Sam Billings has been added to England's squad for the rescheduled Test against India at Edgbaston, while Zak Crawley has retained his place despite struggling for form.

Kent captain Billings was drafted in as a COVID substitute for Ben Foakes on the fourth day of England's third Test against New Zealand, which concluded on Monday.

Billings' main contribution in the seven-wicket triumph was a bizarre caught-behind off Neil Wagner that he wedged between his knees.

He is now in line for a third Test appearance, though Foakes may yet feature as he is due out of isolation on Thursday, a day out from the India Test beginning in Birmingham.

The addition of Billings is the only change made by England, who have kept faith in Crawley at the top of the order, despite some unconvincing showings against New Zealand.

Crawley finished the three-match series with 87 runs and was at fault for the comical run-out of opening partner Alex Lees in his side's second innings of the final Test.

India lead England 2-1 ahead of the final Test, which originally scheduled to be played last September but was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.

The tourists announced on Monday that Mayank Agarwal has been called up after captain Rohit Sharma tested positive for coronavirus.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson insists he still has the "appetite" to lead the Black Caps amid questions over his tenure following a 3-0 Test series whitewash against England.

Former Black Caps bowler Simon Doull, who played 32 Tests for his country before moving into commentary, suggested he would like to see Williamson relinquish the captaincy to focus on his batting.

That was prior to the third Test at Headingley, where England eased to their 296 target and became the first team to chase down 250 or more three times in a single series.

Williamson scored 31 in the first innings in Leeds and 48 in the second, but has passed 50 just once in his last 10 Test innings since crafting 238 against Pakistan in January 2021 at Christchurch.

Tom Latham, who stepped up when Williamson was absent at Trent Bridge, has been mooted as the next New Zealand skipper, but the Black Caps captain insists he is committed to the task at hand.

"We opted for the balance of the side to go with three seamers," Williamson said.

"We were curious to whether it would turn, but it's just one of those things. We made the decision not to play the spinner, but it wasn't the easiest to bat on at any time.

"It would have been nice for the top four to contribute a bit more, and that's an area we want to be contributing more from.

"I certainly love playing for this group and being their leader. It has been an interesting time and challenging, but the appetite is still there from me."

Michael Bracewell was selected ahead of Ajaz Patel and went for 163 in just 22.3 overs across the two innings, picking up two wickets.

While Williamson defended the decision on his spinners, he pointed to the aggressive approach of a new-look England side under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum as the difference in the series.

"It's been an incredible series. In all three matches we had our opportunities and we were ahead of the game at times in each one but credit to England, they chose to counter-attack when they were under pressure and they did it well, especially in this match," he added.

"It is frustrating to lose the series but there were a lot of positives. There is clearly a new theme to England's approach and they did it extremely well.

"It was a highly competitive series, but they won those fine margins and those moments that changed the outcome of the matches."

Brendon McCullum has been happy to take a back seat so far as England head coach, even if 'Bazball' has revitalised the struggling Test team in the space of a single series.

McCullum says he does not know what 'Bazball' is – the term given to England's entertaining style under their new coach – but there can be no doubting its effectiveness.

After winning one Test in 17, England have strung together three in a row in a whitewash of world champions New Zealand.

With a new captain, too, in Ben Stokes, the side have come out on the front foot and been rewarded with three superb victories – each including chases of more than 250 runs, a first for a team in a single Test series.

Despite his impact, McCullum had stayed out of the media limelight until after a dominant day five at Headingley on Monday.

Speaking to Sky Sports, the New Zealand great – who described the early weeks of his tenure as "a really cool ride" – explained his rationale.

"It's the players who achieve wins and losses," he said. "You just try to do your best; you always support them through some tough times, and the last thing you need is the coach standing front and centre as well.

"I'll do the media when we lose, but I think it's important these guys are recognised for the success they've been able to achieve.

"We're trying to make heroes of them, you know? We're trying to make not just great cricketers but role models for the people out there who want to fall in love with this game or are already in love with this game."

England already had at least one hero in superstar all-rounder Stokes, who is a great fit for the new coach and new tactics as the leader of a team "thirsty for change".

"I'm aggressive, but I reckon he might have me covered," McCullum.

"He came in last night [after bowling New Zealand out on day four] – I think we needed 297 or something [296] off 40 overs [before the close of play] – and said: 'We'll just knock it off tonight!'

"'We get the extra half-hour as well, 47 overs, that's only seven an over'; I said: 'Skipper, let's just see how we go on.'

"He's been absolutely outstanding; he's clearly a leader that the guys want to follow. He's so consistent with his messaging as well, no matter how much is on the line.

"In those key moments, when you see guys in the dressing room look around to see if he's going to stay on that same message, he's very much there."

Stokes and McCullum will hope his captaincy can be as successful as that of white-ball skipper Eoin Morgan, who is set to announce his retirement from international cricket on Tuesday.

Morgan led Stokes and the rest of the limited-overs team to Cricket World Cup glory in 2019 but has had an impact far beyond England, according to his close friend McCullum.

"He's going to go down as one of the most influential figures not just in English cricket but in world cricket," the coach said.

"For the approach which he's undertaken when he took over the job as England captain and what he's been able to do to change the entire attitude and style of cricket that they played.

"It's had impacts right around the world, and he's won a World Cup and taken these guys on a journey.

"You look at guys like Jos Buttler, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, these guys are absolute international superstars, and they've been able to become those players under the leadership of Eoin Morgan."

England Test captains past and present saluted a hugely successful start to a new era after New Zealand were on the end of a 3-0 series whitewash.

Joe Root was replaced as skipper by Ben Stokes ahead of the series but maintained a key role against the Black Caps and was named England's player of the series.

He was far from alone in standing out, though, and far from alone in enjoying himself, as England became the first Test team to chase down 250 three times in a single series.

The third win was completed at a canter on day five at Headingley, with Root joined in the middle by the destructive Jonny Bairstow, illustrating a complete shift from what had gone before.

Prior to Root – the world's top-ranked batsman – giving up the captaincy, England had just one win in 17 Tests.

"One of the great things about this series was guys keep getting more and more confident, more and more at ease with how they want to go about things," Root said.

"It's such fun to play in and be part of. For Ben to start as he has under Brendon [McCullum, the new head coach] as well, we're all loving playing it; it's great.

"It's important that we enjoy this series win. It has been a rocky road for the Test team for a little while now, and if you can't enjoy a series like this, then what do you play for?"

Those words would be music to Stokes' ears, with results secondary to the enjoyment of his team, he says.

"For me, when I took over this job, it was more than results; it was about changing the mindset of the lads towards Test cricket, about having fun and enjoying the fact you're out there representing your country, and the results will look after themselves," Stokes said.

"But to say that we have done it so quickly is just unbelievable.

"I can only do so much; I've got to show a huge amount of credit to Brendon and the way that he's came in and influenced this group as well, the backroom staff and everyone else who's played a part in the series as well – it's been absolutely phenomenal."

Stokes described this series as "a pretty special start" and picked out the third Test as his highlight, impressed England did not "come back into our shell" when they were 55-6 in their first innings.

Those bad habits have been forgotten, it seems, and Root was not interested in reflecting on what had gone wrong during his tenure.

"I think we should leave what's happened where it is," he said. "I think we should concentrate on looking at what this team has done over the last few weeks.

"What Ben's done has been brilliant in these three games, and I'm sure he'll have a plan for the next series and this game against India as well.

"As I say, I'm absolutely loving being a part of it all at the moment. Long may it continue."

That India match concludes a series that was started last year with Root at the helm, but Stokes intends to attack it in the same manner England did world Test champions New Zealand.

The new skipper added: "It's obviously completely different opposition and we've still got a series to try to draw, but we'll be thinking about us, and trust me when I say this: we'll be coming out with exactly the same mindset."

England concluded a series whitewash of New Zealand in fashion befitting the rest of the primitive Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum era.

The new captain-coach combo have inspired England to three relentlessly entertaining Test displays – and now three wins, after Joe Root (86 not out) and Jonny Bairstow (71 no) clinched a seven-wicket victory on day five at Headingley.

England chased down 277 in the first Test and 299 in the second, and the target of 296 in Leeds never looked beyond them as they resumed on 183-2.

Rain delayed the start of play until after lunch on Monday, and Stokes' side quickly lost Ollie Pope (82) to a beauty from Tim Southee, but Bairstow picked up where he left off in his previous two innings (136 at Trent Bridge, 162 at Headingley).

His partnership with Root passed 50 inside 39 balls – the two Yorkshiremen thrilling a home crowd – but Bairstow was scoring at a far faster rate than his former captain.

Soon enough, he reached the half-century himself from just 30 deliveries – the second-quickest 50 by an England Test batsman.

Having squandered two reviews on Sunday attempting to remove Root, Kane Williamson's third went when Bairstow was caught off his forearm, rather than his glove. The batter was never concerned and swiftly resumed his assault on the New Zealand attack.

Fittingly, Bairstow finished with a four and then a six, with victory over the world Test champions wrapped up a little over an hour after the belated start.

Blistering Bairstow only behind Botham

No England player has profited as much as Bairstow from the freedom afforded him by Stokes and McCullum, with each knock seemingly better than the last.

There was little pressure on this occasion, with plenty of time and wickets in hand, and Bairstow fell agonisingly short of a long-standing Ian Botham record – his 28-ball half-century against India in 1981 briefly within reaching distance when Bairstow sent his 27th ball over the rope to reach 46.

A dot ball and a single followed before Bairstow passed 50 with his sixth four, to go with two maximums, after just 42 minutes.

India up next after unprecedented success

England have only until Friday before their next Test against India, but there will be few complaints, with the team quickly finding their rhythm under new leadership and relishing every new challenge.

India might be tempted to put England in to bat, for no target looks beyond Stokes' men when behind; they are the first Test team to chase down 250 three times in a single series.

Glen Ella says Eddie Jones will be thriving on coming under fire and expects England to step up when they face Australia in a three-match Test series next month.

The 62-year-old heads back to his homeland with the Red Rose smarting from a chastening warm-up hammering at the hands of the Barbarians following a disappointing Six Nations campaign.

Jones is undefeated against his country of birth during his England tenure, and famously oversaw a series whitewash in 2016.

Ella, a former school-mate of Jones who also played club rugby with him at Randwick and was his assistant six years ago, feels he will conjure up a response with his back against the wall and with key men to return.

"I sit here laughing when I see some of the press that is coming out of England," he told The Guardian. "Some of it is warranted, there’s no doubt about that, but this is what he thrives on.

"They’ll come over here and put three good games together, that wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

"He thrives under that kind of pressure and that probably brings the best out of him, especially away from England, in an environment that he knows.

"He probably left not on the best terms in Australia but the one thing about Eddie is that he’s got a lot of belief in himself and a lot of belief in his team."

The Wallabies will have a point to prove after failing to get the better of England under Jones and they are a different proposition under Dave Rennie.

"It’s harder coaching a foreign team, as Eddie is finding at the moment, and to win the Australian public over they need to win the series," Ella added.

"But it’s a different Australia these days and especially with the Super Rugby sides on the up, there’s big expectation. England have beaten the Australians eight times under Eddie and so [Australia’s] got a lot to answer for."

 

England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan has created a "white-ball dynasty" but has chosen the right time to retire from international cricket.

That is the message from former England captain Michael Atherton, who was speaking after news circulated that Morgan is expected to announce his retirement on Tuesday.

Morgan has endured a tough spell with the bat in recent times, managing to pass 50 just once in his past eight ODI innings and failing to score in his last two outings against the Netherlands.

England have still won eight consecutive ODIs, their longest such winning streak since a sequence of the same length in 2017, but Morgan promised to step down when he was no longer contributing as a batter.

Vice-captain Jos Buttler appears poised to take the captaincy from Morgan, who has rejuvenated the white-ball fortunes of England since being appointed as skipper in 2014.

England won the Cricket World Cup in the 50-over format with a dramatic victory over New Zealand at Lord's in 2019, three years after reaching the World Twenty20 final.

Morgan's side also reached the T20 World Cup semi-finals in 2021, and Atherton believes the 35-year-old is making the right choice to step down with his legacy still intact.

"He created a one-day dynasty. Having taken over at a low point – the 2015 World Cup, which went badly – he decided it was time to change England's approach," Atherton told Sky Sports.

"For seven years, England have been as good at white-ball cricket as anybody. And that's the first time really you can say that about our one-day side.

"He will go down as one of England's most significant captains, but I think he has picked exactly the right time to go.

"He said the other day, 'I'm feeling old', and he told Middlesex he couldn't play two T20 games in succession. If you can't do that, how are you then going to captain in a World Cup when they come thick and fast?"

 

Morgan is set to retire as the all-time leading run-scorer for England in ODI and T20I cricket, with 6,957 and 2,458 runs respectively.

Having also played 23 ODIs for Ireland, his 225 ODIs and 115 T20s are England records for appearances, and Nasser Hussain says Matthew Mott's side will lose their greatest ever leader and a brilliant batter.

"I had an interview with Rob Key when Rob Key got the job, and I asked him about Eoin Morgan and the white-ball side," former England captain Hussain added.

"He said that one thing about Eoin Morgan is that he will always do what is best for the team. If he's not contributing to the team and if he feels him being out of the team is better for that team, then he will go. That will be the decision that Morgan is making.

"He has been short of form, short of fitness and there are other people now – there are so many white-ball batters who could be playing. 

"It's not the 10 players he is taking on the field with him, it's in the one he's leaving behind because he's in that spot, and Morgan will always think of that one.

"One thing for certain is that he has been our greatest ever white-ball captain. He's a World Cup-winning captain, and he is a superb player.

"He was the one that was reverse-sweeping, reverse-scooping and playing all of these funky shots. He was way ahead of his time both as a player and as a captain."

England white-ball captain Eoin Morgan is set to retire from international cricket.

Morgan is expected to announce his retirement during a press conference at Lord's on Tuesday, with vice-captain Jos Buttler poised to replace him.

The 35-year-old batter has transformed the white-ball fortunes of England since his appointment in 2014, leading his side to World Cup glory with a dramatic win over New Zealand at Lord's in 2019.

Morgan also guided England to the T20 World Cup final in 2016, before reaching the semi-finals of the same competition five years later.

While England have become a huge force in limited-overs cricket during Morgan's tenure, the left-hander has struggled with the bat in recent times.

England completed an ODI series sweep over Netherlands last week – extending their winning run to eight matches in the 50-over format – but Morgan failed to score in two matches before missing the final clash due to injury.

The Dublin-born Morgan has passed 50 just once in his past eight ODI innings since scoring 106 against Ireland in February 2020, and had vowed to step down when he felt he could no longer contribute.

England face India in a three-match T20I series starting on July 7 and are set to do so without their all-time leading run scorer in T20I and ODI cricket.

Morgan has scored 7,701 ODI runs and 2,458 runs in the shortest format at international level. His 248 ODIs and 115 T20s are also England records for appearances.

A brilliant leader and destructive batter, Morgan made his international debut for Ireland back in 2006 before committing to play for England. He played 16 Tests between 2010 and 2012.

Matthew Mott will expect England to continue playing the aggressive brand of cricket that Morgan instilled as his side go in search of T20 World Cup glory in Australia later this year.

They will then head to India next year attempting to defend their world title in the 50-over format.

Jack Leach has praised captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum for their leadership and says he has "never experience anything" like playing in this England Test side. 

The Somerset spinner took 5-66 on day four of England's fourth Test against New Zealand to claim his first 10-wicket haul in the format.

Leach is the first England spinner to take 10 wickets in a Test since Moeen Ali in 2017.

Not since Derek Underwood against Pakistan at Lord's in 1974 had an England spinner claimed two five-fors in a home Test.

Stokes and McCullum have put their faith in Leach and been rewarded; he is thriving under the new leadership, with England on course for a clean sweep in their three-match series against the Black Caps.

"[Under Stokes] it's really attacking, and I am really enjoying bowling attackingly [sic]," Leach told Sky Sports.

"Stokesy's confidence in his decisions but also in us as players – I have never experienced anything like it.

"It is very special to be a part of, and that is credit to Stokesy and Baz [McCullum] for setting that up.

"You realise teams I have played in, the way I have thought, a lot of decisions are made around negativity.

"A lot of four or five-day games you give up on the win quite early, but now it feels like you are always pushing for that win, so there is never really too bad a situation.

"My biggest thing is having belief in myself, and that is what Ben and Baz have helped me with."

Leach's latest impressive showing helped England to bowl out their opponents for 326 in their second innings, leaving the hosts requiring 296 runs for victory in Yorkshire.

Continuing their attacking approach under Stokes and McCullum, England will enter the final day on 183-2 thanks to strong work by Ollie Pope (81 not out) and Joe Root (55 no).

Zak Crawley (25) and Alex Lees (nine) fell early on in the chase, but Pope and Root's unbeaten 132-run stand means England now require just 113 runs with eight wickets in hand.

Should England complete the job on Monday, they will become the first team in Test history to successfully chase a target of at least 250 three times in a single series.

But Tom Blundell (88 no), who became the highest-scoring visiting wicketkeeper in a Test series in England, vowed that New Zealand will give their all to avoid a whitewash.

"This team has been known to fight, and we've got to come out there and do that tomorrow," he said. "You put a couple of wickets on there and you just never know.

"Obviously you've got two guys out there in good form, but if we get one of those, who knows?

"The wicket is deteriorating. A little bit of variable bounce, obviously with the spin as well. It's quite hard to drive with that older ball. 

"It looks like it's going to deteriorate even more, and hopefully we can utilise that tomorrow."

England require 113 runs with eight wickets in hand on the final day of the Headingley Test against New Zealand as they bid to complete a series sweep.

Another entertaining match between the sides continued on Sunday, as the tourists – resuming on 168-5 in their second innings – were bowled out for 326, courtesy of Jack Leach's first 10-wicket Test haul.

That set England a target of 296 – a significant score but not even the largest Ben Stokes' newly confident side have chased down in this series.

And they will resume in a commanding position on day five, with Ollie Pope (81 not out) and Joe Root (55 no) firmly set and within sight of victory on 183-2.

The latest century stand between Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell – their fourth of the series – had earlier appeared to swing momentum back in New Zealand's favour following the late flurry of wickets on Saturday.

But that three-hour, 252-ball stand was ended with the Black Caps on 274-5. Four balls after Blundell (88 no) was saved by DRS, Matthew Potts (3-66) rapped Mitchell on the knee roll to see him depart lbw for 56.

Leach (5-66) took over from there, soon accounting for Michael Bracewell and then both Tim Southee and Neil Wagner in the same over.

When his second five-for of the match was completed bowling to Trent Boult, England – who replaced Ben Foakes with COVID substitute Sam Billings – had a realistic shot at victory.

Those hopes were dented when Zak Crawley's cover drive was cut off by Kane Williamson, who brilliantly picked out Boult to remove the stumps with Alex Lees well short.

Crawley (25) was perhaps at fault for that run-out and was caught by Williamson soon after, but Pope and Root steadied the ship, each passing 50 with an array of superb shots late in the day.

Root leading latest chase

If England complete the job on Monday, they will become the first team in Test history to successfully chase a target of at least 250 three times in a single series.

The hosts have made a habit of digging deep and entertaining in equal measure in this series, best epitomised by Root's knock, in which he survived hopeful-at-best Williamson reviews from consecutive balls and then got to work – the highlight a remarkable reverse-scoop for six.

Brilliant Blundell

Blundell became the highest-scoring visiting wicketkeeper in a Test series in England, this time doing the heavy lifting opposite regular partner Mitchell.

The pair have scored over half of the tourists' runs across the three matches.

Rohit Sharma has tested positive for COVID-19, less than a week before India's rescheduled Test match against England.

The India captain had been taking part in his team's warm-up game against Leicestershire, scoring 25 in the first innings but not batting in the second.

However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirmed on Saturday that Rohit had tested positive for COVID-19 and is in isolation.

"Team India captain Mr Rohit Sharma has tested positive for COVID-19 following a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) conducted on Saturday," a statement read. 

"He is currently in isolation at the team hotel and is under the care of the BCCI Medical Team."

Rohit has averaged 30.00 from three Test innings in 2022, having averaged 47.68 from 21 innings last year.

The Test match with England, which gets underway at Edgbaston on Friday, is the rescheduled fifth Test from September 2021.

Ben Foakes has been withdrawn for the remainder of England's third Test against New Zealand after testing positive for COVID-19.

Wicketkeeper Foakes was not on the field at Headingley on Saturday due to back stiffness, with Jonny Bairstow taking over the gloves for New Zealand's second innings.

However, the England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed on Sunday that while undergoing further medical assessment, Foakes had tested positive after administering a COVID-19 lateral flow test.

The 29-year-old has only recently returned to the England set-up, and has averaged 35.66 runs with the bat from five innings in the New Zealand series.

An ECB statement read: "Details of [Foakes'] return to the England set-up will be announced in due course. However, it is hoped he will be fit for the LV= Insurance Test against India starting next Friday at Edgbaston.

"Kent wicketkeeper/batter Sam Billings, subject to ICC approval, has been drafted in as a like-for-like COVID replacement and will go straight into the XI when the fourth day gets underway from 11.00am today. He will keep wicket. 

"The rest of the England party follows health protocols of symptom reporting and subsequent testing if required. There are no other positive cases in the camp."

England have already secured the three-Test series with New Zealand after winning the first two, and ended day three 137 runs behind with five more Black Caps wickets remaining.

Jamie Overton believes England are in the "box seat" after a pulsating third day of the third Test against New Zealand at Headingley.

Seeking a 3-0 whitewash with victory in Yorkshire, England claimed a lead of 31 runs as they were bowled out for 360.

Jonny Bairstow added to his overnight 130 to reach 162, five short of his best ever total for England in the longest format, while Overton missed out on a debut Test century when he was caught on 97.

New Zealand fell from 152-2 to 168-5 after a rain break in the evening session to leave Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell looking after a lead of 137 when rain stopped play.

Overton was understandably disappointed to narrowly miss out on a century, but believes his knock has helped give England the edge going into the final two days.

"It's been good fun. Obviously I was very disappointed getting out on 97, but I feel like I've contributed to the team," he told reporters.

"It's always a challenge when you first go into something, but I feel I've done okay. I'd like to take a few more wickets, but I'm more than happy to get 97. I didn't think I'd get anywhere near that, especially coming in at 55 for six.

"I think that last session put us right in the box seat. We would like to go back out there at the end but couldn't quite get out there with the covers needing time to get them off.

"But we're in a great position going into tomorrow and hopefully we can get the two early wickets, the two key wickets. But we feel like we're in a good place. And if we can get those two early, then we're in a great place to win the game."

The Headingley crowd was in particularly raucous mood on Saturday, and Overton credited England's swashbuckling approach as key to the electric atmosphere.

"I've definitely not experienced anything like that before," he added. "The closest I've had was a Surrey against Somerset game, Ryan Patel getting things going down at third man. That was loud but it was nothing like this.

"Ben Stokes has got the ethos of trying to be entertainers for everyone and he said in the changing room earlier that the way me and Jonny played had the crowd on the edge of their seats.

"That's entertaining cricket and that's what we want to be doing. I like to think I'm quite an entertaining cricketer."

Headingley hero Jonny Bairstow and new boy Jamie Overton dug England out of trouble on a sensational second day of the third Test against New Zealand.

Playing on his home ground, Yorkshireman Bairstow scored a breathtaking 130 not out, forging an unlikely and unbroken alliance worth 209 runs for the seventh wicket with Jamie Overton as England, in their first innings, recovered from 55-6 to reach 264-6 at stumps.

They were replying to New Zealand's 329 all out, in which Daryl Mitchell converted his overnight 78 not out into a third century of the series. That is the joint-most hundreds by any New Zealand player in a Test series, matching Andrew Jones' feat against Sri Lanka in 1991 and Ross Taylor's three against West Indies in 1993.

He was eventually out for 109, caught smartly by England captain Ben Stokes off Jack Leach (5-100), as New Zealand progressed from 225-5 at the start of play.

Getting close to that score looked beyond England when they made a dismal start in reply, the mercurial brilliance of Trent Boult accounting for the home side's top three as New Zealand's left-armer bowled Alex Lees, Ollie Pope and Zak Crawley.

It was a masterful demonstration of swing bowling, and the situation got no better for England as Joe Root fell for five, caught behind off Tim Southee, before Stokes (18) and Ben Foakes (0) were prised out by Neil Wagner.

Desperate times called for Bairstow brilliance, and the man whose late father David played so many matches on this Leeds ground delivered in remarkable style, driving, pulling and cutting as New Zealand struggled to contain him.

Bairstow drove Boult through mid-off to seal a 95-ball century, the second Test ton he has made at the ground after the 140 that set up an innings victory against Sri Lanka in 2016.

It was his second century of this series and a fourth in Tests for the 32-year-old since the turn of the year, after he also reached three figures against Australia. Across his career, it was a 10th Test ton.

Test newcomer Overton was exceptional too, unbeaten on 89 by the close, setting up what could be a pivotal Saturday.

England lead the three-match series 2-0, with Bairstow and Overton raising hopes of a clean sweep.

MARVEL MITCHELL

Before the Bairstow show began, the man of the day was Mitchell. He has enjoyed a stupendous series, reaching 482 runs from five innings so far.

That is the most runs scored by a New Zealand batter in a men's Test series against England, and Mitchell should get another crack in the second innings too. Centuries at Lord's, Trent Bridge and Headingley mean, even in defeat, he has been able to hold his head high.

WELL, THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY

From a position of peril, Bairstow and Overton took 37.1 overs to add over 200 runs. In the process they achieved England's first ever century partnership for the seventh wicket at Headingley, and then doubled it. Overton is in the side principally for his bowling but looked perfectly nequipped with bat in hand.

Bairstow's highest Test score is the 167 not out he scored against Sri Lanka at Lord's in June 2016, a matter of weeks after the Headingley ton against the same opposition. Going beyond that must be now in his sights.

Ben Stokes became just the third Test cricketer to reach 100 sixes in the longest format, but his England side were taking a bruising in the third match of the series against New Zealand.

England captain Stokes had seen New Zealand advance from their overnight 225-5 to post 329 all out, before a collapse saw the home side slump to 21-4 in reply at Headingley.

That brought Stokes to the middle, and he elected to go immediately on the attack.

From the third ball he faced, Stokes slapped Tim Southee's delivery high over the long-off boundary.

It took him to a career haul of 100 Test sixes, matching the total achieved by former Australia wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist.

The only man to plunder more is Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand great who is now England's Test head coach.

McCullum cleared the ropes 107 times in his distinguished Test career.

The all-out-attack approach from Stokes did not bring the desired results, with the skipper cracking a delivery from Neil Wagner to Kane Williamson at mid-off to be out for 18 from 13 deliveries.

When Ben Foakes was pegged leg before wicket three balls later, without any addition to the score, England were in deep trouble on 55-6, having earlier seen Alex Lees, Ollie Pope and Zak Crawley bowled by the hugely impressive Trent Boult.

The final match of the series is effectively a dead rubber, however, with England holding an unassailable 2-0 lead.

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