New Zealand v England: Harry Brook hits sublime 184 to put tourists in control

Joe Root and Harry Brook put on 294 for the fourth wicket
England 315-3 (65 overs): Brook 184*, Root 101*; Henry 2-64
New Zealand: yet to hit
performance table

A magnificent 184 not out by the prolific Harry Brook put England in the ascendancy on day one of the second and final Test against New Zealand.

With Joe Root also making his maiden century in eight Tests, England amassed 315-3 before the rain reached Wellington.

The tourists were 21-3 after being asked to bat on a green pitch at the Basin Reserve – Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett and Ollie Pope all going down cheap.

But Brook hit back with all the style, certainty and confidence of a man who now has four hundred in his first six Tests.

His 169 ball effort was combined with some sublime strikes and took him to 807 Test runs in total, the most after nine innings by any bowler in history.

Root, who survived a review by lbw on his first ball and again on 31, was the perfect foil. Batting at a more modest pace, the former captain finished undefeated at 101.

Between them, the Yorkshire pair added an unbroken 294 for the fourth wicket and left England in the perfect position to seek their seventh consecutive Test win and a series triumph that would be New Zealand’s first home defeat for six years.

Black Caps Bully Master and Apprentice

Joe Root and Harry Brook embrace
In innings of contrasting styles, Root hit seven fours, while Brook hit 24 fours and five sixes.

This had all the makings of an intriguing challenge to England’s ultra-aggressive batting line-up, and initially New Zealand looked ready to explore the emerald surface.

With the returning Matt Henry delivering a fine opening spell, Crawley was lured to a notch and Pope played in one to give a thick lead.

Duckett took a drive and was spectacularly caught one-handed by diving Michael Bracewell on Tim Southee’s third skid.

Brook, however, hit back hitting three fours in a single Southee over and England never looked back.

Whether batting conditions improved or England made them look easier, Brook and Root intimidated a New Zealand attack that was a bowler light after the Black Caps decided to lengthen their batting by including Will Young.

As Brook played some breath-taking, almost unbelievable strokes, the biggest applause from the huge contingent of England fans inside a sold-out Basin Reserve was for Root’s 100, completed in the rain just before the players left the pitch.

Bad weather gave the New Zealand attack a break, ending the game after only 65 of the scheduled 90 overs had been bowled. The second day will start 30 minutes earlier at 21:30 GMT on Friday.

Brilliant Brook flirting with all-time greats

Brilliant as Brook was early in his Test career – this was his seventh score over 50 – this was his best effort, not only for its highest score, but for the conditions, situation of the match and his sheer dominance. of the attack at home.

Although Brook has beaten the previous record after nine innings – 798 runs by Indian Vinod Kambli – he has a shot at an even more historic record: the fastest time to reach 1,000 runs is 12 innings, jointly contested by England’s Herbert Sutcliffe and West Indian Everton Weekes, two all-time greats.

He went up and down the gears. Nineteen in his first 11 balls, dropping to 63 from 81. At that point, he hit six in a row off Daryl Mitchell, whose medium pace fill was chosen for the harshest treatment.

Brook scored around the wicket. When New Zealand was packed, he made sumptuous plays. When Neil Wagner tried to bounce him, Brook cleared his front leg and hit the ball wide, baseball-style.

He went from 100 to 150 in 38 balls and was flying towards what would have been England’s second fastest Test in a double century when the rain arrived.

The run map shows Harry Brook scored 184 with 5 sixes, 24 fours, 2 threes, 5 twos and 42 singles for England

Root back in the groove

Root was on his longest run without a hundred for over two years and admitted he was struggling to find the right pace amongst England’s team of runners.

He made a half-century in the second innings of the tourists’ victory in the first Test, a hit which he said gave him a “kick in the rear” and looked at his best in the Basin Reserve.

Without bothering to keep up with Brook – an exercise that would have been pointless – he played all his trademark whips, clips and dabs.

Swinging out of his crease to nullify the ball’s movement, Root pinched a single with excellent running. Its first fifty races only contained two caps.

As Root closed in on three figures, he took a reverse, a shot that caused him to fall in the first test, but this time it was executed perfectly to take four off Wagner.

With the rain falling, Root cut Wagner on tiptoe to go for the 29th Test hundred. The contest with Brook is England’s second biggest in a Test against New Zealand, with the prospect of more on Saturday.

‘We make a good partnership’

Harry Brook from England speaking to BT Sport: “Both myself and Joe were moving around the crease a lot, just trying to get hitters off their lengths.

“There was a little bit on the pitch early on so we were just trying to deny that.

“He’s unbelievable at batting, I’ve played many games with him and I enjoy every game.

“I think we were a perfect partnership there. He obviously struggled a bit early on and couldn’t mediate anything, but when he came in later in his innings, he was the Joe Root everyone knows and loves.”

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