Twitter Reactions: Clinical New Zealand finish formalities to clinch series 1-0

Twitter Reactions: Clinical New Zealand finish formalities to clinch series 1-0

New Zealand recorded their maiden win in Edgbaston.

New Zealand
New Zealand. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Coming to the fourth day at Edgbaston, the question was only about when and never if for New Zealand to seal the two-match Test series 1-0 and record their first Test victory in the format in England since 1999. One ball. That is how long it took for Trent Boult to induce an edge off Olly Stone’s bat that Tom Blundell obliged by gulping behind, setting the paltriest of targets for a historic win.

The cruel game that Test cricket is, despite knowing the result, England had to walk out to finish the formalities – put more precisely, lose on the fourth day, to give an underwhelming and forgettable spectacle to the crowd that had returned to cricket after some agonizing months of divorce with live action.

Set only 38 to register their maiden win in Edgbaston, New Zealand could not go unscathed as Stuart Broad had Devon Conway nick one behind to James Bracey, while Will Young played on Olly Stone. Before any further damage, Tom Latham sealed an eight-wicket win by guiding Wood to the third-man fence for four. 

Latham seals the deal

The result of the Test was a foregone conclusion already, after a horrendous batting effort from the hosts on day three after Ross Taylor’s 80 and handy contributions from the tail took New Zealand 85 past England’s first-innings tally. Matt Henry made the ball talk, dismissing both England openers in a session where seven wickets fell and Neil Wagner joined along in the carnage, as did Ajaz Patel in the final session before Mark Wood and Stone added a defiant 44 to ensure that an innings defeat was taken out of the picture.

In England’s defense, this was a unit sans many superstars, including Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran and Moeen Ali, but so was New Zealand, who made as many as six changes ahead of the second rubber due to a combination of injuries and rotation. That included an injured Kane Williamson, for whom Tom Latham took charge. 

The scoreline of the series reads 1-0, while it is easy to forget that New Zealand looked the better team for almost the entirety of the Lord’s Test, too, where weather played its part. New Zealand rued the entirely washed out third day but ensured to be on their toes in the second game. Walking against India in that contest in five days, there could not have been a better way to prepare. 

Here’s how Twitter reacted: