An unlikely New Zealand hero has produced a milestone cricketing moment as he became the first man in 92-years to achieve a stunning feat.

Kiwi Daryl Mitchell set a stunning cricketing record the world hasn’t seen since Sir Donald Bradman — but he would not have been in the celebrating mood at stumps on Day 2.

Mitchell’s third century in three tests was overshadowed by a dramatic fightback from England in the Third Test at Headingley.

Jonny Bairstow and Jamie Overton shared a remarkable unbroken stand of 209 as England ended the second day on 264-6, just 65 runs behind New Zealand.

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It was looking bleak for the home side when they slumped to 55-6 following New Zealand’s first-innings of 329.

But Bairstow came out blasting and reached stumps 130 not out from just 126 balls to turn the match on its head.

It left Mitchell’s record buried as a footnote.

Mitchell’s 109 followed the middle-order batter’s 108 at Lord’s and 190 at Trent Bridge.

The 31-year-old only played at Lord’s after injury and illness ruled out Henry Nicholls, but he has seized his chance to such an extent that Mitchell is now the only overseas batter apart from Australia hero and cricket icon Don Bradman in 1930 to compile hundreds in each of the first three Tests of a series in England.

But the “competitor at heart” added he would like to make a hundred in a winning cause for a change this tour.

“It’d be nice,” he said. “That’s why you play the game, to win Test matches for your country.”

Meanwhile, Overton was 89 not out at stumps — a superb effort from a fast bowler in his first Test innings.

England coach Brendon McCullum is adamant ‘Baz ball’, as his approach has been dubbed, is not just a matter of going hell for leather.

But it does appear to be about expanding the realms of possibility, with Bairstow telling reporters: “We (England) are still in the infancy of it, but what I will say is we are looking to take the game forward.

“You can go into your shell and bat the way people have done for years and years and years — try to survive against bowlers like Trent Boult and Tim Southee when they’re bowling so well — but you need to transfer the momentum. You need to take them off their lengths.”

Bairstow now hopes to have the best seat in the house on Saturday as Overton looks to complete what would be an astounding debut hundred.

“Jamie played unbelievably. I guess it helps being 6ft 5in but blooming heck, that was some seriously special striking; unbelievable hitting,” he said.

“Hopefully in the morning we will be able to experience him getting his maiden Test hundred, which would be absolutely lovely.”

— with AFP

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