New Zealand Test hero Daryl Mitchell continued his jaw-dropping English summer, making history as he reached his third century on the show – and in the boldest way.
Mitchell became the first player in Test history to score a century in all three Tests of a three-Test away series on Friday when he passed triple figures on the second day of the Third Test at Headingley.
With his score of 95, Mitchell advanced down the track to Jack Leach, tossing a ball from the outside leg stump over the long boundary line for six.
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“The shot that took him to 100 pretty much sums up the form he’s in,” former England captain Nasser Hussain said in a comment.
“He’s in the shape of his life. What a player he has been in this series, what a thorn he has been alongside England.
England great Michael Atherton added: “What a nerve to do that on 95.”
Fourteen visiting batters had previously come to England and scored three centuries in a single Test series. But Mitchell is the only one to have achieved the feat in three games or less.
Mitchell was fired for 109 minutes later when he was superbly caught by England skipper Ben Stokes off Leach.
The 31-year-old became the fifth Black Caps player after Mark Burgess (1969-72), Ross Taylor (2013), Tom Latham (2018-19) and Kane Williamson (2020-21) to score tons in three successive tests. His total of 482 points is now the highest by a New Zealander in a series against England, usurping Martin Donnelly’s 462 in 1949.
World Test champions New Zealand trail 2-0 in the three-game series but Mitchell was a shining light and his 109 at Leeds followed scores of 108 at Lord’s and 190 at Nottingham.
had several lucky moments and he was given another chance on Friday.
The mid-order batsman was at 82 when he edged out Matthew Potts, only for wicketkeeper Ben Foakes to drop a one-handed chance at Joe Root on the first slip.
Blundell fell in an unusual way.
Two balls after players were told the decision review system had stopped working, Blundell was out LBW for 55 to give the persevering Potts, who is 1-30 in 25 overs, a well-deserved breakthrough.
Although Blundell was hit to the back cushion, the ball appeared to be headed for the leg but, with the batsman unable to contest the decision, New Zealand were now 243-6 after a 120 position.
New batsman Michael Bracewell fell for 13 when second slip Zak Crawley held a nick to give Stuart Broad a wicket on the paceman’s 36th birthday.
Mitchell completed the fourth hundred of his 12 Test career in style when he threw left-arm spinner Jack Leach for six.
But trying to repeat the shot, his 228-ball innings ended when he missed Leach, with England captain Ben Stokes holding a nice power grip from halfway.
— with AFP