England v NZ, 2nd Investec Test, Headingley, 2nd day May 25, 2013

Root lights up homeground with maiden ton

71

England 337 for 7 (Prior 37*, Swann 21*, Boult 3-48) v New Zealand
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

It was, in the end, the scenario most of the locals wanted: two young, born and bred Yorkshiremen, digging England out of a hole with batting of class and substance. This was a golden afternoon for Yorkshire cricket.

Joe Root led the way. The 22-year-old, batting with a maturity that put his much-vaunted top-order colleagues to shame, registered his first Test century to steer his side away from the rocks and into far calmer waters.

While his colleagues paid the price for pushing and prodding away from their bodies, Root was compact, disciplined, patient and composed. He looked every inch the finished article as a Test batsman and generally played as late and as straight as any of his illustrious Yorkshire and England forefathers. Indeed, by becoming the first Yorkshire player to register his maiden Test century on this ground, he achieved something none of them had. He was also the first Yorkshire player to score a Test century at Headingley since Michael Vaughan in 2007.

With his county team-mate Jonny Bairstow, Root added 124 for the fifth wicket in increasingly confident style just as it appeared that New Zealand had seized the initiative. Until the pair came together, the second day of this match - the first had been lost to rain - had been characterised by soft dismissals as New Zealand's admirable bowlers again made good use of helpful conditions. Indeed, when England went into lunch 67 for 3 it raised questions about the wisdom of Alastair Cook choosing to bat first after winning the toss. New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum admitted he would have bowled first anyway.

But there was more than a degree of self-harm in England's early wickets. While Nick Compton, caught at third slip in the fourth over of the day, might consider himself the victim of fine bowling - the impressive Tim Southee drew Compton into driving a delivery he could have left by going wide on the crease and angling the ball in only to nip it away - Jonathan Trott had less excuse.

Having seen off the new ball, Trott was beginning to bat with some fluency when, on the brink of lunch, he attempted an uncharacteristically loose drive well outside off stump and edged behind. Cook followed to the next delivery, prodding at one he could have left and edging another catch to third slip.

By the time Ian Bell prodded lamely at an innocuous delivery well outside off stump from the part-time offspin of Kane Williamson, New Zealand were well on top. Bell's torturous innings had included being given out leg before to Southee on 12 - the decision was over-turned on review - and, on the same score, surviving an edge to the keeper off Trent Boult that the bowler, the umpire and most of the New Zealand fielders seemed not to notice.

Certainly, England were grateful for the Yorkshire influence. Root, particularly fluent off the back foot at the start of his innings, drove and cut nicely, put away the poor ball adeptly and ran like a whippet between the wickets.

But, as with any successful Test batsman, it was the shots Root did not play that were as important as those he did. While his more celebrated colleagues paid the price for pushing outside off stump, Root remained compact, refused to be drawn into anything away from his body and played the ball right below his eyes.

But it would be wrong to characterise Root as dour and defensive. In partnership with Bairstow, he plundered 19 from one over from Willamson, hitting three boundaries in succession as he showed a willingness to skip down the pitch and drive, to sweep and then to reverse sweep. His century, from 164 balls, came with his ninth four - a dab to third man - and made him the 11th youngest England player to score a Test century.

He survived a couple of anxious moments. Brendon McCullum was convinced he had caught Root down the legside off Doug Bracewell when he had 93 and utilised New Zealand's last review to check, and the umpire called for a replay when Neil Wagner got a hand on a Bairstow drive and thought - incorrectly as it transpired - that he may have run out Root as he backed up.

Bairstow took some time to settle but, once he had, lost little by comparison. Powerful on the pull and the cut, Bairstow was also strong off his legs and brought up his own half-century and the century stand with a sumptuous on-driven four that brought back memories of the stroke with which Geoff Boycott reached his 100th first-class hundred.

The value of their stand was thrown into even sharper relief by events that followed it. Once Root fell to a loose waft outside off stump, more a victim of a loss of concentration than the first delivery with the new ball, England lost three wickets for 16 runs. Bairstow, attempting to leave one outside off stump, was also caught behind before Stuart Broad, rooted to the crease, poked at a full ball and gave an inside-edge to McCullum.

Had Matt Prior, on 21, been caught at midwicket by Bracewell off Neil Wagner, New Zealand may have been able to finish off the innings. As it was, however, Prior and Graeme Swann were able to extend the eighth-wicket stand beyond 50 and ensure Root's hard work was not squandered.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cric_J on May 26, 2013, 3:50 GMT

    All the disappointment that the Headingley crowd must have experienced on day -1 due to the rain showers was all but nullified on day-2. And the Yorkshire lads Joe and Jonny ensured that they gave their home crowd every inch of their money's worth.

    An excellent century for Joe Root. It was a beautifully paced innings and he held the team innings together while facing some testing spells from Boult and Southee. And what better place to score your maiden test century than your home ground ?? Jonny Bairstow looked good as well and some of his shots were simply incredible.

    The other English batsmen have themselves to blame for their dismissals. Cook in particular has now had 4-5 poor dismissals from March till now , something you don't associate with him. Prior was back to his fluent self after that first test disaster. 400 should be gettable and sufficient.

    The NZ bowlers , Boult and Southee in particular bowled very well and Boult was unlucky to go wicketless in his initial spells.

  • Pyketts on May 27, 2013, 0:24 GMT

    @JG2704. averaging 38 and 43 is not bad in test cricket so that makes 3 good series in 6 (hope you're following the maths). Suspect that your keeness to make a point is overshadowing the facts. Hope that is easy to understand.

    Bell is class (although I do have concerns with his ability to get himself out in a variety of stupid ways), Compton is just a good county cricketer and has no place in a test team.

  • Munkeymomo on May 26, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding. There may be a little bit of bias there, in that Somerset are playing woefully in the CC this year and could do with all the help we could get! Drop him, he's useless!! Haha.

    In all seriousness, whilst I would be cautious about moving Root from the position he is doing so well in, having an opening bat with his talents at this age would be a major boon. Compo for now, with the idea to move JR up front soon enough is good, I just hope Nick can settle into a groove before the Ashes. At the moment, Siddle and co. will eat him alive.

  • on May 26, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    New Zealand have a good bowling line up, seriously quality seamers and the best captain around in McCullum. I expect them to start really punishing teams as they move up the international rankings.

    They've been unlucky in this series to come up against a batsman who is in form and capable of playing the swinging ball. Root also has the uncanny ability to form partnerships which, whilst he's there, allow easier scoring for him and his partner. Once dismissed however, things look much more difficult for all batsmen.

  • Pettel on May 26, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    Amazing, able to excuse Root and Bairstows dismissals to the new ball instead having a cheap shot at the No.8. Unfortunately typical of this correspondent.

  • JG2704 on May 26, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer /Shan156 - I'm not saying Root should or should not move up the order. Just that he has been doing it well for Yorks. Having said that I do feel that our top order are a bit pedestrian at times and Root further up might up the ante a bit. Personally my favourite Eng side was the Ashes 2005 side. 5/1/5 and playing attacking cricket with both bat and ball

    @RednWhiteArmy on (May 26, 2013, 6:14 GMT Maybe , but Eng were on the up back then and still getting good results with Cook in the side. When the side is not getting good results surely you have to look at who is underperforming - batsmen and bowlers.

  • JG2704 on May 26, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    @Pyketts on (May 25, 2013, 23:27 GMT) Really not that difficult to understand. I said he has had one good series in 6 since India in 2011. Vs WI (his good series) he averaged 111 ,vs Pak 8.5 , vs SL 27.66 , vs SA 28.8 ,vs India 43 , vs NZ 38.25 In India it was 1 not out inns on a placid batting pitch in the last test with the series all but won which inflated those figures. I'm not saying Nick's place (despite his 2 tons in 2 series compared to Bell's 1 ton in 6 series) should not be up for question but I don't think Bell's form should be overlooked either

  • on May 26, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    Re: Bell, to be honest I think he needs dropping, not because I want him permanently out of the team, on song he's pure class, but the manner of his dismissals suggests complacency. The nature of his ODI comeback suggests that he needs something to prove to perform. So drop Bell.

  • chad_reid on May 26, 2013, 8:10 GMT

    with one day wasted by rain eng should have declared after reaching 250 noway NZ can even get close to that now with i big score Eng bowlers wont bowl with that much commitment than it would be for a lower socre

  • kiwicricketnut on May 26, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    better apologise to CricketingStargazer im not one of these trolls trying to aggrivate anyone and i don't mean to offend you, just thought your comment was harsh and well wide of the mark. Brendon mccullum is a very attacking captain constantly changing his fields and talking to his bowlers and unfortunatly it soaks up alot of time, its not a deliberate ploy to tie the match, no specialist spinner doesn't help the over rate either. For subbass its not like i want nz to only play for the draw, only when the game is gone, for example the last test in nz where england knew the game was gone, shut up shop and some how managed a draw, nz wouldn't do that, they would play their shots thinking by some miracle they will get there and lose badly, its very frustrating.

  • cric_J on May 26, 2013, 3:50 GMT

    All the disappointment that the Headingley crowd must have experienced on day -1 due to the rain showers was all but nullified on day-2. And the Yorkshire lads Joe and Jonny ensured that they gave their home crowd every inch of their money's worth.

    An excellent century for Joe Root. It was a beautifully paced innings and he held the team innings together while facing some testing spells from Boult and Southee. And what better place to score your maiden test century than your home ground ?? Jonny Bairstow looked good as well and some of his shots were simply incredible.

    The other English batsmen have themselves to blame for their dismissals. Cook in particular has now had 4-5 poor dismissals from March till now , something you don't associate with him. Prior was back to his fluent self after that first test disaster. 400 should be gettable and sufficient.

    The NZ bowlers , Boult and Southee in particular bowled very well and Boult was unlucky to go wicketless in his initial spells.

  • Pyketts on May 27, 2013, 0:24 GMT

    @JG2704. averaging 38 and 43 is not bad in test cricket so that makes 3 good series in 6 (hope you're following the maths). Suspect that your keeness to make a point is overshadowing the facts. Hope that is easy to understand.

    Bell is class (although I do have concerns with his ability to get himself out in a variety of stupid ways), Compton is just a good county cricketer and has no place in a test team.

  • Munkeymomo on May 26, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding. There may be a little bit of bias there, in that Somerset are playing woefully in the CC this year and could do with all the help we could get! Drop him, he's useless!! Haha.

    In all seriousness, whilst I would be cautious about moving Root from the position he is doing so well in, having an opening bat with his talents at this age would be a major boon. Compo for now, with the idea to move JR up front soon enough is good, I just hope Nick can settle into a groove before the Ashes. At the moment, Siddle and co. will eat him alive.

  • on May 26, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    New Zealand have a good bowling line up, seriously quality seamers and the best captain around in McCullum. I expect them to start really punishing teams as they move up the international rankings.

    They've been unlucky in this series to come up against a batsman who is in form and capable of playing the swinging ball. Root also has the uncanny ability to form partnerships which, whilst he's there, allow easier scoring for him and his partner. Once dismissed however, things look much more difficult for all batsmen.

  • Pettel on May 26, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    Amazing, able to excuse Root and Bairstows dismissals to the new ball instead having a cheap shot at the No.8. Unfortunately typical of this correspondent.

  • JG2704 on May 26, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer /Shan156 - I'm not saying Root should or should not move up the order. Just that he has been doing it well for Yorks. Having said that I do feel that our top order are a bit pedestrian at times and Root further up might up the ante a bit. Personally my favourite Eng side was the Ashes 2005 side. 5/1/5 and playing attacking cricket with both bat and ball

    @RednWhiteArmy on (May 26, 2013, 6:14 GMT Maybe , but Eng were on the up back then and still getting good results with Cook in the side. When the side is not getting good results surely you have to look at who is underperforming - batsmen and bowlers.

  • JG2704 on May 26, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    @Pyketts on (May 25, 2013, 23:27 GMT) Really not that difficult to understand. I said he has had one good series in 6 since India in 2011. Vs WI (his good series) he averaged 111 ,vs Pak 8.5 , vs SL 27.66 , vs SA 28.8 ,vs India 43 , vs NZ 38.25 In India it was 1 not out inns on a placid batting pitch in the last test with the series all but won which inflated those figures. I'm not saying Nick's place (despite his 2 tons in 2 series compared to Bell's 1 ton in 6 series) should not be up for question but I don't think Bell's form should be overlooked either

  • on May 26, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    Re: Bell, to be honest I think he needs dropping, not because I want him permanently out of the team, on song he's pure class, but the manner of his dismissals suggests complacency. The nature of his ODI comeback suggests that he needs something to prove to perform. So drop Bell.

  • chad_reid on May 26, 2013, 8:10 GMT

    with one day wasted by rain eng should have declared after reaching 250 noway NZ can even get close to that now with i big score Eng bowlers wont bowl with that much commitment than it would be for a lower socre

  • kiwicricketnut on May 26, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    better apologise to CricketingStargazer im not one of these trolls trying to aggrivate anyone and i don't mean to offend you, just thought your comment was harsh and well wide of the mark. Brendon mccullum is a very attacking captain constantly changing his fields and talking to his bowlers and unfortunatly it soaks up alot of time, its not a deliberate ploy to tie the match, no specialist spinner doesn't help the over rate either. For subbass its not like i want nz to only play for the draw, only when the game is gone, for example the last test in nz where england knew the game was gone, shut up shop and some how managed a draw, nz wouldn't do that, they would play their shots thinking by some miracle they will get there and lose badly, its very frustrating.

  • YorkshirePudding on May 26, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    @Munkeymomo, I hope I'm wrong about KP, we'll need the experience he has in the ashes.

    I'm not so sure about Carberry, hes pushing 33, Compton is 28.

    Keeping root at 5 is a good idea until he settles on the international stage, but expect to see him move up the order, you might even see him replace Trott as fist drop.

  • 5wombats on May 26, 2013, 7:41 GMT

    Young Joe Root batted very well. He is a real find for England. But, as ever, there are some very strange comms from Indian and Australian posters - this time about Alistair Cook. Can they be talking about the same Alistair Cook who destroyed Australia in Australia in 2010/11? (3 tons, average 127. The Compton-Miller medal winner) - the same Alistair Cook who destroyed India in India in 2012? (3 tons, average 80). If they are, and we can only assume that they are, then envy must be what motivates these people. Envy and a microscopically short memory. cricinfo please publish this time.

  • Shan156 on May 26, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    @subbass, well said. I believe NZ's pace attack trumps WI, SL, and India's. However, their batting is slightly weaker. As you said, they should comfortably rank above WI if they play to their potential.

  • Jezinho on May 26, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    Root looks like the real deal, in spite of the hype that has surrounded him (and other English sportsmen). He looked so relaxed when batting, not at all intimidated by the bowlers or overawed by the occasion. The near run out (referred to in George's article) was a case in point - he was alert to the possibility of a runout from Bairstow's straight drive. Not only was he still in his crease but had the presence of mind to put his bat down whilst keeping his eyes on the ball throughout. The knives seem to be out for Compton who deserved his place in the side after his batting feats in 2012, but with KP set to return next month, Root and Bairstow are the future.

  • 2nd_Slip on May 26, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    Albeit against weak bowling opposition thus far in his introduction to test cricket, this Root kid certainly looks a good find. Hope his performances can rub off on the other new kid JB who looked good against the best bowling attack in the world (SA) last year.

  • RednWhiteArmy on May 26, 2013, 6:14 GMT

    In regard to everyone berating Ian Bell, I remember this happening a few years ago, before Englands dominant tour of australia in 2010/11 directed at Alastair Cook. Lets hope Ian Bell proves everyone wrong. After all, he wont get a better chance to do so with the delicate aussie attack serving up tripe & then blaming the ball or the weather or the selectors or injuries or global warming or whatever they come up with this time.

  • VillageBlacksmith on May 26, 2013, 4:59 GMT

    @jackiethepen... I think u are left now as the sole bell cheerleader, everyone else has seen the blinding light... you say ''he did play a few nice shots''??? What is it?? An exhibition game?? Or a diving contest? Or perhaps Come Dancing?? This is TEST cricket for one's country... One needs Steve Waugh, not Mark Waugh... And bell is country miles from either... bell's ave for the last 6 series is 38, with ONE TON in 30 inns... He has lost it and needs to make way for the better younger hungrier players that are coming thru... JB looks more like scoring a hundred than bell looks like scoring 30, and so bell needs to go... And to think people are considering dropping Compo after 2 very recent back to back tons, the 2 most recent tons from the Eng top 6 before today, whilst keeping bell who cannot even scratch more than 30 beggars belief.

  • indiasucksgobd on May 26, 2013, 4:39 GMT

    Give me Nasir Hossain over Joe root in my team any day

  • subbass on May 26, 2013, 3:41 GMT

    @kiwicricketnut. I think opund for pound in a loe populace rugby mad nation NZ should go for wins other than draws. The reason for this is two-fowld. Firsl they are unfairly lowish in the rankings _ I rate them above WI as a Test saide and close to SL. Just my view mind you, but I firm.y believe it and secondly they as I have said pound for pound damn good so there is no shame in losing especially in close fought games. Also you look at them as a one day side and you know you are in for a tough game. Bottom line ?

    Don't prepare wkts that are too flat at home and believe that you will beat or at least draw with the sides outside the top 2. They have some fine bowlers in particular. Shame Vettori is injury bugged, becuause with a fit Vettori they would be that much better as the bloke can bat, you could almost play him as a number 6, hr has a quirky but effective game with the willow.

    Should be a good Test match, all depends now if England can roll this spirited Kiwi side fir sub 260,

  • on May 26, 2013, 3:29 GMT

    is there 2 prior in england side England 337 for 7 (Prior 37*, Prior 21*, Boult 3-48) v New Zealand

  • Shan156 on May 26, 2013, 3:13 GMT

    @JG2704, I agree with @CricketingStargazer - Root is making runs in the middle order and seems to be in great form. I would not change anything there. Root does open for Yorks but it would not be fair to expose him at the top of the innings to a better attack. I think Compton should be given a decent run in the side. To be fair to Compton, he got a good delivery today. I would rather he has his bad days now than against the Aussies. KP should return in place of Bairstow, or Bell for that matter. As you rightly point out, Bell has scored just one ton (in the last test in Nagpur) since India 2011. But, more than likely, Bairstow would be the man to make way.

  • bullpit1 on May 26, 2013, 2:58 GMT

    I reckon England batted first to make the match last 3 or more days. Otherwise NZ out for a couple of ultra low scores and match over in a couple of days. Is this Test cricket. I see Ireland are doing well, why not play them.

  • jmcilhinney on May 26, 2013, 2:15 GMT

    @RandyUK on (May 25, 2013, 12:25 GMT), you make a lot of sense. England really need to dump that Trott fellow and his pathetic ~50 average. As for Compton, maybe we'll wait until his average dips below that of Ed Cowan. You know, the Ed Cowan who you keep lambasting the Australian selectors for retaining and was Australia's second best specialist batsman in India recently. I single out "specialist" batsman because there were a couple of bowlers who batted better than all but Clarke.

  • orangtan on May 26, 2013, 2:11 GMT

    What a fine day of Test cricket, sunny under blue skies, Joe Root playing superbly with wnderful techique; the Kiwis had their moments too, but it's going to be tough facing 400+ against arguably the best bowling attack in the world, for English conditions anyway.

  • VillageBlacksmith on May 26, 2013, 1:42 GMT

    Yet another embarrassing failure for Bell, scratching around, 2 let offs and still only another painful 30... How he is still in the side is a total mystery. He has zero urgency or intent, clogging up the batting order and puts too much pressure on the other bat with his timid style. I wd certainly leave Root where he is, and Compton, and JB, just jettison the very unproductive (esp over the last 2 yrs) bell shd KP regain full fitness... Time to look at Taylor again as reserve, and send bell back to his county, he has totally lost it. Glad to see others are finally seeing it.

  • the_blue_android on May 26, 2013, 1:21 GMT

    Sorry didn't get a chance to follow England's cricket in the last few months since you beat us in our own backyard easily. How come the world's best batsman isn't scoring runs in the last few series? Yes, Cook was easily the best test bat for the last 3 years. Is the best phase of his career behind him? - Cook's fan from India.

  • Munkeymomo on May 26, 2013, 0:23 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding. I doubt Compo would play at 4. I like the guy, but what is the point of having him there. I'd rather open with Carbs and keep JR at 5, or open with JR and bring in Taylor if KP is not fit. I really hope you are wrong about KPs injury as I love watching him bat, but something tells me you may be right.

  • jackiethepen on May 25, 2013, 23:53 GMT

    The TV commentators seemed to think the Root-Bell partnership steered England out of trouble. Amazingly Hopps thinks the very opposite. NZ were on top apparently even though they couldn't take a wicket. Even the NZ commentator praised the partnership as one of recovery from the position of losing 2 wickets in 2 balls before lunch. Hopps is not known for his support of Bell, but this is surely a failure to asses the game. To say that Bairstow and Root saved the situation is just nonsense. Root and Bell had batted for nearly a whole session. If Bell had fallen early then fair enough. Bell didn't look 100 per cent recovered from his illness but he did play a few nice shots which could hardly be described as 'tortuous".

  • Lermy on May 25, 2013, 23:52 GMT

    There's no doubt the England bowlers will make it tough on the NZ batsmen. I'm sure there will be plenty of play and misses. It will come down to luck whether the NZ batsmen can survive those balls and score off the rest to stay in this match. They have nothing to lose and I hope they continue to play positively.

  • Meety on May 25, 2013, 23:45 GMT

    Top knock for Root & England. I'll be interested to see whether a result other than a draw can be achieved from here. NZ's batting could keep England interested.

  • Chris_Howard on May 25, 2013, 23:39 GMT

    Nice reminder from Root of why he should have been MotM in the previous Test.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on May 25, 2013, 23:35 GMT

    In the best and most notorious 'Seamers' paradise arena' - Headingly Cricket Ground - England's total today was the equivalent of scoring 600 on the flat decks of Australia or India. Hence why the batting averages in that part of the world are so inflated: Seamers are offered less help by the pitches. The world witnessed a golden centruy by Joe Root, who has by far the best technique of any batsman in the world today. He is an up and coming superstar and an awesome run-maker.

  • Pyketts on May 25, 2013, 23:27 GMT

    @JG2704. I'm not sure where you get the 1 good series in 6 for Bell? He averages in the mid 40's that shows some consistancy over a period of time.

    Compton is the one to go, been saying since he was first picked he is just a good county player, no more.

    Root looks good but was annoyed with the radio commentary getting all excited about the fact he's from Yorkshire. Wow, who cares!

  • Min2000 on May 25, 2013, 23:22 GMT

    Don't believe the hype, England...

    Cook is sadly out of form and his captaincy style is dull and predictable. Compton is all at sea against the swinging ball, Bell is fading fast and KP is nowhere in sight. England's "player of the year" Matt Prior may be a good batsman but his keeping skills are average at best.

    Broad, who must have been a kitten's whisker away from losing his spot in the side before Lords, seems to be fading right when his career should be taking off. Finn doesn't look capable of getting wickets at the moment, and is the only bowler on the planet that can't swing the duke ball. And am I the only one that thinks Swan is the most overrated spinner in modern times?

    The fact is that a lowly ranked, inexperienced New Zealand outfit has stood toe-to-toe with this highly fancied, highly ranked English side for months now, and apart from one session at Lord's, the honours have been even -- if not slightly in the kiwis favour.

  • CricketingStargazer on May 25, 2013, 23:01 GMT

    @kiwicricketnut When four West Indian quicks were coming in almost from the boundary they were managing 13 overs per hour, which is what New Zealand were managing today. Are you saying that there was no plan so the captain had to walk up every over and tell his bowlers what to do? County sides with four quicks and a wicket-keeper captain (yes, they exist) manage 16 overs per hour.

    There is no need for name-calling.

  • Lmaotsetung on May 25, 2013, 22:08 GMT

    Oh boy! Another collapse after Root's dismissal. That's the 3rd innings in a row this has happened. Bairstow and Prior need to hold the fort once Root departs.

  • yorkshirematt on May 25, 2013, 21:58 GMT

    I agree with kiwicricketnut. I was there today and there was absolutely no evidence whatsoever of NZ playing for a draw. Their bowlers were patient on a flat pitch and got their rewards. I believe, having watched plenty of cricket at Headingley this season, that anything below 400 would be below par on this pitch, and if anything it has been even flatter for the second innings of the match so NZ could make hay if they apply themselves and forget last week. The pitch has however caused a few problems for the 3rd and fourth innings, as Derbyshire and almost Somerset found to their cost. Time and weather is against NZ though. Oh, and how can I not mention Rooty. Well it just has to be didn't it. WHEN sometime in the future he is regarded as one of England's most successful captains and opening bats, today will be an I was there moment. Special mention to Jonny as well, showing his doubters that he's still there with something to prove

  • Simoc on May 25, 2013, 21:56 GMT

    With NZ batting unlikely to exceed 250 runs or 450runs in the match I'm picking an easy England win from here.

  • landl47 on May 25, 2013, 21:43 GMT

    @SamuelH: don't forget, if Root opens, by the time the second new ball comes along he will already have 150 on the board!

  • landl47 on May 25, 2013, 21:34 GMT

    Root batted very well. He looks a pretty complete player already, though no doubt he still has a lot to learn. I liked especially that he was furious with himself for getting out even though he had a century. The great ones never want to stop batting! Bairstow had a scratchy start but once he got going he hit the ball very cleanly. He looks as though he might be a nervous starter, unlike Root who seems right at home as soon as he reaches the crease.

    Eng will be pleased with their day; a good scoring rate and a decent score given that the ball was moving about all day. NZ bowled well, though not as well as at Lord's. Boult looks very effective and Southee is a good bowler. Wagner struggled for pace today but kept plugging away and Bracewell was too inaccurate. Williamson didn't bowl well at all, didn't turn the ball and his length was all over the place.

    Eng will hope for another 20 or 30 tomorrow. 360 with the ball moving as it did today will be a tough ask for NZ.

  • kiwicricketnut on May 25, 2013, 21:10 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer, we played four seamers and our captain is standing behind the stumps so if he wants to set up a plan with his bowlers he has to run a long way, no spinner to speed the over rate up, they are the reasons 94 instead of 98 were bowled. If you think nz are playing for a draw after day 1 when they are 1 nil behind in a two match series then you're deluded. If anything nz is a team that needs to play for the draw more often than they do, they need to learn how not to lose before they can seriously look at winning consistantly but they are a little deluded themselves

  • CricketingStargazer on May 25, 2013, 20:59 GMT

    Oops! A line got duplicated. Ïf he's making runs at 5, leave him at 5".

  • CricketingStargazer on May 25, 2013, 20:44 GMT

    @JG2704 That is true, but how often has a player been successful in a position that may not been his natural position and, when moved in the order, even if it is to his "natural" position, failed horribly? If Joe Root is making runs at 6, I would leave him at 5, I would leave him at 5. Let him stay where he is doing well.

    With Nick Compton it would be horrible luck to drop him two Tests after such a successful series. He has been a little unlucky that this series has been played in conditions where the top 4 have a very limited expectation of seeing out a session. Most of the runs have come in the middle order after the shine is off the ball.

  • YorkshirePudding on May 25, 2013, 20:39 GMT

    @SamuelH, I think you need to remember that hes still only 22, and learnign the game, in 2 years time he may well not chase the seocnd new ball. As JG states he opens for Yorks, HOWEVER, I think playing him down the order to get experience is the right thing to do.

    If all goes to plan I expect to see him opening with Cook next summer, with Compton moving down to 4. I have a feeling we're very close to seeing the end of KP's Test career, as this knee injury seems to be developing along the same lines as Vaughan's in 2006.

  • 2.14istherunrate on May 25, 2013, 20:37 GMT

    That was a very entertaining day and in the end the balance was in England's favour. I would be interested to see how England bowl tomorrow. 370 would be a good score. Quite a few players got in and then out-the worst two on the stroke of lunch. And Bell-he's lost it for me.Slow ponderous and unproductive. Root played brilliantly as did Bairstow. Test fans as a whole have accepted Root strongly,and Bairstow's innings was very entertaining. Broad needs to drop to 9 and Swann get the 8 position. Broad's pride would hurt with that, and swann is at present okay.

  • JG2704 on May 25, 2013, 19:56 GMT

    @SamuelH on (May 25, 2013, 19:17 GMT) Root opens for Yorks most of the time and scored a double ton vs Derbyshire and 182 not out vs Durham. I think the guy is so adaptable he can play anywhere

  • JG2704 on May 25, 2013, 19:55 GMT

    Pleased for Root. I listened to it on the radio and it sounded like Root and JB showed more urgency to push the game forward. It's a shame that Nick seems to have gone off the boil a bit recently and I think that he'll be the one for the chop to make way for KP although I still maintain that Bell's place should be up for question also. I said back along on a county thread that Bell in particular (and Trott) needed to play a few more games for Warwicks. Bell has had 1 good series in 6 (completed) since India 2011 and I make it he has scored just one ton since that series too.

  • CricketingStargazer on May 25, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    @Jeppo Unfortunately that is inevitable when one side aspires to nothing better than a draw. Had England been 8 down at Tea I am quite sure that the overs would have been bowled, plus a few. The problem is the rule that the cut-off is 7pm and there is no sanction for not bowling the overs by then. When a side is on the defensive, it is a rule that is made to be abused (and, in the past, England have been equally guilty when the match situation was unfavourable).

    That, more than anything, makes me suspect that New Zealand feel that they are already on the back foot. They need to make the pace if they are to level the series, but they look more set on avoiding going 2-0 down.

  • Fluffykins on May 25, 2013, 19:22 GMT

    Leo I was talking about visitors to England hence the fact that I did not mention our bowling attack .Think before you post offence responses please and FYI I was at Lords last weekend

  • SDHM on May 25, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    @Andrew Watson - the fact that Root has gotten out seemingly without fail every time the second new ball has been taken, I'm not necessarily sure it bodes well for moving him up the order to open.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on May 25, 2013, 19:15 GMT

    @GeoffreysMother (post on May 25, 2013, 18:07 GMT): As a guy that's paid to be in such crowds, I would not be disgruntled at all if games started earlier to make up for lost time; but thanks for your post - it's a good point.

    Great day for Root. I totally disagree he should be moved up the order; he looks so comfortable in the middle. NZ bowled well, again; Broad-grin couldn't bat, again; but I sure hope he (Broad) et al. can produce a great performance with the ball, again. I think Prior and Swann should come out swinging tomorrow to enable a declaration! Forecast for Monday aint great...

  • Jeppo on May 25, 2013, 19:07 GMT

    While I was impressed by the batting quality of Root and Bairstow, I was equally unimpressed at the rate at which New Zealand bowled their overs. Despite 7 hours of test cricket only 94 overs were bowled, out of a "minimum" of 98 overs. That's a dismal 13.4 overs per hour.

    In county cricket teams get penalised by way of points deductions for slow over rates, while the worst that can happen at test level is that players lose a small percentage of their match fee. Rarely a day goes by that less than 90 overs are bowled within six hours of county cricket, yet that nearly always happens in the international scene. It's about time the ICC start giving penalty runs to the batting side whenever the over rate is unacceptable, say 5 runs for every over lost in the game, which would be 20 runs in today's case. I'll bet they'll quicken up then.

  • Trickstar on May 25, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    Yes Compton doesn't look international quality apart from his back to back tons a couple of tests ago, sarcasm emoticon place here.

    But yet Bell has gone unnoticed again, does his usual soft gets set, gets out thing he nearly always does. Whats that he's averaged since the start of the UAE tour, yes 33 with one ton.

    Anyway England are in a great position, scored quickly and hopefully they can get up to 400 if these 2 stick around.

    Well played Joe and a decent knock from Jonny as well.

  • whatawicket on May 25, 2013, 18:58 GMT

    nice to see young guys doing well. perhaps when England v Australia play, it will be a game of the new young batters of England versus the old new batters of Australia

  • on May 25, 2013, 18:55 GMT

    haha the haters out in force today, I think Australia should look very worried with root and Bairstow coming of age, in comparison Aus don't have much in the batting shed! and bowling wise Fluffykins are you mad? the English pace attack is not the best but were you watching the Lords Test match?! I would say pace attack wise probably SA, England, NZ, Australia

  • on May 25, 2013, 18:46 GMT

    @kieranbob- I agree, Compton looks out of his depth. When Pietersen comes back, Root should should move to opener, with Bairstow staying at six. England don't really have a lot of choice when it comes to openers at the moment, though.

  • jmcilhinney on May 25, 2013, 18:27 GMT

    That's a good day's Test cricket. I'm sure England would like a wicket or two more in hand but they'll be pleased with the run rate, which is important with a day lost to rain. Mostly good bowling from NZ but a little too much on the leg side. Some of the batsmen will think that they aided their own downfall but that's always the way. Bairstow in particular will think that he may as well have really had a go if he was to be caught behind and Root maybe relaxed after getting his hundred. Great to watch the future of England batting in full flight together on their home ground. Unfortunately for Yorkshire, they're not likely to see too much of Root for the county now and probably less and less of Bairstow too. They'll be rightly proud to see them racking up the runs for England though.

  • CricketingStargazer on May 25, 2013, 18:14 GMT

    380+ in the morning. A couple of early wickets. Get the New Zealand nerves tingling a bit with the follow-on. That would be the plan.

  • GeoffreysMother on May 25, 2013, 18:07 GMT

    R_U_REAL_NICK About the start time.: perhaps they are showing some consideration for the people who have paid a lot of money and are travelling some distance? Strange I know, but those figures in the crowd are real, Nick; not computer generated in a living room.

  • brusselslion on May 25, 2013, 17:04 GMT

    Well played, Joe Root. Great knock.

    @gsingh7 on (May 25, 2013, 15:35 GMT): Correct me I'm wrong but I believe that another side also knows all about losing a home Test series? Still smarting, are we?

  • kieranbob on May 25, 2013, 16:39 GMT

    Hope they put Compton out of his misery soon, he doesn't look confident at all at this level. Root and Bairstow look in good form though.

  • RednWhiteArmy on May 25, 2013, 16:28 GMT

    This is superb stuff. How nice of all the aussies to stay in & stay up on a saturday night, watching England play.

  • Fluffykins on May 25, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    In the last two years in England from what I have seen live, I would rate the pace attack in the following order SA NZ Windies India and the Australia.

  • on May 25, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    This is rockin man........... Raining in Leeds but Root has the Kiwis Sunny. They will hope that Anderson and his co-workers of bowling fail

  • gsingh7 on May 25, 2013, 15:35 GMT

    another failure for best batsman since bradman- captain cookie. another failure for wisden top 5 -- the remarkable compton. how do other teams will any match vs england considering they are overflowing with talents like compton and finn. they will win over sa 3-0 , . oh wait . they already lost to then , at home.

  • Fluffykins on May 25, 2013, 15:01 GMT

    Root is a total star should open with Cookie

  • dinosaurus on May 25, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    Nick,

    Just because it is a five-day game, rain interruptions are a part of the game, especially in England. I think it is good to maintain the style of Test cricket. And, of course, tea breaks and drinks breaks are not the same (there are different rules for each).

  • banhire on May 25, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    enland must lose this to compensate the 3rd test in new zealand they were supposed to have lost! Trumpcard dougie bracewell

  • Mitty2 on May 25, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    Was brilliant bowling yet again by tim southee. He's really growing right now, in NZ I thought he was unlucky because I thought he bowled well without success but right now he's just showing everyone that he can prove his potential. Expect him to improve his average and move up the bowling rankings in the next few years.

    Well done to Wagner and bracewell, if ever there was someone to get something out of a seemingly good deck for batting it would be those two. But it's only lunch so I should hold off the praise a little, but I can't help but thinking that this attack will bring new Zealand up the rankings very soon.

    On the subject of the toss, just four days to play, broad and Anderson in form with the scars still left over from the lords collapse for the NZ batsmen... Dont really see the point in not bowling first? When you see 10 English fielders on the boundary against McCullum and deciding to bat first in a four day match... You'd think that cook is strauss...

  • RandyOZ on May 25, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    Another Compton and Trott failure after painfully slow batting. Time to get poaching again!

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on May 25, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    Once again, a full day lost to rain, and then this morning the sun out shining and they STILL insist on starting at 11:00. Really, when is this going to change? I bet they'll still take over an hour for lunch, with several tea breaks in between as well.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on May 25, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    Once again, a full day lost to rain, and then this morning the sun out shining and they STILL insist on starting at 11:00. Really, when is this going to change? I bet they'll still take over an hour for lunch, with several tea breaks in between as well.

  • RandyOZ on May 25, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    Another Compton and Trott failure after painfully slow batting. Time to get poaching again!

  • Mitty2 on May 25, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    Was brilliant bowling yet again by tim southee. He's really growing right now, in NZ I thought he was unlucky because I thought he bowled well without success but right now he's just showing everyone that he can prove his potential. Expect him to improve his average and move up the bowling rankings in the next few years.

    Well done to Wagner and bracewell, if ever there was someone to get something out of a seemingly good deck for batting it would be those two. But it's only lunch so I should hold off the praise a little, but I can't help but thinking that this attack will bring new Zealand up the rankings very soon.

    On the subject of the toss, just four days to play, broad and Anderson in form with the scars still left over from the lords collapse for the NZ batsmen... Dont really see the point in not bowling first? When you see 10 English fielders on the boundary against McCullum and deciding to bat first in a four day match... You'd think that cook is strauss...

  • banhire on May 25, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    enland must lose this to compensate the 3rd test in new zealand they were supposed to have lost! Trumpcard dougie bracewell

  • dinosaurus on May 25, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    Nick,

    Just because it is a five-day game, rain interruptions are a part of the game, especially in England. I think it is good to maintain the style of Test cricket. And, of course, tea breaks and drinks breaks are not the same (there are different rules for each).

  • Fluffykins on May 25, 2013, 15:01 GMT

    Root is a total star should open with Cookie

  • gsingh7 on May 25, 2013, 15:35 GMT

    another failure for best batsman since bradman- captain cookie. another failure for wisden top 5 -- the remarkable compton. how do other teams will any match vs england considering they are overflowing with talents like compton and finn. they will win over sa 3-0 , . oh wait . they already lost to then , at home.

  • on May 25, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    This is rockin man........... Raining in Leeds but Root has the Kiwis Sunny. They will hope that Anderson and his co-workers of bowling fail

  • Fluffykins on May 25, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    In the last two years in England from what I have seen live, I would rate the pace attack in the following order SA NZ Windies India and the Australia.

  • RednWhiteArmy on May 25, 2013, 16:28 GMT

    This is superb stuff. How nice of all the aussies to stay in & stay up on a saturday night, watching England play.