Tuesday, 04 August, 2020

Root double guides England to safety in Hamilton — Twitter Reactions

England captain Joe Root England captain Joe Root
Cary Erickson | 04 December, 2019, 21:24

Root's painstaking 226 from 441 balls and 75 from Ollie Pope helped England to 476 and a first-innings lead of 101.

England's double-centurion believes his side can still level the test cricket series against New Zealand.

Root's only real miss-step came when, on 199, he called Pope through for a quick single and his partner was nearly run out at the non-striker's end.

The 28-year-old was in the middle for 10 hours as he fired a third Test double century.

Root combined with opener Rory Burns and added a vital 177 runs for the 3rd wicket.

Root had been going through a rough patch prior to this Test in 2019.

The New Zealand fielders gave up their catches for runs of 10 and 19, while they lost the opportunity to run out on 87 runs.

Root was beaten by a Tim Southee scuttler that just whistled past off-stump although the England captain dispatched the seamer for four with a shorter delivery that did not get up as expected.

It was just reward for Neil Wagner, though.

The skipper was eventually caught by Henry Nicolls at deep extra cover off Mitchell Santner.

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On a placid wicket, Root and Pope held control over a disciplined New Zealand attack, slowly accumulating runs to ensure a first-innings lead and then picking up the pace to build the advantage as their once faint hope of forcing a victory started to look more real.

England and Middlesex bowler Steven Finn was impressed by the display, saying: "Even from the beginning of Root's innings, you could see he meant business".

Jeet Raval, who has scored only 24 runs in the series, was lbw to Sam Curran for a two-ball duck, although replays suggested there was an inside edge.

Realistically, a combination of the lack of a mammoth lead, wet weather, shortening time and New Zealand's best two batsmen in the nation's test history won't allow Root's charges to win the second test in Hamilton on Tuesday.

On a flat pitch, the bowlers had to struggle to achieve success.

The couple came forward with more positive intention in the afternoon session, running fast between the wickets and when Pope had raised his half century, the focus shifted to Root as the English skipper that he struck on a double barrel.

"Once I got in I had the bit between my teeth and wanted to make a big one".

"If we can make an early breakthrough, it could get us on a bit of a wicket train, because they're such key figures in their batting line-up", said Root.

"I was lucky enough to get the rewards". "I have never felt like it has been far away".

"We have done what we can in terms of getting ahead and trying to force a result in our favour", said Root.