Stuart Broad and Bazball rolled over New Zealand on the third day of the first day-night cricket test Saturday, leaving England five wickets from its 10th win in 11 test matches.
Rapid half centuries by Joe Root, Harry Brook and Ben Foakes allowed England to speed along at more than five runs per over to 374 in its second innings, an overall lead of 393.
Stuart Broad then clean bowled Devon Conway (12), Kane Williamson (0), Tom Latham (15) and first innings century-maker Tom Blundell (1) to take out the batters who might have been able to anchor New Zealand’s highest successful fourth-innings run chase in tests and the sixth highest of all time.
When Blundell was out New Zealand was 28-5 and it had improved a little by stumps when it was 63-5, still 330 behind. Daryl Mitchell, who was 13, and Michael Bracewell, who was 25, saw out the last 10 overs of the day.
Broad’s four wickets lifted his tally of test wickets in partnership with James Anderson to 1,004, surpassing the Australian combination of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne (1,001), who previously were the most prolific wicket-taking pair in tests.
“I feel very blessed that I was born in the same era as (Anderson) so that I could bowl at the other end to him,” Broad said. “I felt like it was the perfect dryness of pitch today for my kind of bowling. I could slam the ball into the pitch but it was still skidding and hitting the stumps.” On a day seething with action, Root, Brook and Foakes carried England along at one-day international pace.
Root made 57 from 62 balls, Brook 54 from 41, Foakes 51 from 80 and there were also important contributions from Ollie Pope (49 from 46), Ben Stokes (31 from 33) and Ollie Robinson (39 from 48) which showed why the innings progressed at such irresistible pace.
At times it was impossible to look without missing an important piece of the action, so densely packed were the highlights.
The fearlessness which has become the heart of England’s approach was always on show. When batting, England shows no deference to the time of day, the state of the match or the efforts of the bowling team. The object always was to dominate.
When England bowled, as Broad again demonstrated under the floodlights which caused the ball to swing, there was an effort to make every ball a wicket ball. He brought the ball back at pace and late to both the left- and right-handers.
New Zealand simply couldn’t stand the force of the Bazball doctrine. It had done well on the second day with the help of Blundell’s century to come within 19 runs of England’s first innings of 325-9 declared, the declaration having come midway through the last session on the first day.
England already had begun to remove the props of New Zealand’s confidence when it reached 79-2 before stumps on Day 2. And when Pope, Root and Brook helped England score 158 runs in the first session on Saturday, it was clear the match rapidly was escaping New Zealand.
Any hopes New Zealand might have had of battling through the final session to launch its run chase in full on the fourth day began to fade when Broad swung the ball back through Conway’s usually solid defense to claim his valuable wicket in the fourth over.
Then Williamson and Latham followed in the space of 18 balls and when Nicholls was caught by Foakes off Robinson and Blundell was bowled by Broad, New Zealand’s task had become hopeless.