England 389 and 478
New Zealand 523 and 220 (England won by 124 runs)
It had seemed a distant aspiration after being reduced to 30-4 on day one. It had seemed exceedingly unlikely after slumping to 25-2 in the second innings on day three. Yet somehow England came out of the Lord's Test match with a stunning victory against New Zealand at the conclusion of day five. Seldom can a team scoring over 500 in their first innings have been beaten but the Kiwis contrived to do just that. With just one match left in their truncated series England look handily placed, as they look forward to Headingley on Friday.
Be wary after West Indies?
Of course caution would be advisable after their previous Test series in the West Indies, when a similar position was squandered in the very next match. A fresh optimism seems to be around the squad after this result though, a vibrancy that hasn't been evident for some time in English #Cricket. Perhaps it was the manner in which they turned the Test around, when seemingly destined for defeat themselves late on Saturday afternoon. Alastair Cook's return to form and Ben Stokes' attacking instincts seem to have instilled plenty of renewed belief in the team ahead of the upcoming Ashes.
Entering day five, England were expected to declare early on and leave a frantic run chase for the 'Black Caps', assuming that captain Cook was brave enough to leave them a slight chance of the win. As it was no decision needed to be made, with England's final four wickets adding an extra 49 runs in the morning session, leaving New Zealand requiring an improbable 345 to win the match.
Boult on honours board
Trent Boult (5-85) was by far the pick of the bowlers for the visitors, including the prize wicket of Cook for a defiant 162. Moeen Ali added another 43 runs to back up his half-century in the first innings, before Boult trapped him LBW. Useful runs indeed from the number 8 batsman, who is clearly batting lower than many would expect in the order.
It left England with plenty of time left in the day and with a crowd swelled by the developments over the previous four days of non-stop action. Despite the thrills and spills of one-day cricket, Test matches still seem to have an appeal in this country, especially when they fluctuate as much as this one has. Long may it continue.
Great start for England
The unlikely soon became a distinct possibility, as the tourists lost their first two wickets without scoring. Openers Martin Guptill and Tom Latham falling to James Anderson and the resurgent Stuart Broad, respectively. When Brendon McCullum was bowled off his body for a first-ball duck by Stokes, the score was 61-5 and the spectators sensed that the end was near.
To the credit of the sixth wicket pairing of BJ Watling (59) and Corey Anderson (67) they provided some spine to the previously lacklustre effort of the Kiwis, adding a much-needed 107 runs. Mark Wood finally removed Watling to diffuse any tension that might have been building, with Joe Root wading in with a LBW decision to trap the battling Anderson.
The remaining tail-enders did at least keep the match alive a little longer, but the inevitable outcome was confirmed with just short of ten overs remaining. New Zealand bowled all out for 220, providing England with the victory by a generous 124-run margin.All of the England bowlers chipped in with wickets in a true team effort, but Stokes (3-38) and Broad (3-50) were particularly effective.