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Pope, Root Hit Centuries To Lead England Fightback

  • 2 min read

Ollie Pope scored a superb 142 not out and Joe Root struck his fastest test ton as England advanced to 331-2 at tea on thethird day of the second test against New Zealand on Sunday.

Resuming on 90-1 in the morning after the touring side posted a massive first-innings total of 553, England excelled on a good batting wicket at a sunny Trent Bridge to trail by 222 runs at the interval.

Pope, dropped early in his innings, looked in sublime form with former captain Root unbeaten on 109, after opener Alex Lees fell for 67.

It did not take long after lunch for Pope to make his hundred — his first since January, 2020 and first on home soil — as he cut Matt Henry for four before pushing him through the covers for two to draw loud cheers from the crowd.

Root, whose unbeaten 115 guided England to a five-wicket win in the opening test, endured nervy moments and was lucky to survive after flashing at a ball from Southee who also dropped him in the slip cordon.

But the 31-year-old regained his composure to bring up his half-century off 56 balls before frustrating New Zealand’s bowlers who struggled to contain the batters as they took their team past the 300-run mark in the 75th over.

A reverse sweep off Michael Bracewell took Root to 97 before an inside edge for four completed his 27th test ton and fourth at this venue, with the knock coming off only 116 balls.

Lees also looked in excellent form, fluently driving Southee for two boundaries before bring up his maiden test fifty with a four off Kyle Jamieson.

On 67, however, he chased a wide delivery from Henry to edge it to Daryl Mitchell at slip and the fielder made no mistake to end a solid second-wicket partnership of 141.

It was a disappointing end for the 29-year-old Lees, who lasted 125 balls and hit 11 fours.

The final test starts at Headingley on June 23.