ENG vs NZ: Jonny Bairstow slams second-fastest Test century by England batter
Jonny Bairstow batted brilliantly to anchor England's run chase of 299 on the final day of the ongoing Test match against New Zealand at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. What made the occasion even more special was the fact that this tonne was delivered in just 77 deliveries.
More importantly, Bairstow became England's second-fastest Test century scorer. He reached this milestone with nine fours and five sixes. With this century, the Englishman now holds the record for the fastest century in a Test match's fourth innings. While his first 50 runs came off 50 balls, his next 50 runs came off just 27.
Jonny Bairstow missed out on England's fastest Test century by a whisker. The record is still held by English batter Gilbert Jessop, who scored a 76-ball century against archrival Australia in 1902.
Bairstow eventually fell after scoring 136 runs from just 92 deliveries, with 14 fours and seven sixes and a strike rate of 147.8. He and skipper Ben Stokes literally saved the hosts from collapsing after they lost their top-order and were reeling at 93/4 at one point.
Bairstow and Stokes then resorted to a counter-attacking strategy that completely stunned the New Zealand bowlers as they were cleaned out at regular intervals. While Stokes played a supportive knock, Bairstow ensured that his risky yet impactful knock was good enough to put the hosts within touching distance of a famous win.
This would be a morale-boosting victory for the Three Lions, as their last Test series win came in January 2021, when they blanked Sri Lanka 2-0. More importantly, a win would boost England's confidence ahead of the one-off Test against India next month.