New Delhi: England and New Zealand are currently playing a mouthwatering 1st Test at Lord’s. Heading into Day 4, the match is evenly poised, with England needing another 61 runs to win with just five wickets in hand. However, Joe Root is playing well at 77 and looks set to give England a 1-0 lead.
It’s been an intriguing contest between bat and the ball since ball one of the match. England bowled out New Zealand for 132 in the first innings before New Zealand bounced back to dismiss England for 141. England then reduced New Zealand to 56-4 before a magnificent 195 run partnership between Daryl Mitchell (108) and Tom Blundell (96) gave New Zealand a massive advantage in the match. At 251-5, ahead by 242 runs, New Zealand had the match in their grasp before a batting collapse saw the Kiwis get bowled out for 285, giving England a target of 277 runs to win.
The wickets kept on tumbling as England was reduced to 69-4, before Ben Stokes (54), and Joe Root revived the chase with a 90 run partnership. Stokes’ wicket pulled things back in the balance.
Meanwhile, during the 43rd over of the innings, a hilarious incident took place. Joe Root pulled a short ball of Trent Boult which was brilliantly stopped by the fielder at mid-on. Stokes, who didn’t expect the sharp fielding, was halfway down the wicket. The fielder stopped the ball and threw at the non-striker’s end, sensing a run-out. However, the ball hit Stokes’ bat and ricocheted, leaving everyone in splits.
The players had a light moment as a similar incident during the ICC Cricket World Cup final in 2019 created a massive controversy. Chasing 15 in the final over of the summit clash, Stokes got six bonus runs on the fourth delivery, which proved decisive and gave England its first Cricket World Cup. On the fourth ball of the over, Stokes tried to take a tight brace. The fielder threw the ball which hit Stokes’ bat and ricocheted to the boundary, leaving New Zealand in agony.