England win thriller over Kew Zealand by 124 runs
England took a thrilling first Test at Lord's when they bowled out New Zealand for 220 to win by 124 runs with 9.3 overs to spare in the final
Six bowlers shared the wickets, as the team produced a victory following a tumultuous build-up, including the sacking of their coach, in an engrossing match that was a gift to Test cricket.
The positive-minded New Zealanders would have fancied the target of 345 in 77 overs, achievable an hour before lunch; but in a blink, they were in tatters.
The Kiwis lost their openers within the first seven balls, and Ross Taylor for eight, and in half an hour, they were in survival mode. Openers Martin Guptill and Tom Latham went for ducks, followed by Taylor at 12-3.
Kane Williamson and B.J. Watling stopped the bleeding for 18 overs spanning lunch, until Stokes brought Lord's back to life by taking out Williamson and
captain Brendon McCullum
off successive deliveries. When
an inswinger deflected off McCullum's pad and sent the bails flying, Stokes was enveloped by an ecstatic England, and the Bank Holiday crowd erupted.
"I've never heard Lord's sound like that," England captain Alastair Cook said. "Broady ran past me and said, 'This is amazing', and it was."
Greeted by six slips, Corey Anderson let Stokes' hat-trick ball fly outside off stump.
"My legs were a bit wobbly," Stokes said.
Anderson went on to lash 13 boundaries and a six, and was the seventh man out for 67. He had just lost his resolute partner for nearly 27 overs, Watling, who batted more than three hours with a sore right knee for 59, after 61 not out in the first innings.
Their departures exposed the tail, but Mark Craig, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, and debutant Matt Henry delayed England for 12 more overs.
"It was a real team effort," captain Alastair Cook said. "It's been a rocky road for us over the last two weeks, but from the moment the team turned up (last) Monday morning and hacked away around Grove Golf Course, there's been a really good spirit."
Ben Stokes, the Man of the Match, used his middle-order promotion to score 193 runs and take three wickets, and new paceman Mark Wood claimed four wickets.
The Kiwis have been unbeaten in a Test series since the last tour here two years ago, and won four of six series to rise two ranking places above England into third.
Earlier in the day, New Zealand had bowled out England quickly for 478, from 429-6. Boult took all four wickets in 17 balls, for match figures of 9-164.