Replying to New Zealand’s mammoth first innings score of 553, Pope and Root took full advantage of a docile pitch to ease the pressure on England
England’s Ollie Pope and Joe Root celebrate their centuries at Nottingham. Pics/Getty Images
Ollie Pope hit his highest Test score of 142 not out and Joe Root swaggered to an unbeaten 109 as England raced to 331-2 against New Zealand at tea on the third day of the second Test at Trent Bridge. Replying to New Zealand’s mammoth first innings score of 553, Pope and Root took full advantage of a docile pitch to ease the pressure on England. At the time of going to press, England were 419-5 with Root not out on 132 and Ben Foakes unbeaten on nine. Pope was eventually dismissed for 145.
However, thanks to Pope and Root’s commanding displays, England will expect to get close to New Zealand’s total in a match that could be destined for a high-scoring draw. Pope’s second Test century, and his first on English soil, came after he was handed a surprise promotion to No.3 by England captain Ben Stokes at the start of the series. It was Pope’s first Test ton since scoring 135 not out in South Africa in January 2020. His England place has been in serious doubt at times in the last few years due to shoulder injuries and a lack of form, but here he has repaid the faith of Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum.
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Meanwhile, freed of the shackles of the captaincy after handing the role to Stokes earlier this year, Root was in vibrant mood. He unfurled his full array of strokes in his 27th Test century for which he needed just 116 balls.
NZ 553 all out v England 473-5 (O Pope 145, J Root 163* not out; T Boult 3-89)
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