Jonny Bairstow blasted England to a five-wicket win over New Zealand on the final day of the second Test at Trent Bridge last week as the home side won a series for the first time since January 2021. England chased down 299 thanks to an all-time great display of raw power from Bairstow, who took just 77 balls to reach the ninth Test century of his career.
Bairstow narrowly missed hitting England’s fastest Test hundred, taking one more delivery than Gilbert Jessop, who scored a 76-ball ton against Australia in 1902. While Bairstow could not earn a place in the history books, that will be a footnote for the 32-year-old, whose display will be remembered forever by all those who witnessed it.
A capacity crowd at Trent Bridge was treated to a remarkable array of brutal boundaries from Bairstow, who hit 14 fours and seven sixes to leave New Zealand bewildered in his 92-ball masterclass.
After chasing down 277 to win the first Test at Lord’s by five wickets thanks to Joe Root’s 115 not out, Bairstow ensured England enjoyed another successful final-day chase. At tea, all four results were possible, with England needing another 160 runs with six wickets left.
But the sensational Bairstow, supported by skipper Ben Stokes, with an unbeaten 75, demolished the world champions.
It was the highest final-innings run chase in a Test at Trent Bridge, surpassing the previous record of 284 set by England against New Zealand in 2004. England, who had won just one match in 17 before this series, are gathering momentum under new skipper Stokes and new coach Brendon McCullum.