LEEDS, June 25 (AP): Jamie Overton missed out on a dream hundred in his debut test match but Jonny Bairstow’s masterful 162 provided England an edge over New Zealand in the third and final test on Saturday.
Overton, who made 97, and Bairstow’s record-breaking seventh wicket stand of 241 lifted England from a precarious 55-6 to 360 all out before the hosts got bowled out before lunch on the third day.
It gave England a lead of 31 runs after New Zealand, already trailing in the series 2-0, was dismissed for 329.
New Zealand opening batters Tim Latham (13) and Will Young (0 not out) survived the five overs before lunch to reach 13-0, still trailing by 18 runs.
Overton was overcautious against the pace after resuming on 89 overnight before square driving Trent Boult for his first boundary of the day.
Bairstow, 130 overnight, raised England’s second-fastest 150 in a test match off 144 balls when he drove Neil Wagner through covers for two runs and was duly applauded by his hometown supporters at Headingley.
Boult, who had sliced through England’s top order, finally broke the stand when Overton edged a low catch in the slips after the left-arm fast bowler changed the line by coming round the wicket. Overton’s brilliant counter-attack came off 136 balls and featured 13 fours and two sixes. Boult finished with 4-104.
Stuart Broad then played a superb cameo of 42 off 36 balls that included sixes against both Boult and Wagner before Tim Southee (3-100) hit the top of the stumps and had the left-hander clean bowled.
Bairstow’s second successive blistering knock of the series finally ended when he came down the wicket against the spin of Michael Bracewell and Boult took a smart catch at long-off. Boult slid forward and grabbed the ball inches above the ground as Bairstow got a thunderous applause from his supporters while walking back to the dressing room.
Bairstow’s blistering knock off 157 balls featured 24 fours as he decimated both spin and pace of New Zealand and had given England a chance to clean sweep the three-match series.