Ben Stokes says Trent Bridge win is his greatest


Captain Ben Stokes described England's stunning victory over New Zealand as his biggest triumph as an England player, surpassing his heroics at Headingley and in the World Cup final. England won the second Test at Trent Bridge by chasing 299 with 22 overs to spare on the last day.

"Every minute out there on the field was wonderful," Stokes added.

"I'm still trying to figure out how we pursued 299 with 22 overs left on day five of a Test."

Stokes, 31, had two career-defining innings in the summer of 2019, first against New Zealand in the World Cup final at Lord's and then against Australia in the third Ashes Test in Leeds.

In his second Test as full-time captain, England pulled off a spectacular run-chase in front of a capacity 17,000-crowd that took advantage of the free final-day attendance.

England set a target of 299 from 72 overs and cruised to victory in 50 overs. The chase was not only England's fifth-highest of all time, but it was also the fastest they had ever pursued a target of more than 100 runs, scoring at nearly six runs per over.

Jonny Bairstow led them with 136, reaching three figures in 77 balls - England's second-fastest Test century - while Stokes finished 75 not out.

"I was out there with him for a bit and he had the Jonny eyes," Stokes said on Test Match Special. "You've probably seen it on TV, but when he's got those eyes, you can't stop him." Let him go ahead and do what he needs to do."

Bairstow took 59 runs from 29 balls in one amazing stretch after tea, narrowly missing out on a 120-year record for England's fastest ton.

"It was a lot of fun," he stated. "I'm quite proud of how I handled it.

"It was a decision to go up, hit the ball into the seats, and continue swinging hard. 'Don't even think about keeping the ball down,' Stokesy advised. I was simply following the captain's instructions."

The result provides England a series victory over the world champions, and they are now two wins from two under new captain Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum, who have urged the players to play with aggression, enthusiasm, and freedom.

"This couldn't have been a better start in terms of the new direction we want to take," Stokes added.

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