Ben Stokes was “pretty chuffed” to make the fastest Test century ever recorded at Lord’s as he and Alastair Cook put England in a strong position to strike for victory over New Zealand.
In their second innings England reached 429-6 at the end of day four, for a lead of 295 runs to take into today.
Stokes hit 15 fours and three sixes in his 85-ball century, which he reached with a single, making up for the disappointment of being dismissed for 92 in his first innings.
“We finished off really well. We’re 430-6 now, quite far ahead of the game, and everyone upstairs is in a really, really good mood,” said Stokes.
“I rode my luck a bit I guess with a couple of top edges but I guess you need a bit of luck to succeed. Things just went my way all day.
“I was pretty nervous when I was in the nineties again, but to get that one away was a pretty special feeling and to do it at the home of cricket as well was fantastic and it’s something I’ll never forget.”
Cook plundered an undefeated 153 at a more circumspect pace, enjoying the sight of Stokes cutting loose before the Durham player fell for 101.
“Cooky just let me keep on going on with it,” added a delighted Stokes.
“I felt when I was in I’d got this far I might as well keep having a hack.
“Things paid off and I’m pretty chuffed with that.”
Stokes also reminded New Zealand of the last time they faced a fourth-innings run chase at Lord’s: the May 2013 clash when the Black Caps were bowled out for a lamentable 68, as Stuart Broad steamed in to take seven wickets.
“I wouldn’t want to say what the plans are because I don’t have a clue,” Stokes said of the final day in this match.
“But we find ourselves in a really, really good position at the moment because of how we’ve played today.
“You know that playing at Lord’s you can lose wickets quickly – it happened last time here when England played New Zealand – hopefully Jimmy (Anderson) and Broady can produce something like that and we can get a win.”