August 26, 2019 01:34:40

Ben Stokes has etched his name into Ashes history with an unbelievable century to steer England to a miraculous one-wicket win in the third Test at Headingley.

England chased down an improbable 359 — the biggest successful run chase in the team’s history — to stay alive in the series, now tied at 1-1.

England started the day 203 runs away from the victory target and it looked like Australia had weathered Stokes’s brilliance when he only had one batting partner left with 73 runs still required.

But Stokes, as he did in the World Cup final, pulled off the impossible, pummelling the same bowlers that dismissed England for 67 in the first innings to all parts of the ground, scoring all but one of the runs in the 10th-wicket partnership to complete another Headingley miracle.

The long odds were a red rag to the bull that is Stokes, who farmed the strike expertly and cleared the fence seven times in the following nine overs to close the gap at a rapid rate.

Number 11 Jack Leach did his job defending some admittedly underwhelming bowling by Australia’s seamers, and surrendering the strike whenever possible for his 17-ball innings of 1.

Australia wasted a golden opportunity to win the Test as it led by just one run in what turned out to be the penultimate over, when Stokes bunted behind point, there was a mix-up between the stumps and Nathan Lyon failed to cleanly gather the throw at the bowler’s end with Leach halfway down the pitch.

More salt was rubbed into the wound when the next ball trapped Stokes plumb LBW, but umpire Joel Wilson refused to raise the finger and Australia was unable to challenge, having wasted its last review on a poor LBW shout in the previous over.

Leach tied the game with a single off the third ball of the next over and Stokes belted Pat Cummins through cover for four off the following ball to complete the miracle.

Look back at how the thrilling victory unfolded in our live blog.







First posted

August 25, 2019 19:25:14