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England's Joe Root celebrates winning the match with Ben Foakes at Lord's Cricket Ground in London, Britain, June 5 2022. Picture: PAUL CHILDS/REUTERS
England's Joe Root celebrates winning the match with Ben Foakes at Lord's Cricket Ground in London, Britain, June 5 2022. Picture: PAUL CHILDS/REUTERS

Joe Root’s hunger to succeed with England burns as bright as ever after a masterful unbeaten 115 carried the side to a five-wicket victory over New Zealand in the first Test at Lord’s on Sunday.

Root reluctantly resigned the captaincy this year and was replaced by Ben Stokes, but in scoring his 26th Test century and becoming the 14th batsman to pass 10,000 runs, he quickly underlined his continuing importance to the side.

He shared an unbeaten partnership of 120 for the sixth wicket with Ben Foakes to lead the hosts to a tough victory target of 277.

“It feels fantastic, more than anything for us to have won this Test match after such a long time. It has been a tough road, but the way everyone has gone about this week has been so enjoyable,” Root said. “I’m really looking forward to the rest of the summer and hopefully we can use this as a way to move forward as a group now.”

England won only one of Root’s last 17 Tests as captain, despite his own impressive form with the bat, and he hopes to help Stokes and new coach Brendan McCullum start a successful era for the Test team.

“You look at the number of times Ben won Test matches under my leadership, it is a great opportunity for me to try and give back to him. It was nice to do it for him today,” Root said.

“As long as I have the energy to keep doing it [play for England], I will do. I love batting and I love the group of players we have. “I could not wish for a better person to be leading this team, so I will do everything I can to help him win games and see us be a successful Test team again.”

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said his side must move on quickly from their defeat.

New Zealand were in a commanding position as they led by 242 runs in their second innings with six wickets remaining, but lost three in three balls to open the door for England to fight back and, in the end, complete a comfortable victory.

“We thought there might be some assistance from the overhead [conditions] but it wasn’t to be,” Williamson said. “It’s about moving on quickly and taking the learnings. There’s always plenty to take forward.”

The second Test gets under way at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Friday. 

Reuters

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