England vs. New Zealand result, highlights and analysis from 3rd Test at Headingley as Bairstow onslaught powers hosts to whitewash win

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Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow celebrate England's win in the third Test against New Zealand

HEADINGLEY, LEEDS — Jonny Bairstow concluded a phenomenal series by blasting his way to the second-fastest England half-century of all time in a dominant seven-wicket win over New Zealand.

It concluded a 3-0 clean sweep in the series for a side reborn under the new captain/coach combination of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum, with Bairstow's career-best form a dazzling symbol of England's resurgence.

Despite losing Ollie Pope, bowled by Tim Southee for 82, in the first over of the day after a washed-out morning session, Bairstow (71 not out) and Joe Root (86 not out) made astonishingly light work of their country's seventh-highest successful fourth-innings chase.

Trent Boult followed up Southee's breakthrough and saw his opening over unceremoniously taken for 17 runs, from which point there was little to no let-up.

Root will have had his eyes on a third ton of the series but his ambitions, along with a bedraggled New Zealand attack, were victim to Bairstow's irresistible belligerence.

England's overall run rate of 4.64 per over is the quickest of all time in a series of three or more Tests and, fittingly, Bairstow finished the job by clattering off-spinner Michael Bracewell for six.

England vs. New Zealand 3rd Test score

  1st innings  2nd innings
England 360 (67 ov) 296/3 (54.2 ov)
New Zealand 329 (117.3 ov) 326 (102 ov)

England win by seven wickets and take the three-match series 3-0

Bairstow’s career-altering feats take the breath away

Root’s immaculate performances and sheer weight of runs saw him named player of the series for England, but it these past two Tests will remain synonymous with Bairstow for years to come. It seems a ludicrous thing to say about such an obviously gifted batter playing his 86th Test after a decade in international cricket, but he finally, unquestionably belongs in the longest format. Just like he is a lock-in as an opener in white-ball cricket for England, Bairstow should remain his country’s number five in red ball for some time. 

He’s kept wicket — as he had to briefly in this game after Ben Foakes was struck down by COVID-19 — and batted everywhere in the order from three to seven while being in and out of the team, but the shunting will finally stop now. Like his match-winning effort at Trent Bridge last time out, Bairstow’s first-innings ton — as he combined with debutant Jamie Overton in an England record partnership of 241 for the seventh wicket — was a modern masterpiece. By the final afternoon, it looked like he was playing more or less a different sport to everyone else on the field.

Leach 10-for highlights New Zealand’s key selection error

Bairstow was also overlooked for the player of the match award, with the left-arm spinner Jack Leach a popular recipient after taking five-wicket hauls in each New Zealand innings. The two teams' respective approaches to their spin options proved a decisive factor, one that was underlined as Bairstow climbed into Bracewell with abandon during the last knockings of the match.

Leach’s overall analysis of 10/166 stood in stark contrast to an utterly brutal experience for off-spinning all-rounder Bracewell. He went at more than seven runs an over in each innings and ended with match figures of 2/163. New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson conceded afterwards that he had erred in his reading of the pitch, expecting seamers to be dominant as is traditionally the case at Headingley. Even allowing for the phenomenal form of England’s middle order, if the Black Caps frontline spinner Ajaz Patel had been involved then the fourth innings chase would probably have been far more taxing.

Mitchell’s New Zealand heroics in vain

Bairstow was not the only batter breaching new ground in this series, as Daryl Mitchell produced a stunning display of unerring consistency for the tourists. New Zealand’s number six scored a century in each match and compiled four stands in excess of a hundred alongside wicketkeeper Tom Blundell. His 538 runs at an average of 107.6 are the most by a New Zealander in a series against England. At various moments in each game, it felt like the win was there for the Kiwis and Mitchell was a massive part of that.

England vs. New Zealand 3rd Test: recap, highlights and analysis from Day 5 afternoon session

Go Jonny go!

Dark skies, a wicket in the first over of the day and more than 100 still required. A time for caution, perhaps? Nope, not for Bairstow. Not for a man in the form of his life. Alongside Root, Bairstow decided the best form of defence was an all-out assault. Boult has been New Zealand's best bowler in this series and he was instantly treated with complete and utter disdain, blasted out of the attack.

Southee started wonderfully but was pumped back over his head for six. At that point Bairstow had 21 runs off 12 balls so, actually, he slowed up a bit before reaching a 30-ball fifty. It was England's second-fastest of all time, nestling in between a pair of Ian Botham efforts. It felt implausible, but maybe this is just what Jonny does now.

MORE: Who is Matthew Potts? The unlikely rise of England's new fast bowling Test match star

England vs. New Zealand 3rd Test: recap, highlights and analysis from Day 5 morning session

Early lunch

Two words to make a man regret his mid-morning croissant, but here we are. The players will take lunch at 12:30 p.m. BST, which means a scheduled restart 40 minutes later if the rain eases and everything is mopped up and uncovered by then. Can’t say I’m entirely optimistic from this vantage point.

Covers back on at Headingley

Boooooo! Five minutes before the planned restart time, ground staff put the covers back on the pitch. There was a bit of to-ing and fro-ing as they got halfway off the ground, looked at the ominous sky for a while and then trudged the covers back into position. The floodlights are on, it's very gloomy and the rain is steadily coming down again.

Meanwhile, BBC and Sky are reporting that England's limited overs captain Eoin Morgan is poised to announce his retirement from international cricket. To be clear, this is probably a decision informed by a myriad of factors. He's not just really upset about the rain.

High noon appointment for England’s sharpshooters

The good news from Headingley is that, if we have no more rain, play will resume at 12 p.m. BST. It’s an appropriately O.K. Corral start time given the way England have been going about their business with the bat. Root and Pope were relentless in their calculated aggression on the fourth evening and, even though they will have to start again with moisture in the air against a skilful New Zealand seam attack, you’d expect they won’t be hanging around.

England vs. New Zealand 3rd Test: recap, highlights and analysis from Day 4 evening session

Stop that, Joe Root

Root left fans open-mouthed when he reversed-scooped Southee for a remarkable six in the Trent Bridge Test (in hindsight, maybe it explains those weird reviews). The Telegraph labelled it “the most remarkable shot in Test cricket”. It was utterly audacious stuff, but Root was most of the way through an imperious 176 at a point in the game when a draw felt like the most likely outcome.

The fact he repeated the trick at Headingley on the fourth evening, with a daunting chase (theoretically, at least) in prospect, two wickets down and a faster bowler at the other end defied belief and description. Wagner was as perplexed as everyone else in the ground. It instantly felt like an “I was there” moment for everyone lucky enough to be watching a master at work.

Decision Review Southee leaves New Zealand in DRS mess

“They needed that review! They needed that review! Don’t use up your reviews!” boomed Nasser Hussain as Australia left themselves without referrals and Ben Stokes was free to continue marmalising them at Headingley three years ago. If England engineer another close finish in this latest Leeds chase then New Zealand could well be kicking themselves.

Sending lbw calls upstairs is not an exact science and undue caution can also be costly — see Matthew Potts trapping Daryl Mitchell in front during the first innings of this match, England not reviewing and the New Zealand number six going on to chalk up a third century of the series. Captain, bowler and wicketkeeper are usually the collective brains trust for these decisions and slips will have their say.

But, come on, Tim. Really? Southee is playing his 88th Test match and has 346 wickets. Root is a prized scalp, his desperation for victim number 347 was inexplicable. The former England captain was so far outside on the first appeal that you could see a couple of his stumps behind him on the replay. The next enquiry was closer but it was still a rubbish review, with Root outside the line again. The Western Terrace had been distracted by a giant beer snake and other assorted tomfoolery, but Southee had the locals’ attention and was subjected to pantomime appeals for subsequent deliveries.

England vs. New Zealand 3rd Test: recap, highlights and analysis from Day 4 afternoon session

Leach a Headingley hero on his own terms

Coming into Headingley this morning, The Sporting News spotted an England supporter wearing a t-shirt showing the wagon wheel graphic of Leach’s 1 not out on this ground against Australia in 2019. That was, of course, his dogged contribution from number 11 as Stokes clattered the ball to all parts to complete one of the finest run chases and centuries of all time. Leach dead-batted whenever he could and frequently cleaned his glasses. 

It was all very endearing, proper cult hero stuff. But it was also a little jarring to see a fine cricketer in his own right be reduced to a meme in the popular imagination. It’s taken three years, but Leach has finally produced a performance on home soil worthy of an international class, frontline spinner. His wickets lower down the order were reward for some wonderfully miserly work that prevented Blundell and Mitchell from accelerating fully earlier in the day.

Leach is clearly thriving on the back of the faith Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum have placed in him, with his first 10 wicket match return in the longest format a vindication of this approach.

Potty about Potts

It feels strange to acknowledge that Matthew Potts’ Test debut at the start of this month came about, in part, because the cupboard was unusually bare in terms of English seamers. Potts had enjoyed a fine start to the County Championship season with Durham but without a lengthy injury list, it is unlikely he’d have been in contention for national selection.

Unfortunately, we are in the age of England fast bowlers breaking out in stress fractures and other ailments, with Olly Stone, Saqib Mahmood, Jofra Archer, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Matthew Fisher and Ollie Robinson all enduring spells on the sidelines. In some respects, Potts was a little bit of a punt from new captain and county colleague Stokes. 

He certainly looks nothing like that now. Potts’ 14 wickets in the series have come at an average of 22, he’s ended three of Kane Williamson’s four knocks and he’d long felt like the most likely candidate to shift the barnacle-like Mitchell before completing the job. But it’s not just about wickets. Potts pretty much never bowls a bad ball — an astonishing trait for a 23-year-old, whose nagging line and length at a sharp pace should be around to trouble the very best batsmen for many years to come. Stress fractures pending, of course.

England vs. New Zealand 3rd Test: recap, highlights and analysis from Day 4 morning session

Mitchell and Blundell rewarded for early caution

It might have been a wicketless session for England, but Broad and Potts were excellent once again. Their lines and lengths were unerring and while they operated in tandem, New Zealand only managed 16 runs in the first 45 minutes of the day. In recognising it would probably get easier from that point against the old ball, Mitchell and Blundell played the situation perfectly.

Jamie Overton bowled to funky leg-side fields and pounded in some short stuff. Runs began to flow, something that was even truer when Joe Root bowled a forgettable spell to edge England up towards 80 overs and the new cherry. 

Another long road to the Test team for Billings

Billings is into his work behind the stumps, receiving some probing early work from Matty Potts and Stuart Broad. This is his second appearance in the longest format and, once again, he’s really had to put the miles in.

After Foakes tested positive on Saturday evening, Billings drove up to Leeds from Kent. He arrived at England’s team hotel at 2 a.m. and didn’t get a great deal of sleep by all accounts. It was at least a more straightforward journey than the one he made to start for the final Ashes Test for an injury-hit England earlier this year.

The 31-year-old was already in Australia playing for Sydney Thunder in the BBL. After their game against Perth Scorchers on the Gold Coast, he received the England call. Flights were deemed too risky from a COVID-19 point of view, meaning he embarked upon a 12-hour drive to play in Hobart.

England vs. New Zealand 3rd Test: recap, highlights analysis from Day 3 evening session

Rejuvenated England at one with their public

It was a team effort from England after tea as Overton, Root, Potts and Leach took a wicket apiece. To an extent, the load was shared even more equitably as a rowdy Saturday evening crowd played a full part in a gripping evening session.

Ben Stokes is certainly very keen to get them involved at every opportunity. He celebrated a "crowd catch" on the bounce to get the Western Terrace going in the afternoon session when England were struggling for wickets and the home team certainly played to the gallery as they tightened the screw on New Zealand. Stuart Broad went wicketless during a fine spell, during which Bairstow and the slips turned and encouraged the spectators to clap the veteran seamer to the crease like an Olympic long-jumper. From the imperious Bairstow to new boy Potts and cult hero Leach, this is a team of popular cricketers whose emergence from the doldrums is being thoroughly enjoyed.

Overton strikes up latest partnership with Broad

Before rain arrived to briefly halt the evening session, Overton responded impressively to what had been a tough day up until that point. Ask any player and they'd happily sign for a 97 on debut, especially one whose strongest suit is their bowling. But Overton failed to relocate the fluency of Friday evening with the bat and stumbled just short of the landmark.

He was then part of an England seam attack that, with the exception of the unerring Potts, got their lines and lengths wrong during the afternoon. As such, Overton removing Latham immediately after the restart was just what the hosts needed. It didn't quite amount to the pendulum swinging in this match once again, especially given Williamson looks to have scrapped his way into a bit of form, but England asked plenty of questions after that breakthrough and Overton welcoming Conway to the crease with a clonk on the helmet. Broad probed off a fuller length, while the younger man banged it into the middle of the pitch effectively. Not for the first time in the match, Overton was operating in a very effective partnership.

England vs. New Zealand 3rd Test: recap, highlights analysis from Day 3 afternoon session

Captain's slog for Stokes

As the middle session drifted and the beer snakes grew on the Western Terrace, at 2:56 p.m. local time there was a stir of excitement. For the first time in the match amid injury concerns, Ben Stokes was going to have a bowl. On a ground that has witnessed some of his greatest deeds, England needed their captain to make something happen.

The only thing that did happen was runs and lots of them, with Black Caps skipper Williamson creaming his opposite number's first delivery through the covers. There were two more fours and a no-ball from his opening over and Stokes then went too straight and too full with the ball not swinging and Latham tucked in, peppering the on-side boundary. A stint of 4-0-3-0-0 meant a rare instance of Headingley exploits to forget for England's talisman.

Potts and Leach apply the breaks

New Zealand took drinks midway through the afternoon session on 61/1 — a lead of 30. Latham had amassed an attractive 42 and the tourists were moving at an entirely respectable run rate of 3.21 per over. But it spoke of the unbridled carnage that began to unfold around this time yesterday that the third innings of the game felt soporifically sedate by comparison.

The biggest cheer from the Western Terrace came when Leach fielded a beach ball, although his accurate and miserly four overs so far suggest he has more significant role to play as the surface continues to wear. Similarly, wicket-taker Potts once again displayed an immaculate line to the right-handers, ensuring an out-of-sorts Kane Williamson had to battle for form without release shots. Those were more available off Overton, as the hulking all-rounder strained to make things happen with a little extra pace.

England vs. New Zealand 3rd Test: recap, highlights analysis from Day 3 morning session

The Bairstow Test continues as Jonny gloves up

Not content with producing another of England's finest centuries of the modern era, Bairstow maintained centre-stage by taking the wicketkeeping gloves for New Zealand's second innings. The reason? Ben Foakes is out of action with a stiff back.

After keeping to a routine opening over from Broad, Bairstow was up to the stumps as Leach shared the new ball, with England seeking to unsettle their opponents and make the most of a slender 31-run advantage.

In the third over he pouched a Broad delivery that jagged away dramatically off a crack before Tom Latham almost feathered an inside edge through to the Yorkshireman — all encouraging signs for Stokes' side. To his credit, Latham responded with a gorgeous drive down the ground for four from a Broad half-volley and reached the end of a tricky mini-session with his wicket intact.

Pressure tells on Overton before Broad joins in the fun

England continued to dominate in the first hour on Friday, with Bairstow remaining in astoundingly brilliant form. His shots through the covers — hitting the ball on the up with ferocious power — are a joy to behold. Understandably given the landmark that loomed ahead of him, Overton did not resume with the same fluency.

The debutant number eight managed eight of the 11 runs he needed to reach three figures, but he played and missed at Boult a few times before edging to slip. There were some ungainly shots and a couple of desperate dives for his ground as nerves flecked his every move. The contrast with Broad, who strode in at the fall of the seventh wicket, could not have been more stark. At drinks, the veteran fast bowler had 27 from 21 deliveries, having gleefully clubbed anything full from Boult or Wagner back down the ground.

Two-ton Overton?

Friday evening was all about local hero Bairstow racing to an unbeaten 130 not out but all eyes will be on his partner Overton when the action resumes. The pair have already put on an England Test record of 209 for the seventh wicket and Overton is 11 runs away from a century on debut.

If he reaches the landmark, it will be the 28-year-old’s second first-class hundred. His first came when he clattered 120 off 92 balls with 15 fours and six sixes from number 10 during Somerset’s County Championship match with Warwickshire in August 2020. There were a couple of lusty blows for six from the fast bowling all-rounder yesterday, but his 89 from 106 deliveries was comparatively circumspect.

England vs. New Zealand 3rd Test: recap from Day 2 evening session

Underwhelming then totally overwhelming from Overton

When Overton bowled too short after being given the opening stint from the Kirkstall Lane End on Friday morning, before seeing Mitchell and Southee climb into his next spell, Headingley was witnessing a debut going awry.

It certainly was not in the script that the hulking Surrey all-rounder would start smoking fours and sixes against a world-class attack after tea. As introductions to Test cricket go, Overton’s is certainly among the most gloriously disorientating in recent memory.

Of course, getting going at the highest level is seldom straightforward. Just ask the all-rounder batting at No.8 on the other side. New Zealand’s back-up bowling to Boult, Southee and Wagner certainly looked a little thin with Michael Bracewell as their frontline spinner. When captain Kane Williamson desperately needed someone to put the breaks on the burgeoning Bairstow and Overton stand, Bracewell sent down four overs for 37 runs. Those are T20 figures. It was that kind of evening.

MORE: Full recap from Day 2 at Headingley

Jonny B very, very good

After Stokes’ flight of fancy in the afternoon, England’s recovery was all on Bairstow. Handily for head coach Brendon McCullum, this is a player in the form of his life. Bairstow is a man with stunning strokeplaying gifts and relentless attacking intent. But, after his Trent Bridge heroics, it was his good judgement in a crisis that enabled him to take the final session away from an embattled New Zealand attack.

He reached a run-a-ball 50 that felt pretty chanceless and deliberately pressed down on the accelerator thereafter, finding a willing ally in Overton as he racked up another sensational ton. As frustration abounds around Pope and Crawley’s latest cheap dismissals, it is worth remembering Bairstow has reached this point of full realisation in his 86th Test.

A knock to delight the Yorkshire masses came on the back of his magical 136 at Trent Bridge, 140 in the first Test against West Indies earlier this year and 113 in the drawn Ashes encounter in Sydney. The latter innings now feels like a career turning moment that has opened up a wide road of possibilities. 

MORE: Full recap from Day 2 at Headingley

England vs. New Zealand 3rd Test: recap from Day 2 afternoon session

Brilliant Boult exposes England's old flaws

England's wasteful half-hour of predominantly short-pitched bowling during Mitchell and Southee's breezy 60-run stand was made to look all the more foolish when Boult produced a spell of fast, full destruction. Not that it was just a matter of pitching it up and seeing what happened — these were exploits of the highest quality that placed the flaws of those on the receiving end under a harsher glare than the afternoon sun in West Yorkshire.

Lees, back on the ground where he learned his trade and looking to build upon his most convincing Test last time out, scored his only runs via a wild slash that was dropped at slip. He was castled by a beauty, as were Pope and Crawley. 

However, aiming booming drives at an elite pace bowler swinging the ball late were not percentage calls by England's two bright young batting hopes. Pope and Crawley's shots were those of men who did not trust their defensive technique to weather Boult's irresistible storm.

MORE: Full recap from Day 2 at Headingley

England vs. New Zealand 3rd Test: recap from Day 2 morning session

Magnificent Mitchell re-writes the record books

Mitchell had to bide his time and ride out that superb Potts spell, but he showed his sparkling form as three figures approached, first swivelling to pull a wayward Jamie Overton for four before a picturebook six off Leach as he celebrated and began to remove his helmet as soon as the ball left the bat.

Before he reached three figures, the 31-year-old had already established a new record for the most runs scored by a New Zealand batter in England. He is now also the first New Zealander to score three consecutive tons against these opponents — not a bad effort at all in a losing cause.

MORE: Full recap from Day 2 at Headingley

England vs. New Zealand 3rd Test: extended highlights from Day 2

How to watch England vs. New Zealand: TV channel and live streaming details

  UK New Zealand India Australia USA & Canada
Date June 23-27 June 23-28 June 23-27 June 23-28 June 23-27
Time 11 a.m. BST 10 p.m. NZST 3:30 p.m. IST 8 p.m. AEST 6 a.m. ET
TV channel Sky Sports Sky Sport Sony Sports Network Fox Cricket
Streaming Sky Go Sky Go, Sky Sport Now Sony LIV Kayo Sports Willow TV

UK: Sky Sports will show the series in the UK on its Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sport Cricket channels. Subscribers can also watch online via the Sky Sports website or through the Sky Go app.

New Zealand: Pay TV channel Sky Sport will show the action in New Zealand. Subscribers can stream on Sky Go, while non-subscribers can try the Sky Sport Now streaming-only platform.

India: The Sony Sports Network has the rights to the tour, with Sony Ten 2 and Ten 2 HD showing the Test. England vs. New Zealand can also be streamed on Sony Liv.

Australia: The Fox Cricket Channel on Foxtel will show England vs. New Zealand in Australia. Fans who are not Fox customers can sign up for the Kayo Sports streaming service.

USA & Canada: Willow TV will show the action in the USA. A dedicated cricket streaming service, it is also available in Canada and can be sourced from a number of cable providers including Dish, Spectrum and Xfinity.

Author(s)
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Dom is the senior content producer for Sporting News UK.