'Just whack it in the stands': Bairstow after England's fastest ton in 120 years | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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Ben Stokes said 'just whack it in the stands': Jonny Bairstow after England's fastest Test ton in 120 years

Jun 15, 2022 11:20 AM IST

Jonny Bairstow smashed the fastest Test bundred by an England cricketer in 120 years. He narrolwy missed the record set for the fastest hundred by Gilbert Jessop in 1902. Gilbert had smashed a 75-ball hundred against Australia at the Oval in 1902.

A cheese-and-ham toast and a cup of coffee worked wonders for Jonny Bairstow. After the short meal in the 20-minute tea break, Bairstow hit seven sixes and nine fours in 44 balls in a breath-taking display of strokeplay in the final session of Day 5 in the second Test match to lead one of the most memorable run-chases in the history of Test cricket. In the process Bairstow also smashed the fastest Test bundred by an England cricketer in 120 years. He narrolwy missed the record set for the fastest hundred by Gilbert Jessop in 1902. Gilbert had smashed a 75-ball hundred against Australia at the Oval in 1902. Bairstow took a ball extra to reach his three-figures against New Zealand at Trent Bridge on Tuesday.

England's Jonny Bairstow celebrates reaching his century(Action Images via Reuters)
England's Jonny Bairstow celebrates reaching his century(Action Images via Reuters)

"Had a cheese-and-ham-toastie and cup of coffee," Bairstow said when asked about his wereabouts duriing the tea break. "There's a good chance (of having it every time I walk out to bat)," he added.

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Watch | 160 runs in 16 overs of a Test, Bairstow, Stokes rewrite record books

Bairstow ended up with 136 off 92 balls as England chased down the 299-run target set by New Zealand to take an ubeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. England needed 160 runs in the final session off 38 overs. They did it in just 16, scoring at a remarkable run rate of 10 runs per over - the most in any session of Test match (where a minimum 15 overs have been bowled).

Baristow had captain Ben Stokes at the other end, who also showed no mercy to the New Zealand bowlers. In fact, it was Stokes who had told Bairstow to go for the big shots in the final session.

"And then Ben said don't even think about hitting it down, try to hit it into the stands," Bairstow added.

Bairstow fell for 136 off 92 balls just before the victory was sealed, leaving Stokes (75 not out) to get England over the line, but there was no doubt who was the star of the show.

"It was great fun, one of those things when you get in that mood, just go with it. Do or die, so you've got to do. Not sure about 'picking the right ball'... strip it back, it's only you and the bowler there. Just watch the ball, that's the zone and you have to get in it," Bairstow said.

The right-handed wicketkeeper-batter who is also one of the most dangerous ball-strikers in white-ball cricket, said they approached the chase like an ODI match.

"When there's been so many runs scored in the game, you don't look at it as a record run-chase, we saw it as a one-day game. Pitch good, outfield fast, positive approach, the brand of cricket, and the players who can play that brand of cricket. Let's see what's going to happen because it's going to be a journey.

"The pitch was good, that never-say-die attitude allowed people to go and flourish. Joe and Popey set up the way we capitalised at the end. This is No.1 for me, tricky not to be, a lot of chatter around England's Test cricket, some of it's been harsh, but we've battled through a few things. And if we can keep close as a group and go forward, the sky is the limit," he said.

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