New Zealand's players celebrate with the trophy for winning the Test series after clinching victory on the fourth day at Edgbaston Cricket Ground on Sunday. AFP
England endured its first Test series defeat at home since 2014 after meekly surrendering to New Zealand in less than an hour of play on the fourth day of the second Test at Edgbaston on Sunday.
The result was almost a certainty when the teams arrived at the ground after the home side's batting collapse a day earlier all but assured the touring side of a decisive victory. And it did not take long to confirm the result.
Resuming on 122-9, England lost its final wicket to the very first ball of the morning when Olly Stone poked Trent Boult timidly to wicketkeeper Tom Blundell.
That left a paltry target of 38 to take the two-match series 1-0 and the Black Caps became the first away side since Sri Lanka seven years ago to win in England with an eight-wicket victory.
Stuart Broad and Stone took a wicket apiece as Devon Conway nicked behind and Will Young dragged down his own stumps, but there was little more than ironic cheering from the stands.
Tom Latham, captaining what was a weakened side in the absence of top-ranked batsman Kane Williamson, levelled the scores by nudging Mark Wood for four and won it with a steer to the third-man boundary. He finished 23 not out, with Ross Taylor not facing a ball at the non-striker’s end.
In total there had been just under an hour of play, with a total of 11 overs, which meant that full refunds were due for those in attendance.
"It hasn't been our best week, has it?" England captain Joe Root told BBC Radio after his side came into this match missing Ollie Robinson, with the Sussex seamer suspended after a promising on-field Test debut at Lord's for historic racist and sexist Twitter posts.
"I think we've massively underperformed. Credit to New Zealand, they have outperformed us throughout the game."
A lively crowd at a sun-drenched Edgbaston roared James Anderson, making an England record 162nd Test appearance, onto the field when the No 11 walked out to bat with Stone and again when he opened the bowling.
But it was longstanding new-ball partner Stuart Broad who took the first New Zealand wicket to fall on Sunday when he had Blackcaps player of the series Devon Conway caught behind for three. New Zealand were in sight of victory when Will Young was bowled by Olly Stone.
Latham then ended the match courtesy of a four down to third man off fast bowler Mark Wood as New Zealand reached their target in 10.5 overs, with only 52 minutes play on Sunday needed to wrap up the match.
England resumed on the brink of defeat at 122-9 in their second innings, a lead of just 37 runs, after slumping to 76-7 on Saturday. Stone then fell for his overnight 15 when caught behind off left-arm quick Trent Boult.
Matt Henry, one of an extraordinary six changes to the New Zealand side that played at Lord's, took the first three wickets to fall in a return of 3-36, with Neil Wagner following up with 3-1
Such is the Blackcaps' strength in depth, however, that either bowler could be replaced by the rested Tim Southee in the WTC final.Henry was named player of the match following overall figures of 6-114.
"It's pretty easy to get motivated to play for your country," said fast bowler Henry. "We've had a strong squad for a while and every time you get the opportunity you want to do your best."
South Africa-born opener Conway was named New Zealand's player of the series after he followed a remarkable 200 on Test debut at Lord's with 80 in the first innings of this match.
"Definitely didn't believe it would go this well," said Conway. "It's very special to win here in England and it'll take some time for that to sink in."
South Africa-born left-hander Conway was in sight of becoming the very first batsman in the 144-year history of Test cricket to carry their bat throughout the entire innings in their first knock in the format when he was run out to end a stay of more than nine-and-a-half hours.
That meant they had an overall lead of 272 runs with 75.3 overs still left in the day — plenty of time in which to declare against an England side without several batsmen well-suited to a run chase in injured all-rounder Ben Stokes...
Robinson, in a statement issued after play on Wednesday, said he was "embarrassed" and "ashamed" by the posts. "I want to make it clear that I'm not racist and I'm not sexist," he added.
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