98th over: England 416-5 (Root 127, Foakes 8) New Zealand think they have Foakes caught behind and so does Umpire Rod Tucker as he raises the finger of doom. ButButBut – Foakes reviews immediately and gestures towards the chunky chest pad that is billowing out from his flank. Sure enough he had dropped his hands out of the way in time and the ball thunked into his guard. NOT OUT. Let’s crack on.
More river chat.
97th over: England 415-5 (Root 127, Foakes 8) Foakes, handsome devil that he is, plays an exquisite flick through mid wicket to notch up his second, much more convincing boundary.
96th over: England 410-5 (Root 126, Foakes 4) Foakes gets a thick edge on a Henry delivery and it flies away over the slips for four. I’ve said it before but with Potts carded to come in next England have a balsa lite tail.
95th over: England 406-5 (Root 126, Foakes 0) Ben Foakes joins Root at the crease at a critical juncture, much like he did at Lord’s during the fourth innings run chase.
Keep ticking the rivers off Ollie. Wye not.
Destructive/daft stuff depending on where you stand. Stokes biffs his first ball from Bracewell for four and follows it up next ball with a mighty SIX down the ground. But next ball he tries to mow the spinner away for another maximum and doesn’t get it, the ball goes high and lands in the clutches of Trent Boult. What do we make to that then? England still trail by 148 runs. And they’ve got a long old tail. Penny for ‘em.
94th over: England 392-4 (Root 121, Stokes 38) Jamieson comes into attack and Stokes greets him with a skip down the wicket and a slapped straight drive for SIX! What a shot. Stokes treating the 85mph Jamieson like he is a lowly village seamer. Oh no, Jamieson is leaving the field – it seems he’s tweaked something in his arm or his elbow. Trent Boult has to bowl the last three balls of the over and he goes for a couple of singles. God speed, Kyle.
93rd over: England 384-4 (Root 120, Stokes 31) Root continues on his merry way, cutting a wide delivery from Matt Henry away for four.
92nd over: England 378-4 (Root 115, Stokes 30) Stokes swipes and smears 10 runs from Boult’s over. He bunts him down the ground for four, not getting an entirely clean connection but just enough to see the ball dribble into the rope. The intent is clearly there, Stokes ain’t hanging around. The very next ball Boult goes short and Stokes plays a vicious cut for four, his wrists snapping like castanets. It is fun to watch, Stokes is clearly signed up fully to the McCullum mindset of never taking a backward step.
91st over: England 368-4 (Root 115, Stokes 20) A couple of singles from the over, Henry gets one to nip back to Root who jabs down on it at the last and very nearly chops on.
90th over: England 366-4 (Root 114, Stokes 19) Four dots from Boult but Stokes gets a pull away fine for four.
Some hot streak eh?
89th over: England 361-4 (Root 113, Stokes 15) Southee comes around the wicket to Stokes but strays onto his pads again, Stokes flicking him nonchalantly away for four. Some sources are reporting that Bairstow is doing a SuDoku. We’ll keep you informed with the news as we get it.
88th over: England 355-4 (Root 113, Stokes 9) Stokes works a single and England avoid the follow on. That’s the first job done I suppose. Feels like this is a crucial passage of play in the grand scheme of the match. England need to get up nearer to New Zealand’s score, if they do lose a clump of wickets they’ll be forced to cling on in this game.
David Keech emails in from AMERICA: “Here we go again? From 334 for 2 to 351 for 9 and a nail biter to save the follow on? If anybody accuses me of being overly pessimistic I have been following English cricket since the early 1960s.”
I’m saying nothing David.
87th over: England 353-4 (Root 112, Stokes 8) Told ya! Stokes comes skipping down the wicket and climbs into a length ball from Southee, plopping him over cover for two-bounce four. The camera cuts to Bairstow seemingly scribbling in his diary on the balcony, someone get the long lens out!
86th over: England 343-4 (Root 109, Stokes 4) The England captain comes to the crease to join the former England captain. Stokes times a ball off his pads to the fence for an effortless four. Saddle up, this could be interesting if Stokes’ second innings knock at Lord’s is anything to go by…
Boult swings one back and it cuts Bairstow in two. Not literally mind. New Zealand review and the Ultra Edge confirms there was a brush of Bairstow’s glove. Bairstow doesn’t really like it, but has to go.
85th over: England 343-3 (Root 109, Bairstow 8) A clip off his pads brings Bairstow a four and gets him off the mark in style. Southee loses his line a little and drops one short, Bairstow’s eyes are as wide as hubcaps as he plunders a cut for four.
Pope goes! A top edged pull off Boult and a sharp catch in the swirling breeze by Matt Henry at long leg. Pope is angry with himself and will feel he has left quite few runs out there. He got away with a couple of those yesterday evening that sailed high and long in the breeze for six.
Trent Bridge stands to applaud Pope as he walks off with a rueful shake of the head. He knows there was a bigger score out there for him. Nevertheless, well batted young’un.
Jonny Bairstow will now face Trent Boult, the left-armer with his dander up and a new ball in hand. Gulp. Boult is on the money and completes a wicket maiden.
84rd over: England 334-3 (Root 109, Bairstow 0)
83rd over: England 334-2 (Pope 145, Root 109) This new ball is dancing about, Southee gets one to duck in to Root and it hits him in the nether regions. A strangled appeal but Umpire Gough says no. Too high. Mike Atherton on comms says that there is still a bit in this wicket for the bowler, should anyone think the pitch is a complete featherbed, noting that there have been eight dropped catches and the scoreboard could have been very different.
The players head out after the tea break. Root and Pope so eager to get going on this Trent Bridge wicket that they emerge a good few minutes before the umpires. Keen on, lads.
You’ve got that hundred feelin’:
What a session for England. Mark Butcher on Sky comms says that they have ‘gorged’ themselves which brings to mind Joe Root as Bruce Bogtrotter, boundaries being his chocolate cake.
Root has been so good it has sort of overshadowed Ollie Pope’s sophomore Test century but ever the class act, Root ensures that Pope leads them off the field for the break, giving his junior partner the chance to soak up the applause and savour the moment.
A run feast for England then BUT they still trail by 222 runs and need to have another good session after tea with the new ball hooping about.
81st over: England 327-2 (Pope 142, Root 105) New Zealand take the new ball, more specifically Tim Southee has the shiny cherry in his paw. He gets one to shape passed the edge of Root’s flashing blade. Settle down our Joe.
What a knock that is! Root brings up his quickest ever Test ton (116 balls) with an under edge that flies away for four. There’s a River Trent-wide grin plastered across his face. He has looked on a higher plane this innings.
80th over: England 326-2 (Pope 142, Root 104)
79th over: England 319-2 (Pope 141, Root 98) A breather of sorts as just a couple from Bracewell’s latest. New Zealand have been leaking runs since lunch. Root needs just two more for a 27th Test Century, one of his classiest to boot.
Simon Thomas is having a ruddy lovely time:
This is all going swimmingly, isn’t it? My favourite ever day at the cricket was watching KP and Bell smash India all round the Oval back in 2011. I’ve been waiting for something Bell like from Pope ever since he joined the team and maybe, just maybe this is the start of something. I do hope so. If he starts to push his average up towards 40 now, that’s going to be a lot of fun for England over the next year or so.”
78th over: England 317-2 (Pope 140, Root 97) ‘Moose’ Mitchell, him of the runs and dropped catches comes on for some wobbly stuff. Pope works him away for a single to bring up his highest test score. Tidy start from Mitchell.
77th over: England 316-2 (Pope 139, Root 97) Root is again reverse-sweeping with aplomb and gets Bracewell away for another four to take him to 97…
76th over: England 309-2 (Pope 137, Root 92) EIGHT more runs from this over, Ollie Pope plays an outrageous upper-cut off Henry that flies away over point, a shimmy to leg and a brutal flay.
Henry resorts to banging it down halfway but Root and Pope are comfortable rocking back and pulling him away. Thwock, pock, crunch.
75th over: England 301-2 (Pope 132, Root 89) Just a couple from Bracewell’s latest.
A word on Joe: Root has now gone past Younis Khan in the all-time Test runs list, he’s 18 more off Gavaskar too. Oh and his Test average has now gone up above fifty.
74th over: England 299-2 (Pope 131, Root 88) 150 partnership comes up for these two easy on the eye batters. Ooooph! Henry gets one to whizz past Root’s gloves and it flies away past Blundell’s outstretched mitt. You it didn’t pick up a feather on the way through but was mighty closer.
SHOT OF THE DAY FROM JOE ROOT KLAXON! That was Viv Richards esque, onto the front foot and dismissively clipping Henry through a teensy gap in the leg side. A fine glance off his legs brings a third boundary off the over. Root really is in imperious touch.
73rd over: England 287-2 (Pope 131, Root 80) Root is reverse-sweeping and Pope is late dabbing as Bracewell can’t keep the scoreboard from clattering.
72nd over: England 282-2 (Pope 128, Root 78) Matt Henry returns to the attack. He bowled a rippah to Root first up this morning. No dice this over, it’s easy pickings for Root and Pope who rotate for three singles.
71st over: England 279-2 (Pope 127, Root 76) Two singles off Bracewell, who I may have been a bit harsh on. He looks tidy enough. Mr G Swann on commentary thinks he needs to get a bit more action onto the ball.
70th over: England 277-2 (Pope 126, Root 75) Jamieson continues and Root and Pope pick up a single each.
Kim Thonger is theorising over the emails:
“I theorise that if I do not predict a batting collapse it will occur, but if I DO predict a collapse, it will NOT happen. I call this my double jinx paradox. I’m not sure if it actually IS a paradox but I like the sound of the word.”
69th over: England 275-2 (Pope 125, Root 74) Debutant Michael Bracewell comes on for a twirl, it would be harsh to say his off-breaks look a bit innocuous*… but they do. Three singles off his first bowl in Test cricket.
*Watch him run through England like a hot knife through Lurpak.
68th over: England 272-2 (Pope 124, Root 72) Thanks Daniel and hello OBOers.
I guess it will be ALL my fault if the wickets start to tumble now… it does look flatter than a prolapsed pancake out there currently though.
Pope has played well for his century but Joe Root has looked in absolutely sublime form, crisp footwork and flourishing cover drives. He glides Jamieson away for four and then milks the big blond one for three singles. Run’s coming apace in the first hour after lunch.