day 95-2 off 48 overs, trailing Bangladesh by just eight runs. Captain Kraigg Brathwaite (42) and Nkrumah Bonner (12) are the batsmen at the crease while John Campbell (24) and Raymon Reifer (11) are the batsmen dismissed so far.

Pacers Mustafizur Rahman and Ebadot Hossain took the wickets.

 

Jamie Overton has received an England call-up for the third Test against New Zealand.

The uncapped Surrey seamer joins his brother, Craig, in a 14-man squad for the final match of the series at Headingley.

The 28-year-old has taken 21 wickets for the County Championship Division One leaders at an average of 21.61 this season.

There are no further changes to the squad for a Test against the Black Caps that starts in Leeds next Thursday.

England chased down a target of 299 to beat New Zealand by five wickets at Trent Bridge on Tuesday and win the series with a match to spare.

Jonny Bairstow scored a magnificent 136 off just 92 balls on an incredible final day in Nottingham to give England an unassailable 2-0 series lead.


England squad for the third Test against New Zealand:

Ben Stokes, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Jack Leach, Alex Lees, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton, Matthew Potts, Ollie Pope, Joe Root.

Devon Conway is the latest member of the New Zealand squad to test positive for coronavirus.

The batter discovered he has contracted COVID-19 after taking a PCR test on arrival in London ahead of a team activity on Wednesday and will spend five days in isolation.

All-rounder Michael Bracewell has also tested positive following the Black Caps' defeat to England in the second Test at Trent Bridge on Tuesday.

New Zealand physio Vijay Vallabh and strength and conditioning coach Chris Donaldson have also returned positive tests.

The tourists have no plans to call up replacements ahead of the third and final match of the Test series, which starts at Headingley next Thursday.

England won the series by chasing down a target of 299 to win by five wickets at Trent Bridge, Jonny Bairstow scoring a magnificent century.

Captain Kane Williamson was ruled out of the second Test in Nottingham after testing positive for coronavirus.

 

Stuart Broad hailed the mentality new Test coach Brendon McCullum has instilled in England, with the New Zealand great encouraging his side to play with freedom.

England completed a fourth-innings chase of 279 in the opening Test against the Black Caps at Lord's, with Joe Root posting a majestic unbeaten 115 to guide his team to victory.

But more fireworks were to follow at Trent Bridge when England chased down 299 in just 50 overs on the final day as the McCullum era got off to a magnificent start.

Jonny Bairstow bludgeoned the second-fastest Test century for England on Tuesday, with new captain Ben Stokes providing more than capable support to take an unassailable 2-0 series lead over New Zealand in the three-match series.

Much has been made of McCullum's coaching methods, which are said to focus on mentality as opposed to technique during the match, and Broad was quick to credit his coach.

"There's no doubt that Baz has had an impact already," said Broad.

"It does feel really fresh and exciting in the changing room. It's a very positive language. It's very forward-thinking, all about how to move this game forward.

"This is no dig but at tea, when we were four down with the game in the balance slightly, I've certainly been in changing rooms in the past where that would be shut up shop time.

"Baz's team talk was very much 'let's attack the danger; let's run towards the danger' so every part of your mind is about going for this win.

"It was never really a case of 'if we lose one we might shut up shop'. It was always 'we're going to win' and if it doesn't work, don't worry about it."

Root has continued his batting form in impressive fashion after stepping down as England Test captain in April, with Stokes taking the role.

Chris Silverwood was also dismissed as coach and Broad says McCullum has brought the focus back to the excitement of cricket, with players enjoying the challenge and the occasion.

"I don't think he's spoken particularly deeply, his whole mantra is about enjoyment and fun," he added. "The energy is: how good's Test cricket? How good's this ground? What can we get out of today?

"He looks like a guy who has a cricket brain that is working all the time, he's thinking how we can change the game.

"It's not just praising guys who get a hundred, it's tiny little things, bits of fielding, momentum changes in the game. He will bring attention to that."

While McCullum has enjoyed a great beginning to his role, downing the world Test champions in both matches, even the New Zealand legend may have not expected the heroics of Bairstow.

The Yorkshire star smashed a 77-ball century in a game-changing 179-run partnership with Stokes as England chased the remaining 160 runs in the final session with ease.

"I didn't quite expect to see what I saw from Jonny. It was the most outrageous hour I've seen in Test cricket from a partnership. It was just exhilarating, astonishing," Broad continued.

"That striking...only a handful of players in the world can do that. Jonny is obviously in that group."

Jonny Bairstow admits he feels vindication in choosing the Indian Premier League over County Championship cricket after his match-winning performance for England against New Zealand.

The Yorkshireman's blitz of a century, with 136 runs off 92 balls, was the centrepiece in a superb five-wicket win for the hosts on the final day at Trent Bridge on Tuesday.

It marked Bairstow's ninth Test hundred and third in 2022, to hand the hosts a 2-0 series advantage with one match to go on his home ground of Headingley, starting June 23.

But having faced criticism for his decision to duck out on the start of the domestic season to play IPL, the 32-year-old acknowledged he feels his call remained the right pick.

"A lot of people were saying I shouldn't be at the IPL and I should be playing county cricket," Bairstow said. "But you are playing against the best in the world at the IPL.

"Being able to have those gears, to be able to switch them up and switch them down, is important. People say it would be fantastic if you had four games of red-ball cricket under your belt.

"Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen in the current scheduling of everything and we're very fortunate to be able to play in some of the best competitions against the best players in the world.

"When it comes to pressure situations, the more you're able to put yourself under pressure, the better.

"Because it's those situations that you've gone through in the past, whether that be in the IPL, in one-day cricket or in red-ball cricket, that you're able to call upon on evenings like that.

"Those opportunities and environments, whether they be for good or bad, are the things that [mean] you're able to produce performances like we as a group have done in this game, in the last game, and hopefully will do going forward."

Bairstow further reinforced he remains a passionate devotee of the long-form version of the game, adding: "The amount of pride that it gives me to play Test cricket for England, first and foremost, is huge.

"I'm hugely proud of the fact that sometimes when the chips are down, you have to stand up.

"That might be something that you're born with, it might be something that you have deep down that springs out of you at those moments. But as a cricketer, that's something I'm very proud of."

England will hope they can wrap up a clean sweep in their three-Test series when they meet New Zealand again at Headingley next week.

Their visitors will be facing a nervy wait on Michael Bracewell, however, after the all-rounder tested positive for COVID-19, meaning he will require five days of isolation beforehand.

England star Joe Root has returned to the top of the ICC men's Test batting rankings, displacing Australia's Marnus Labuschagne.

Root has enjoyed a brilliant 2022, posting his fourth red-ball international century of the year against New Zealand in the second Test.

It took Root just 116 balls to reach three figures at Trent Bridge, the fewest he has ever scored a century in his Test career, and he has now converted 10 of his last 14 fifties into 100s (71 per cent).

The Yorkshire batter would go on to make 176 in the first innings, hitting 26 fours – the most recorded in an innings by an English batter since Zak Crawley hit 34 in his 267 versus Pakistan in 2020.

That helped England to an unassailable 2-0 series lead over the World Test champions New Zealand, after Jonny Bairstow scored the second-fastest red-ball century for his country on Tuesday.

Root's second century of the series came after his heroics at Lord's, in which he passed 10,000 Test runs with a majestic unbeaten 115, his first fourth-innings international hundred.

The 31-year-old, who stepped down from captaining England in April, has been rewarded with top spot in the world Test batting rankings as he reached the summit for the first time since December 2021.

Labuschagne has dropped down to second, with Australia team-mate Steve Smith in third, while Pakistan captain Babar Azam and New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson make up the top five.

Black Caps number five Daryl Mitchell has also enjoyed a big rise up the rankings after his 190 and 69 not out in the second Test against England, jumping from 50th to 17th.

Meanwhile, in the bowling ratings Australia captain Pat Cummins remains top ahead of India's Ravichandran Ashwin, whose team-mate Jasprit Bumrah is in third.

That is due to Kyle Jamieson dropping three places down to sixth, with Pakistan quick Shaheen Afridi and South Africa star Kagiso Rabada moving up a place to fourth and fifth respectively.

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