Why was England's 1st Test triumph over New Zealand so magnificent?
Any keen follower of cricket on the international stage will have been aware of the recently completed two test series between New Zealand and England. While the closely fought 2nd Test, which the Kiwi’s won by a single run, was an exciting encounter, it is the 1st Test at the Bay Oval that many are still talking about.
This is mainly down to how awesome England’s performance was during this Test match and how magnificent their victory was. Looking deeper into this is not only a way to find out what made it so special but will certainly help if you enjoy betting at the best cricket sportsbooks. By finding out why England were so amazing in this match, you can bet on future matches involving England from a more informed position.
But what was it about this particular Test win over New Zealand that caused such a stir?
Eye-catching margin of victory
When you consider that England won this match by a colossal 267 runs, you get a feel for what a brilliant performance it was from them. When you also take into account that they took the win in just four days, you start to really understand how impressive it was.
Key to this, of course, was the outstanding nature of England’s play with bat and ball. Their first innings, for example, saw them smash 325 in 58 overs, before declaring. The star man here was Harry Brook, who notched an aggressive 89 from only 81 balls.
Even better than this, they tore into New Zealand during their second innings to put 374 on the board – a score the Kiwis could not live with. Harry Brook again stood out, with a big-hitting 54 from 41 balls, while Joe Root’s swashbuckling 57 from 62 balls also impressed.
England’s star bowlers shone brightly
As noted above, this triumph was good from an England perspective because of the way in which their bowlers attacked New Zealand’s batsmen. As you might have expected, it was the experienced duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad who did most of the damage.
While New Zealand coped quite well in their first innings and posted a score of 306, it was during their second innings that England’s pace men destroyed them. This saw both Broad and Anderson finish with four wickets apiece – with Broad’s 4-49 being a particular highlight. It is not often you see the top order of New Zealand being blown away and clean bowled with such ferocity. Once Broad had taken New Zealand to 28-5 in their second innings, there really was no way back for them.
Anderson also played his part and finished with even better figures of 4-18 in the Black Caps’ second spell at the crease. This saw him tear through the tail end of New Zealand’s batting with pure abandon. The golden duck dismissal of Kiwi captain Tim Southee was a particular highlight of Anderson’s destructive spell.
England’s first triumph in New Zealand for a while
This was certainly one of the most impressive things about England's 1st Test triumph over New Zealand recently. Although it might be hard to believe for such a proud cricketing nation, this win marked England’s first victory in New Zealand for 15 years!
As you can imagine, the English players and fans were very happy to break this losing streak when beating the Kiwi’s on home soil. The 15-year losing stretch prior to this win also shows what a massive achievement it was for Ben Stokes’ men. With New Zealand being no easy place to grab a win, the fact they managed to pull it off was sublime.
Continued England’s winning streak
While events in the 2nd Test might have made this somewhat academic now, at the time it was another reason people considered England’s victory in Mount Maunganui so magnificent. Even with the 2nd Test loss, Stokes’ record as England captain overall is very good.
After winning this contest, Ben Stokes had a record of 10 wins from 11 games, since taking over as captain. This was not only an impressive accolade for him personally but also a real positive for the side. It showed that England’s current crop of Test players has real talent and the mental resolve to travel to tough places like New Zealand to emerge victorious.
‘Bazball’ has transformed England at Test level
Perhaps the most impressive element of England’s 1st Test win in Mount Maunganui was the confirmation of the side’s attacking transformation under coach Brendon McCullum. This new approach to Test cricket has been dubbed ‘Bazball’ and seems to really be working well for the English team.
Although the narrow, single-run defeat in the 2nd Test against New Zealand in Wellington recently might have dampened spirits somewhat, there is no doubt just how impressively England performed in the 1st Test.
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