Incredible Stokes keeps England's Ashes hopes alive

By Nasri Alexander - 25 August 2019Views : 284

Ben Stokes played one of the best innings in living memory as England beat Australia by one wicket to win an epic third Test at Headingley on Sunday and keep the series alive.

The hosts, who were bowled out for just 67 in their first innings, still needed another 73 runs to reach a victory target of 359 when number eleven Jack Leach came into bat on the fourth day.

But Leach held firm before Stokes, the batting hero of England's World Cup final triumph, hit the winning runs by smashing fast bowler Pat Cummins for a four that saw the allrounder finish on 135 not out.

This was England's highest successful fourth-innings chase in Test cricket and the tenth highest in the history of the game.

England started the day on 156/3 but lost captain Joe Root early for 77.

Jonny Bairstow stuck around with Stokes but fell to Jasho Hazlewood for 36.

Jos Buttler (1) and Chris Woakes (1) fell in quick succession as the game looked to be slipping away.

Jofra Archer contributed 15 but when he and then Stuart Broad (0) it looked to be all over for the home team.

At 286/9, Stokes had to chance his arm and he did it with aplomb to take his team over the line and level the series at 1-1 with two games still to play.