Joe Root celebrated a timely return to form with a double century in Hamilton on Monday as England forged a 101-run lead over New Zealand on the fourth day of the second Test.
The England captain reached the milestone with a risky single with batting partner Ollie Pope slow off the mark and only keeping his wicket when the throw at the stumps went wide.
A sheepish Root apologized to Pope for nearly burning him before taking his helmet off and raising his bat to the crowd.
By reaching his double ton, Root became the first visiting captain to ever score a 200 in New Zealand.
In the Hamilton Test, Root came out to bat after England found themselves in a tricky position, having lost two wickets within the first ten overs. Root, alongside Rory Burns (101), stabilized the visitors’ innings before putting them in a commanding position.
Ollie Pope (75) forged another important partnership with Root, steering England to lead in the first innings. Root was eventually dismissed on 226 by Mitchell Santner.
Root surpassed the West Indies opener Chris Gayle (197) to register the highest score by a visiting captain in New Zealand. He is now the fourth England captain to score a double hundred in an overseas Test. Len Hutton (205, in Kingston 1954), Ted Dexter (205, in Karachi 1962) and Alastair Cook (263, in Abu Dhabi 2015) have scored double-tons for England as captains.
Among the English batsmen, Graham Thorpe was the last batsman to score a double century in New Zealand. He remained unbeaten on 200 in Christchurch in 2002.
Overall, it was the first double-century in New Zealand by an overseas player since Shakib Al Hasan slammed 217 in Wellington in January 2017.
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