Punjab Kings wicket-keeper batter Jonny Bairstow smashed a blitzkrieg hundred on Day 5 to help England pull off one of the epic run-chases in the history of Test cricket as the hosts beat New Zealand by five wickets in the second Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Tuesday, June 14.
Chasing a fourth innings target of 299 on a fifth day track, Bairstow hammered a match-winning 136 off just 92 balls while captain Ben Stokes scored an unbeaten 70-ball 75 to power England to a memorable victory and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match Test series.
During the historic run-chase, the Punjab Kings cricketer notched his hundred off just 77 balls to record the second fastest Test century for England, only one ball behind Gilbert Jessop’s ton against Australia at the Oval in 1902. Bairstow’s 77-ball ton is also now the second-fastest fourth innings hundred in Test cricket.
The 32-year-old’s scintillating hundred was laced with 14 fours and seven sixes. Earlier, New Zealand were bowled out for 284 before lunch, setting England a target of 299 in 72 overs - the highest run-chase at Trent Bridge.
In response, England were reeling at 93/4 as they lost the wickets of Zak Crawley (0), Ollie Pope (18), in-form Joe Root (3) and Alex Lees (44) in 15.2 overs.
The hosts still required 206 as Stokes joined Bairstow at the crease. The duo played sensibly taking England to 139/4 at Tea as they required 160 in the final session to win the Test match.
After Tea, Bairstow and Stokes played some counter-attacking cricket as they smashed 102 runs off the first nine overs. With Stokes was hampered by a knee injury, Bairstow took the lead as the duo recorded a 179-run stand off just 121 balls before Bairstow was dismissed for 136 by pacer Trent Boult.
Without any further hiccups, Stokes and wicket-keeper batter Ben Foakes (12) took England over the line as they chased down 299 in just 50 overs.
“It was great fun, one of those things when you get in that mood, just go with it. Do or die, so you've got to do it,” Bairstow said after being adjudged the Player of the Match.
“Ben at the other end said don't even think about it. That's how it went. We know the power we've got in the middle order. Today was our day, and what a day it's been,” he added.
England and New Zealand will resume rivalry when they lock horns in the third and final Test at Headingley in Leeds starting June 23.