The game went on till the fifth day, there was a follow-on and whatnot, a complete package of what one can dream with the Test match at its best. Yes, it all happened in the recently concluded second of the tw0-match Test series between New Zealand and England at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
The hosts New Zealand were looking on the backfoot in the earlier stage of the match when they were asked to follow on the first-innings total of England; 435 for the loss of eight wickets (declared). But out of nowhere, the result England would’ve barely expected, Tim Southee’s men won this Wellington fixture in a thrilling manner by only a margin of 1 run.
The cricket fans and the entire cricketing fraternity were also awestruck, shocked, and amused to see the amazing stuff of Test cricket in Wellington. They took to Twitter to praise the efforts of the Kiwi team; subsequently, the fans also hailed the legacy of cricket by claiming that the traditional format of the game is going to stay there.
Here’s how fans reacted:
WHAT A GAME OF CRICKET
New Zealand have won it by the barest of margins…
This is test cricket at its finest ❤️
#NZvENG#izmirdeprem #noorderlicht #electionresults2023 #protest #PokemonDay #Cricket #ENGvNZ pic.twitter.com/ndzYcFHvtL
— Manzoor Nawaz (@mrmanzoornawaz) February 28, 2023
What a Historic moment for Kiwis in Test cricket – Take a bow.#NZvENG #TestCricket #KaneWilliamson #ENGvNZ pic.twitter.com/rlz3WW1Bur
— Isha Rastogi (@IshaRas40433124) February 28, 2023
#NZvENG matches manage to make us on our feet again
Gritty stuff from team in 2nd innings and they deserved it
— Suraj (@Suraj20831803) February 28, 2023
New Zealand has won it by just 1 run. "The beauty of Test Cricket".
WHAT A GAME OF CRICKET!! #NZvsENG 🔥
— Mithran R (@r_mithran) February 28, 2023
Test cricket doesn't need much advertisement. Just show them this match NZ Vs ENG. pic.twitter.com/XWyAhv89Ns
— Ashish Singh BJP 🇮🇳 (@LifeOfThakurJi) February 28, 2023
Stokes v Wagner in the 4th innings of a close Test match is arguably the greatest clutch battle you could have watched this generation.#NZvsENG
— Rohit Sankar (@imRohit_SN) February 28, 2023
New Zealand's win is only the fourth time a team has won after following on in 2494 Tests spanning 146 years! 🤯#NZvsENG #Wagner pic.twitter.com/jSbFfFJqPe
— Suraj Menon (@SurajTweettss) February 28, 2023
That was WIDE from Wagner, and why did Jack Leach was leaving that over before, he should've finished the game when 2 was needed. New Zealand won by 1 run. England throw this win. #NZvENG #nzvseng #TestCricket pic.twitter.com/r4Myzri5Ib
— LSG 🏏 (@PeterParker7194) February 28, 2023
New Zealand won the wellington test by 1 run. Such an amazing game of test cricket where a team came from following on to win the test. #NZvENG #NZvsENG #Williamson #TestCricket #Wellington #CricketTwitter #Cricket
— Wasay Habib (@wwasay) February 28, 2023
Take a bow, Kiwis.🙌🏻#NZvsENG
— Sports Trumpet (@Sportstrumpet) February 28, 2023
Speaking of the action of the match, the Kiwi skipper Tim Southee won the toss and asked the visitors to bat first. Batting first, Ben Stokes’ men declared the first innings on 435 runs for the loss of eight wickets courtesy of the brilliant centuries from former skipper Joe Root (153 runs) and young batting sensation Harry Brook (186 runs).
Replying to England’s first innings, the New Zealand batting lineup succumbed to England’s bowling lineup comprising veterans, James Anderson and Stuart Broad alongside the star spinner Jack Leach. Anderson and Leach scalped three wickets each; Stuart Broad ended up claiming four wickets to his name to restrict the hosts to 209 runs and made them follow on the innings.
Following on the remaining lead of 226 runs, former skipper and batting superstar Kane Williamson shone for his team and aggregated a crucial century of 132 runs in the second innings. Apart from Kane, senior opener Tom Latham and wicketkeeper-batter Tom Blundell also contributed with knocks of 83 and 90 runs respectively.
New Zealand took a lead of 257 runs in the second innings and posted a target of 258 runs for England to win the match. In the fourth innings of the match, England was heading towards the target, thanks to Joe Root’s knock of 95 runs. But things started turning in favor of Tim Southee & co. after the dismissal of England skipper Ben Stokes on the team’s score of 201 runs. Eventually, in a thrilling contest, England couldn’t cross the line and lost the match by only 1 run to settle with the score line of 1-1 in the two-match Test series.