Cricket World Cup hero Ben Stokes scored a stunning 135 not out as England kept its Ashes hopes alive with a dramatic one-wicket win over Australia in the third Test at Headingley.
Stokes scored the winning four Sunday in the afternoon session on Day 4 as England finished on 362-9 in its second innings — chasing what seemed an improbable 359 — after an unbeaten 76-run stand for the 10th wicket with Jack Leach, who scored only 1 run in the partnership.
It's the highest successful fourth-innings chase by England in a Test match.
Stokes was dropped by Marcus Harris at third man off Pat Cummins and survived an easy runout chance and clear lbw decision close to the end. The allrounder finished with 11 fours and eight sixes overall in one of the greatest innings by an England batter.
"Today was incredible," Stokes said. "I don't quite know what to say. It hasn't sunk in yet."
The teams are now level at 1-1 in the series. Australia would have secured the famous urn with a 2-0 lead and only two Tests remaining in the five-match series.
England started the day on 156-3, still needing 203 more runs to win and stay alive in cricket's oldest regular international series. Captain Joe Root (77) was out early but Stokes and Jonny Bairstow (36) shared an 86-run stand for the fifth wicket, taking England from 159-4 to 245-5 when Josh Hazlewood (4-85) dismissed Bairstow.
England No. 11 Leach survived as Stokes' final partner, with the pair coming together on 286-9. When their 50-run partnership came up, the spinner still hadn't scored. His 1 not out — which leveled the scores — came off 17 balls.
Stokes was man of the match in England's Super Over win over New Zealand in the World Cup final exactly six weeks ago.
In the Ashes Daily, Australian journalists Geoff Lemon and Adam Collins are following the action all around England and Wales. Their long weekly podcast The Final Word has been going for five years.
Every day, The Final Word will team up with Firstpost to bring you a new episode from wherever Geoff and Adam are on the road. On trains and buses, in pubs, on the street, in parks, on barges floating down rivers, and anywhere else that they might end up.
They are also watching an awful lot of cricket, and can summarise all the matches that you didn’t have time to see, or can bring you into the discussion about the ones you did watch.
So tune in to enjoy the coverage of one of the oldest rivalries in the history of cricket.
With inputs from AP
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