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The cricket world has been left stunned after viewers spotted a bizarre moment involving Joe Root and his bat, which was picked up on broadcast before a delivery.
Root made history after becoming the quickest English player ever to reach 10,000 Test runs after producing a world class century to help his nation defeat New Zealand in Game 1 at Lords.
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It was perhaps fitting Root did most to deliver the result with an outstanding knock of 115 not out forming the spine of the chase as England hunted down a target of 277 with five wickets to spare.
However, it was an unusual moment during the run chase that had social media buzzing.
During Kyle Jamieson's run-up before a delivery, viewers noticed Root wasn't holding his bat.
The bat was standing upright, without assistance, next to him.
While Root was conjuring some magic on the pitch, many joked he had produced some magic off it to help his bat stay upright.
— Webbo (@WebboOne) June 5, 2022
Ok… apparently Root now has flat-bottomed bats, not slightly curved as per usual. https://t.co/ECL87LGevd
— Will Macpherson (@willis_macp) June 5, 2022
— John Humphrey (@humphtweeteth) June 5, 2022
— Rob (@Berty23) June 5, 2022
The best explanation for the unusual moment is Root's bat has a flatter edge than most other bats.
Regardless, the moment of the day was Root reaching the 10,000 Test run feat with a legendary batting display.
Cricket world praises Joe Root achievement
New England captain Ben Stokes saved some special praise for Root, following his maiden win after taking over the team.
"Winning games is always special, particularly for England, and this was a great day. It was fantastic for me to see a very close friend walk off after leading the team to victory," Stokes said.
"Joe and I are very close, we're not just work colleagues. To see him walk off there, leading the team to victory, seeing the emotion of pure joy and happiness to win a game for England in his first game after stepping down as captain was amazing.
"There is never any doubt of Joe stepping up on the big occasions."
There was mutual appreciation from Root, whose 26th career century saw him join Sir Alastair Cook in an exclusive group of just two Englishman to pass 10,000 Test runs.
He owed several of his most memorable wins in charge of the national side to Stokes and was pleased to begin repaying the debt of gratitude.
"It's my turn now," he said with a satisfied smile.
Amazing to think this was Joe Root’s first 4th innings ton. Second Englishman to cross 10000 Test runs and equal youngest ever with Sir Alistair Cook at 31yrs and 157 days. Job done for England - well played 👏👏#ENGvsNZ
— Isa Guha (@isaguha) June 5, 2022
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) June 5, 2022
Must be one of the greatest hundreds of Joe Root's career. To win a Test at Lord's in his first game back in the ranks and his first in the fourth innings of any Test. World-class performance from one of the greatest England have had...
— Paul Newman (@Paul_NewmanDM) June 5, 2022
Outstanding and so deserving for Joe Root.His home conditions are probably the toughest place to bat in the world. He does well in the subcontinent. He is superb in white ball as well. Need to celebrate Root a lot more. What a player!! #ENGvsNZ
— Gaurav Sundararaman (@gaurav_sundar) June 5, 2022
Joe Root, the great crowd pleaser that he is, has secured victory quickly enough that 4th day ticket holders will receive a full refund.
— George Dobell (@GeorgeDobell1) June 5, 2022
"That's a great motivator for me moving forward, with the amount of amazing things Ben did for this team under my leadership.
"It's a great opportunity for me in the next phase of my career to do that for him. I'm not sure I'll be able to do some of the things he has done but I can certainly try."
For Stokes, a wildly fluctuating win that could have gone either way, provided another indelible Lord's memory against New Zealand.
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