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Root century boosts England

UPDATED 26 May, 2013 11:54AM AEDT | by Omnisport

Joe Root's maiden Test century helped England post a healthy 7-337 against New Zealand on day two at Headingley on Saturday.

Root came to the crease with England in trouble at 3-67 but solid partnerships with Ian Bell and Jonny Bairstow helped pull his side back into the match and leave the New Zealand bowlers toiling in the Leeds sunshine.

The 22-year-old's 104 saw him become the first Yorkshireman to score his maiden Test century at Headingley and the 11th-youngest England centurion of all time before falling to the first delivery with the new ball.

His partnership with Bairstow led England's fightback after a disappointing morning session.

After winning the toss, Alastair Cook chose to bat, but in the fourth over his opening partner Nick Compton departed for just one to continue his poor form from Lord's.

He played at a full delivery from Tim Southee and edged it to Dean Brownlie at third slip.

Cook and Trott steadied the ship to move the score on to 67 but within the space of two balls both men were back in the pavilion. The last ball of the 25th over from Neil Wagner tempted Trott into a cover-drive but he mistimed his shot and gave a feint edge to Brendon McCullum.

The first ball of the next over saw Cook follow Trott after he too was lured into playing a loose shot to a delivery from Doug Bracewell, his thick edge flew to Brownlie who made no mistake for his second catch of the morning.

Bell and Root settled things down in their partnership of 79 to move England away from the panic of a first-innings collapse. Bell's wicket led a charmed life as he successfully reviews a shout for lbw, but he looked well set on 30 before he fell to the off-spin of Kane Williamson.

Pushing at one outside the off-stump he nicked the ball to McCullum who made the catch.

The two young Yorkshiremen settled into life on the Headingley pitch, playing some neat shots and running well together between the wickets.

Root brought his 50 up in the 53rd over, running a quick two from a shot through midwicket, Bairstow followed him in the 75th over as he fired a shot through midwicket to the boundary.

Two overs later it was time for Root to reach three figures, after a few nervous moments in the 90s, he angled a shot through the empty slip cordon to the boundary to the delight of the Yorkshire crowd.

Soon after he was gone, nicking a Trent Boult delivery to McCullum before leaving the field to a standing ovation from his home crowd.

Bairstow was not far behind him as the new ball caused him problems and he too edged Boult to McCullum for the bowlers second wicket in quick succession.

Matt Prior's 38 off 63 balls helped lift England's total beyond 300, but he lost Stuart Broad after six balls without troubling the scorer.

Graeme Swann looked in good form when he replaced Broad, reaching 21 off 42 balls at the end of the day to put England in a strong position.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 26 May, 2013 10:07AM AEDT

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