Superhero Stokes hails breathtaking third Ashes Test triumph

AFP
August 25,2019

England, bowled out for just 67 in their first innings, needed 73 more runs to reach a victory target of 359 when last man, the bespectacled Jack Leach came into bat.

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LEEDS, United Kingdom: Ben Stokes said his remarkable century was "unbelievable" as England secured an astounding one-wicket win over Australia in the third Test at Headingley on Sunday to square the Ashes series at 1-1.

England, dismissed for just 67 in their first innings -- their lowest Ashes total in 71 years -- were seemingly dead and buried at 286-9, still 73 shy of a victory target of 359.

But 28-year-old left-handed batsman Stokes, whose five-and-a-half hour innings was a brilliantly paced mix of defence and aggression, saw England home with a superb 135 not out.

"Unbelievable," Stokes told Sky Sports. "It´s one I´ll never forget.

"I´ve got to try and take it all in," added Stokes, whose batting heroics helped Englnd win the World Cup for the first time in July.

"I´m not sure it´ll ever happen again. It´s one of the two best feelings I´ve ever felt on a cricket pitch."

Stokes, involved in a run out of Jos Buttler which looked to have scuppered England´s chances, added: "Just never give up. It´s not over until it´s over. When Leachy came in it was pretty clear what had to be done. It was five and one. I´ll take five (deliveries), you take one."

Bespectacled Leach, who hit a career best 92 as nightwatchman in England´s recent Test win over Ireland, played his part as Stokes acknowledged.

"He´s a super nightwatchman, knowing what he had to do. I couldn´t watch in the end. I was just waiting to see what happened."

Stokes, two not out off 50 balls at Friday´s close, faced 219 deliveries in total, hitting 11 fours and eight sixes.


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