LEEDS: Ben Stokes did it for England in the Cricket World Cup 2019 final and he has done it again in The Ashes as the hosts beat Australia by 1 wicket in one of the greatest Test matches played on English soil to keep their chances of winning the urn alive.
Stokes remained unbeaten on 135 and stitched a remarkable partnership of 76 not out with No. 11 batsman Jack Leach to pull off a miracle win for England as they chased down the target of 359 and ended the match in the second session on Day 4 in Headingley on Sunday.
England were 203 runs behind the target at the start of play with Joe Root and Stokes at the crease. Root added just 2 runs to his overnight score and was dismissed for 77 by Nathan Lyon after which Stokes took over the chase.
Stokes added 86 runs for the fifth wicket with Jonny Bairstow (36) which kept England’s hopes alive in the match. But England lost Bairstow and Jos Buttler (run out for 1) in three deliveries while Chris Woakes departed soon after. The hosts were reeling at 261 for 7 at that stage.
Stokes though never gave up and waged a lone battle to keep his team in the hunt all throughout. His unbeaten 76-run partnership with Leach saw the latter score just 1 run.
Allrounder Stokes finished with 11 fours and eight sixes in one of the greatest innings by an England batter.