Bairstow, Overton defy wickets’ spree to keep third Test in balance

LEEDS: England’s last match hero Jonny Bairstow shone in the third Test with a gritty century as he and the debutant Jamie Overton put on a valiant partnership to neutralize the early havoc by the New Zealand bowlers on the second day.

Earlier in the day, New Zealand’s overnight pair of Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell resumed the proceedings for the touring side at 225/5 before the latter’s valiant knock of 55 runs after adding 18 runs into the team’s total on the second day.

Following their partnership, the touring batting tail began to crumble as the side was losing wickets at an alarming rate. New Zealand’s top-scorer Mitchell, on the other hand, held his ground firm and scored his third consecutive century.

The right-handed batter top-scored for the side with 109 runs off 228 balls, laced with nine boundaries and three sixes.

With Mitchell’s dismissal in the 116th over, the tailenders did little to none to resist the strong English bowling attack and the side was soon bowled out for 329 in the second session.

For England, Jack Leach starred with a five-fer, while Stuart Broad chipped in with his three. Overton and Matthew Potts, on the other hand, struck out a batter each.

In response, the home side was off to a dismal start as the Kiwi pacers ran through the English top order and the hosts were struggling at 55-6 in the 12th over.

Following the early horror, the pair of Bairstow and Overton neutralized the trouble as they displayed sheer grit to bring their side back in the game and carried their bats till the stumps.

England’s last match hero Bairstow amassed his century, while Overton is 11 away from the milestone on his debut when the umpires dislodged the bails.

Following their astounding unbeaten partnership, England manage to find themselves in a comfortable position as they finished on 264-6 in 49 overs.

Bairstow (130) and Overton (89) will now resume the proceedings for the home side on the third day.

READ: Carey rescues Australia to seal consolation win over Sri Lanka in fifth ODI