New Zealand registered their first Test series win in England since 1999, thumping the woeful hosts by eight wickets on Day 4 of the Edgbaston Test. The defeat saw England slump to their first home Test series defeat since 2014.
The result of the Test became a foregone conclusion on Day 3 itself, when England went to stumps at 122 for 9, with a slender second-innings lead of 37. It needed only one ball for the Black Caps to wrap up the England innings on Day 4. Trent Boult got Olly Stone (15) to edge one behind the stumps, bowling with a scrambled seam.
Defending a meagre target of 38, there was something to celebrate for England as in-form New Zealand opener Devon Conway (3) nicked one from Stuart Broad in the second over of the chase. Will Young (8) was then bowled off the inside edge by Olly Stone. But the target was within striking distance for New Zealand by then.
Stand-in skipper Tom Latham (23 not out) took the Kiwis past the winning line, crunching Mark Wood for two boundaries in the 11th over. During his innings, Latham also went past 4000 Test runs.
England lost the Test on the third day when they crumbled to 58 for 5 and eventually ended the day on 122 with a solitary wicket standing. Matt Henry (3/36) and Neil Wagner (3/18) combined to run through the hapless English batting attack while Trent Boult and Ajaz Patel claimed two scalps apiece.
Only two England batsmen - Ollie Pope (23) and Mark Wood (29) - could cross the 20-run mark in the second innings. When English skipper Root was the seventh man out for 76, it seemed the Test would end inside three days. However, some stubborn lower-order resistance saved England from that ignominy.
Earlier, England elected to bat first after winning the toss. They were poor with the willow in the first innings as well. Fighting knocks from Rory Burns (81) and Dan Lawrence (81) and a good support act from Mark Wood (41) lifted them to 303.
New Zealand were well-placed for a massive lead in response. Impressive knocks from Devon Conway (80), Will Young (82) and Ross Taylor (80) saw them reach 292 for 3. However, England fought back hard to restrict the Black Caps to 388. Stuart claimed 4 for 48 while Wood and Stone took two wickets each. England’s batting, however, undid all the hard work of the bowlers.
Nasser Hussain, Michael Vaughan lash out at England batsmen
Following England’s abject surrender with the bat in the second innings, former captains Nasser Hussain and Michael Vaughan questioned the team’s batting ability.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Hussain wondered why England's batsmen were adamant about experimenting with their batting technique. He commented:
‘It was just an abject batting performance. It is like they are reinventing the wheel. They have all these odd techniques and idiosyncratic movements. In county cricket, they are all standing on off-stump and flashing at balls outside off. It’s like everyone else is wrong — all those great players of the past, people like Sir Viv Richards and Graham Gooch — and they are right.”
Vaughan blamed England for not learning from their mistakes at Lord’s. Claiming that Joe Root’s men escaped with a draw in the first Test, Vaughan told The Telegraph:
“They got lucky at Lord’s because it rained. But to make the same mistake two weeks in a row – that is a glaring tactical error. The wicket was not gripping and offering a lot of turn, but you need a variation when it is hot and dry at Edgbaston.”
England were criticized for their negative approach in the Lord’s Test, as they played for a draw after New Zealand set them a sporting target of 273 in 75 overs.
Following the Edgbaston win, New Zealand reclaimed the No. 1 spot in the ICC Test rankings.