Trent Bridge: England's Root, Pope slam centuries on Day 3
England controlled the proceedings against New Zealand on Day 3 of the third Test at Trent Bridge. Resuming from 90/1, the hosts bulldozed their way to 473/5 at stumps. Joe Root's quick-fire ton alongside Ollie Pope's magnificent 145 frustrated Tom Latham & Co. Pacer Trent Boult (3/89) was the only positive for the visitors. England now trail by 80 runs.
Alex Lees looked in a good nick on Day 2. He carried the momentum to the next day's play thereby bringing up his maiden fifty in Tests. It was a gritty knock from the opening batter, who faced 125 deliveries to carve out 67. He slammed 11 fours during his stay in the middle. He now has 238 runs in five Tests at 26.44.
Pope fetched the bulk of runs from covers and backward square region. He had a lucky escape when Daryl Mitchell dropped him on 42. He went on to slam his career-best score of 145 from 239 deliveries, hitting 13 fours and three sixes. It's his second Test ton and first at the number three position. Pope has now compiled 1,194 runs in 25 Tests
Pope's last Test ton was against South Africa at St George's Park in 2020. The youngster had slammed 135* off 226 deliveries in what was his ninth Test inning. It was his maiden hundred in whites. Since then, he went past the fifty-run mark on four occasions but failed to reach three figures. He broke the long-standing wait in his 43rd Test inning.
Root racked up an aggressive-looking hundred to counter the Kiwi bowlers. He smashed a four off Daryl Mitchell to bring up his 27th Test ton. Interestingly, he had struck a match-winning 115* in the first Test at Lord's. He remained unbeaten on 163 off 200 deliveries. So far, he has clobbered 25 fours in his inning (SR: 81.50). He now has 10,178 Test runs.
Matt Henry punctured the second-wicket partnership for England, tempting Lees for an expansive shot outside off. Boult trumped a belligerent-looking Pope, denying the latter a deserving 150. Sometime later, Bairstow gloved an inswinger off Boult that carried to the keeper. Stokes then threw his wicket while trying to slog-sweep a tossed-up delivery by Michael Bracewell. Meanwhile, Kyle Jamieson and Tim Southee remained ineffective.
Root has now amassed 27 Test centuries, including four versus the Kiwis. He has now equaled the tally of Steve Smith, Virat Kohli, Graeme Smith, and Allan Border in terms of Test tons (27).
England forged a 141-run stand involving Lees and Pope for the second wicket. Root then went all guns blazing against the visitors. He fetched a 187-run partnership alongside Pope for the third wicket. Later, he was joined by Stokes (46), and the duo hammered 61 off 56 deliveries for the fifth wicket. Root then added an unbeaten 68-run stand with wicket-keeper Ben Foakes.