Root eyes double century as England edge ahead of New Zealand

Tanya Simon
December 4, 2019

Root's double century was his third of his Test career, his first as skipper and also the first by a visiting captain in New Zealand but more importantly it kept England's hopes of levelling the series alive.

It took a five-wicket haul for the tireless Neil Wagner to ship England's first innings to an discontinuance at 476, a lead of 101.

A draw appears to be the most likely result as rain is forecast for much of Tuesday, but Root thinks England have a shot at securing a 1-1 series draw if they can get Williamson and Taylor out quickly.

"I had the bit between my teeth when I got going and wanted to make it a real big one and give us an opportunity to win this game".

"I've felt like my game has been pretty much there, you just sometimes need a bit behind you and a few extra runs".

"It's nice to get back to scoring some big runs", he said.

"It's been a while since I've had that amount of time out in the middle and you get really hungry for it sometimes".

New Zealand finished day four on 96 for 2 in their second innings, trailing England by five runs.

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Archer's eventual introduction saw him clatter Williamson on the arm guard but the New Zealand captain (37no) and Ross Taylor (31no) avoided any further alarms.

The couple came forward with more positive intention in the afternoon session, running fast between the wickets and when Pope had raised his half century, the focus shifted to Root as the English skipper that he struck on a double barrel.

England were 24 for two in their first innings when he went to the middle where he controlled proceedings in a marathon knock during which he faced 441 deliveries in almost 11 hours.

This was his third double century in Tests, following his 254 against Pakistan in 2016, and his 200 not out against Sri Lanka at Lord's in 2014, which was his first as captain.

With Rory Burns, he put on 177 for the third wicket and added 193 for the sixth wicket with Pope.

Root's century was his first in 15 innings - and first since February - as he ended a run of poor form that had seen him average 27.40 from 10 matches in 2019 before this match.

The 21-yr-passe Pope, in most productive his fourth Take a look at, progressed to 75 sooner than his precious contribution ended with an edge to yet one other Wagner bouncer.

Quick runs were required and Root was next to sacrifice himself in search of them, holing out on the offside trying to hit Mitchell Santner over the top before leaving the field to a richly-deserved standing ovation. At the same time, he could not score a single century in the five matches of the Ashes series played against Australia.

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