Ben Stokes inspired England to the most unlikely third Ashes Test victory after defeating Australia by one wicket. After posting an abysmal score of 67 in the first innings, all hope looked to be over as Australia set England a target of 359 to win.
There was a small crumb of hope following the performance of Joe Root on Saturday as England were on 156-3 going into day four. However, Root was dismissed early on for 77 as the Australian bowling attack looked to end the Test early.
Stokes stepped up and proved a massive obstacle for the Aussies as he steered England to victory with a spectacular innings of 135 not out. As the target got nearer, Stokes was batting in ODI and T20 modes, as team-mates Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer and Stuart Broad came and went.
His succession of fours and sixes delighted the Headingley crowd and his partnership with tail ender Jack Leach proved to be the knockout blow. Leach’s solitary run in the 72-run stand was enough to confirm at least a draw for England but not before a moment of controversy.
With no Australian reviews left, Stokes looked to have been hit plumb LBW but umpire Joel Wilson waved the appeals away. The moment was then set for Stokes to smash the winning shot to the boundary when the teams were level to give England a renewed chance of regaining the Ashes.