World Test Championship: Johnny Bairstow bashes Blackcaps bowlers as New Zealand suffer series clean-sweep defeat

Jonny Bairstow has hit the second-fastest test fifty for England, as they made light work of a 113-run target to beat the Blackcaps by seven wickets in the third and final test at Headingley, and ensure a 3-0 series victory.

Bairstow, whose batting heroics were key to ensuring England won the second test, picked up where he left off from Trent Bridge, bringing up his half century in 30 balls and then ensured victory on the last day with an unbeaten 71, finishing it off with a six.

A 111-run partnership with Joe Root, who was 86 not out, saw England reach the competitive victory target of 296, as they completed their first clean sweep of a home series in more than a decade.

Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow celebrate victory over New Zealand
Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow celebrate victory over New Zealand. Photo credit: Getty

Rain delayed the start of play by 90 minutes, but it then took just over an hour and 15.2 overs for England to canter to victory.

Resuming at 183/2 overnight, they needed 113 runs for victory and were very much in the driving seat, even if Ollie Pope was dismissed with the fifth ball of the day.

Pope went for 82, as Tim Southee knocked over his off-stump to offer New Zealand hope of a potential upset comeback, but that was quickly dispelled by Bairstow's bashing of their bowlers.

Playing on his home ground, Bairstow hit eight fours and three sixes, as he took to the bowling and left Root, who had been 55 overnight, little chance to get to a century.

For the third successive test , England reached a substantive target with an aggressive batting display. They won the first test at Lord's, as they chased down 277 runs, while in the second test at Nottingham, they reached 299/5 in their second innings, with Bairstow scoring 136.

"It was a pretty special start and to do it so quickly, phenomenal," said new England captain Ben Stokes.

Last time England swept a home series was a 4-0 success over India in 2011.

"We had an opportunity to win in all three tests, but credit to the way England went about it," added New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. "They chose to counterattack and did it very well." 

England now move quickly onto completing last year's series against India, after the fifth test at Old Trafford was cancelled, because of COVID-19 cases. It will now be played at Edgbaston, starting Friday.