Stokes: No Regrets About Follow-On Despite One-Run NZ Defeat
Ben Stokes of England — Photo by [email protected]

Ben Stokes had no regrets despite England becoming only the fourth side in Test history to lose after enforcing the follow-on as New Zealand claimed a thrilling one-run triumph in the second Test.

Neil Wagner dismissed James Anderson caught behind down leg side to clinch a remarkable victory in Wellington, with England bowled out for 256 in pursuit of 258 to win.

England appeared certain winners after bowling out New Zealand for 209 in the first innings, having made 435-8 declared, with Stokes enforcing the follow on.

But the Black Caps’ rearguard was led by former skipper Kane Williamson with his 26th Test century as they made 483 to set England a tricky fourth-innings target.

Stokes, however, had no regrets about his decision to enforce the follow-on which is increasingly rare nowadays with sides wary to put too much physical toll on their bowlers.

“It was always our game to lose once we enforced the follow-on and the logic behind it was our opening bowlers had ripped through their top order three innings in a row, and New Zealand had to pretty much play the perfect game to put us in a situation like this,” Stokes told BT Sport.

“Chasing 250 in the last innings is something we’d never worry about, but you’ve got to give credit to New Zealand.”

The Black Caps’ win means the series ends 1-1, despite England’s apparent domination until the second innings of the second Test.

However, Stokes conceded it was thrilling to be part of such a remarkable game.

“Going down to the last day, being in that situation in the last half-hour, it’s everything you wish for - and even though we came out on the wrong side of it you can’t help but feel blessed we’ve managed to be part of an incredible game like that,” he said.

“It’s disappointing to not win, obviously, but you look at the bigger picture about what everyone has enjoyed and seen here, it’s probably bigger than any disappointment at the moment.”

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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