England batsman Harry Brook created history with another Test century against New Zealand.
Harry Brook has emerged as a consistent performer for England in the past year and the right-hander continued to impress everyone with a brilliant century on Day 1 of the second Test against New Zealand. Brook, who was bought by Sunrisers Hyderbad for Rs 13.25 crore, was unbeaten on 184 off 169 deliveries. Thanks to this innings, the England youngster became the first batsman in history to score 800 runs after just 9 Test innings. Previously, the record for most runs after 9 Test innings belonged to India’s Vinod Kambli (798) but Brook took his tally to 807 on Friday. He also went past legends like Herbert Sutcliffe (780 runs in nine innings), Sunil Gavaskar (778 runs in nine innings) and Everton Weekes (777 runs in nine innings) to add a massive milestone to his name.
Joe Root was unbeaten on a classy 101 as the tourists rampaged their way to 315-3 before rain ended the opening day of the series decider early.
The 24-year-old came to the crease with England wobbling at 21-3 inside the first seven overs.
The hosts won the toss and elected to bowl on a green wicket.
That decision paid instant reward as New Zealand quickly dismissed England’s top order of Zak Crawley (two), Ben Duckett (nine) and Ollie Pope (10).
Matt Henry and skipper Tim Southee did the early damage for the hosts under expectedly blue skies.
Henry, back after missing the first Test with the birth of his child, forced Crawley into being caught behind as the opener’s sticky run continued.
All-rounder Michael Bracewell then made two superb catches in the slips to first dismiss Pope, then Duckett.
The dismissal of Duckett following Bracewell’s diving catch gave Southee a 700th international wicket in all formats, becoming the first New Zealander to reach the milestone.
However, it then became the Brook show as he took his Test average to just over 100 in only his sixth match.
Brook was player of the match in the first Test with back-to-back half centuries to help England to a 267-run win.
He continued the remarkable start to his England Test career with a magnificent unbeaten knock laced with 24 fours and give sixes. His 184 came off 169 balls.
Alongside former skipper Root, he helped steer England out of trouble to 101-3 at lunch.
There was no let-up in the afternoon as Brook added to his three previous centuries against Pakistan in December.
Root was more steady but no less decisive, slapping his 29th Test century but first in eight Tests.
England, who have won 10 of their last 11 Tests under the attacking cricket of coach Brendon McCullum, stuck with the same team that convincingly won the opening game.
New Zealand made two changes with Will Young and Henry replacing Scott Kuggeleijn and Blair Tickner.
(With AFP inputs)