Joe Root's special ton seals Lord's Test win for England against New Zealand

Star batsman hits unbeaten century and reaches 10,000 runs landmark as hosts seal five-wicket victory over world champions

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Given the warmth of his ovation when he went out to bat on the first day of the Lord’s Test, Joe Root probably already had a good idea of where he stands in the affections of England’s cricket supporters.

Even after giving up the captaincy following a torrid spell in charge, goodwill towards him remains steadfast.

All the more so for a couple of important reasons now. Firstly, his first fourth-innings hundred in his 118-Test career carried England to a five-wicket win against New Zealand.

And, secondly, the fact he hurried the home side to it within 13.5 overs of play on Sunday meant all those who had made it to Lord’s were entitled to a 100 per cent rebate on their ticket price.

“We always get fantastic support and are always very grateful for that,” Root said after his match-winning hundred, which took him past 10,000 runs in his Test career.

“It was nice to see them get their money back today.”

Root’s ton gave England a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. It was their first match since he vacated the captaincy, with Ben Stokes – his former understudy – taking over.

“The number of times Ben has won us Tests under my leadership, it's a great chance for me to give back to him,” Root said.

“I love batting. I want to score as many runs as I can and win us as many Test matches as I can.

"As long as I've got the energy and the drive to do it, I'll do it. I couldn't wish for a better person to be leading this team.”

Although victory provided a sweet start to England’s new era under Stokes and new coach Brendon McCullum, old deficiencies still remain.

They eked out the win despite a first-innings batting collapse, and Stokes warned they will be a work in progress for some time yet.

“We're happy leaving here with a win but one thing that everyone needs to take into account is that it's a change of mindset for everyone,” Stokes said.

“It was massively important but it's going to be a long ride. It's not going to happen overnight, we'll have tough times, no doubt. But it's about how we respond.”

Root and Ben Foakes, who finished not out on 32 in a stand worth 120 with the former captain, made easy work of the 61 England required to win on the morning of day four.

“Today we came here with high hopes and thought there might be some assistance from the overheads but it wasn't to be,” Kane Williamson, New Zealand’s captain said.

“It was a fantastic game of cricket which took an incredible innings from an amazing player to get them across the line.”

Updated: June 05, 2022, 12:15 PM
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