Captain Ben Stokes said England’s victory over New Zealand in the second Test at Trent Bridge was the highlight of his career, surpassing even his Ashes heroics at Headingley in 2019 and his match-winning innings in the 50-overs World Cup the same year.
Jonny Bairstow smashed a century and Stokes made an unbeaten 75 as England chased 299 in 50 overs on the final day to win by five wickets and clinch the three-match series against the reigning world Test champions.
Stokes said the victory “blows away” his other memorable moments in an England shirt, including the 2019 Ashes when he dragged the side back from the brink of defeat to beat Australia in the third Test.
“I’m struggling to find words for what we witnessed out there today, it was just phenomenal,” said Stokes, who took over as captain in April after Joe Root stepped down.
World Cup final
“That blows away Headingley, it blows away Lord’s and the World Cup final. Just emotionally and the enjoyment of every minute I had on that field, it was incredible.
“I just can’t quite wrap my head around how we’ve chased 299 with 20 overs left on day five of the Test match when we had to bowl 15 overs this morning. That’s never going to happen again. But if it does, it is probably us who are going to do it.”
The series victory is England’s first under skipper Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum, who replaced Chris Silverwood.
England will look to complete a clean sweep of the series when the third Test gets underway at Headingley on June 23.