Leeds [UK], June 28 (ANI): After facing a defeat in the three-match Test series against England, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson credited his rivals for their brilliant counterattack in the game.
Powerful knocks from Joe Root (86*) and Jonny Bairstow (71*) guided England to a thumping seven-wicket win over the Kiwis in the final Test at Headingley in Leeds on Monday.
England were at their dominant best in the match. Though New Zealand set a challenging 296 runs to win, the English batters responded with some beautiful hitting, sealing the match by seven wickets and the series by a margin of 3-0.
"It's been an incredible series, in all three matches we have had our opportunities. Credit to the way the English team played. Whenever they were put under pressure, they chose to counterattack and they certainly did that very well no better than this match in particular where we were in a fairly strong position. All in all, a great series," said Williamson after the final Test ended.
"For us, there are a lot of positives, it's a matter of regrouping and looking ahead. They counter-attacked and that's a new thing to their approach and they certainly did that extremely well. They were good in all areas. It was a highly competitive series and they won the fine margins and fine moments which spun the momentum and perhaps the outcome of the match. No doubt they'll try to build on that and move forward as a side," he added.
The Kiwi skipper further said he thought that the seamers would play an important in the match as the team was opting for a good balance.
"We sort of opted for the balance, we looked at the surface and were curious how it'd break out. We felt the seamers would play a major role. We saw the ball seaming even today. For us it was frustrating that even with 300 on the board, it still wasn't the easiest surface to bat on," said Williamson.
Coming to the final Test, chasing 296, England was not off the finest start, opener Alex Lees was run out for just 9 at the team's score of 17. Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope resumed the chase for England. Their promising stand was cut short at 34-runs after Crawley was dismissed for 25 by spinner Michael Bracewell after being caught by skipper Kane Williamson.
From then on, Ollie Pope and Joe Root took complete control of England's innings. The duo hit the bowlers around the park. Pope and Root continued their good run in the series, getting to their half-centuries.
The 134-run stand between the duo ended after Southee clean bowled Pope for 82 off 108 with 12 fours.
With England 185/3, The duo of Root and Jonny Bairstow was at the crease. Root kept one end steady while Bairstow continued his explosive run in the second innings as well, bringing his half-century in just 30 balls.
The duo stitched a quickfire 111-run stand, earning their side a seven-wicket win, with Root (86*) and Bairstow scoring an explosive 71 off just 44 balls. (ANI)