Superb Stokes fires England to victory


The first Test match between England and New Zealand at Lord's ended late on day five, but not in a draw as expected as England pulled off an excellent 124-run win thanks in large part to all-rounder Ben Stokes.

The Durham man had scored a rapid century on day four, which gave England the time and runs on the board on day five, and he then contributed with three wickets on the last day, including two in one over, one of whom was Brendon McCullum.

England started the day with skipper Alastair Cook still in the middle, on 152, and holding a lead of 295. The question turned to declaration, but England were bowled out before they could get that far, an ominous sign for the Kiwis.

Cook was gone for 162, the first of Trent Boult's four wickets on the day, which gave him the coveted Lord's five fer. England left the Black Caps needing 345 to win, something that had never been done at the ground in a fourth innings.

The Black Caps' second dig got off to a horrific start as James Anderson removed Martin Guptill for a second-ball duck in the first over. Stuart Broad then bagged Tom Latham for a duck as well, in the second over, leaving the Kiwis on 2/0.

A third wicket soon followed, to Broad again, as Ross Taylor departed cheaply, leaving Kane Williamson and BJ Watling to batten down the hatches. Playing aggressively had not worked, and the steady pair took them to lunch with the score on 21 for three.

The afternoon was a better one for the Kiwis as they lost just two wickets. Watling and Corey Anderson were the mainstays, both scoring half centuries but in very different manners. Watling was slow and steady, Anderson played like he'd just come from the IPL.

Stokes got the two wickets to fall in the afternoon, in the same over. He got Williamson caught in the slips by Joe Root, and then the very next ball bowled an absolute jaffer to rearrange McCullum's stumps.

Watling and Anderson could not see out the evening session though, and Mark Wood removed Watling and then Joe Root bagged Anderson, leaving New Zealand with three wickets in hand and most of the session to survive.

Stokes had other ideas, sending Mark Craig on his way, and then moments later Moeen Ali caught Tim Southee off his own bowling. Trent Boult and Matt Henry then blocked, nudged, jumped and prodded away over by over.

Sixteen overs became 12, which became nine, but Moeen had the final say as he caught Boult at third man, sprinting towards the rope and twisting as he caught it. The entire England team ran not to Moeen, but to Cook.