In front of his young daughter, Rory Burns hails a “special” hundred.

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In front of his young daughter, Rory Burns hails a “special” hundred.

On the penultimate day of the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s, Rory Burns celebrated his England return with a fighting century in front of his wife and young daughter.

Following Tim Southee’s three-wicket burst swung the tide in the tourists’ favor on the fourth morning, Burns, who was axed midway through the India tour last winter after a series of poor scores, showed commendable resolve.

England’s overnight score of 111 for two was reduced to 140 for six, and while Burns batted slowly for much of the day, he anchored the innings with 132 in England’s 275 all-out response to New Zealand’s 378.

Burns was the last man out after nicking off to Southee, who finished with six for 43 in 25.1 brilliant overs, before the Black Caps increased their lead to 165 after finishing on 62 for two in their second innings.

Burns had an up-and-down winter – while celebrating the birth of his first child in January, he lost his place in the England team and had an unseemly Twitter spat with 2017 Women’s World Cup winner Alex Hartley – but he was overjoyed to begin his summer with a third Test ton in front of his young family.

“My wife and Cora were here, so getting a hundred in front of them was fairly special – not that she’ll remember it, but I will, so that’s nice,” said Burns.

“Getting fired isn’t pleasant, but being able to seize the next chance that comes your way is. It’s always good to give back.

“From a personal standpoint, you want to contribute to the team as much as possible. We needed those runs, therefore it was enjoyable to complete them.”

Burns, who has an LV= Insurance County Championship average of 61.55, was handed a significant let-off on 77 when BJ Watling missed an easy stumping opportunity after the batsman had advanced down the track to Mitchell Santner.

On 88, he was granted another reprieve. (This is a brief piece.)

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