When Jonny Bairstow came to the crease at Trent Bridge, with England reeling at 56/3, it seemed that the same old story was repeating itself once again. It’s a tale that the ‘Barmy Army’ have become all too accustomed to in recent years. Get themselves into a decent, potentially match-winning position, only for a top-order collapse to curtail those dreams of victory before they even get off the ground. Indeed, when the Yorkshireman came to the crease to face the sensational Trent Boult, who had already taken seven of the host’s 14 wickets in this second test match, Ben Stokes’ men were on the brink. Online bookmakers such as SkyBet, who provide betting and free offers on cricket, had quite rightly made the visitors the favourites. But that story wasn’t to repeat itself this time, and Bairstow ensured that his country had finally turned a corner.
In recent weeks, Bairstow has come in for criticism from former captain Michael Vaughan, who stated that his shot selection was “dumb” and that Coach Brendon McCullum should “get rid of him.”
How the 2005 Ashes-winning captain must now be eating his words.
Bairstow came in and was a claiming presence from the off, even when opener Alex Lees was caught behind off Tim Southee, bringing captain Stokes into the cauldron with him. They were seemingly in control and saw England through until Tea without further losses. But what happened from there, only Jonny knows.
Chaos After Tea
After the tea break, the underfire batsman came out as a man possessed. The pair clubbed 68 runs in the five overs preceding Tea, with Bairstow smashing 62. The thunderous hitting left him unbeaten on 96 and needing just four runs from the following three balls to become his country's fastest ever centurion. It wasn’t to be, but he reached three figures off just 77 balls, two of whom were shy of the record.
Bairstow had slapped 14 fours and seven sixes by the time he was finally snaffled, caught behind off the outstanding Boult for 136. But by the time the Kiwis had got their man, the game was all but over
It was an innings reminiscent of his captain’s awe-inspiring 135 not out during the 2019 Ashes series against Australia, and Trent Bridge duly treated it as such, rising to applaud their match-winner
Stokes and wicketkeeper Ben Foakes comfortably bagged the 27 runs needed to secure a 2-0 Series lead after Bairstow's departure, officially announcing to the world that England is back.