‘He’s a freak’: England captain Ben Stokes almost recreates Headingley heroics in record-breaking knock

It was not possible not to attract comparisons to Headingley 2019 throughout Ben Stokes’ formidable innings at Lord’s on Sunday afternoon.

England’s captain rattled the Australians on an emotional day five at St John’s Woodthreatening to repeat his unforgettable Ashes heroics from 4 years earlier.

Cheered on by the enchanted London crowd, Stokes cleared the boundary rope 9 occasions throughout his 214-ball knock, breaking his personal document for many sixes in an Ashes innings. He completed with 155, the best fourth-innings Take a look at rating at Lord’s since 1984.

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England’s probabilities of victory have been near nil when Stokes walked to the crease on Saturday night, however the Durham all-rounder by some means managed to place the hosts inside touching distance of a miraculous win.

Whether or not it’s a World Cup ultimate or an Ashes run chase, no one delivers within the clutch moments fairly like him.

“Stokesy gave us some heart-stopping moments,” Australian captain Pat Cummins confessed within the post-match press convention.

“Having a world-class participant on the prime of his recreation in Ben, you begin pondering the boundary is small and that there’s not a lot within the pitch.”

Australia finally escaped with a gritty, albeit unconvincing 43-run victory, lastly vanquishing their Headingley demons — however Stokes gave the guests an almighty scare.

“There was a little bit of deja vu there, for positive,” Participant of the Match Steve Smith mentioned.

“He is an unbelievable participant … he’s a freak.

“The way in which he went about, he was just about concentrating on that one facet. He was smacking them down the hill.

“We’ve seen it quite a few occasions in several codecs of the sport chasing totals the best way he will get it executed … it was simply an unimaginable knock.”

Boos erupt publish controversial dismssal | 00:38

Stokes was unbeaten on 29 when England resumed on Sunday morning, with the hosts needing an additional 257 runs for victory.

Mitchell Starc unearthed some early swing on day 5, producing a stunning yorker within the thirty eighth over that slammed into Stokes’ foot. Umpire Ahsan Raza awarded the LBW dismissal, however the determination was overturned on assessment after replays confirmed a thick inside edge.

Australia revisited the short-ball technique as soon as the Dukes ball stopped swinging, however the quicks weren’t getting any help from the low-bouncing pitch — Stokes and England opener Ben Duckett comfortably survived the primary hour, combining for a century partnership.

Stokes, who had been uncharacteristically affected person the earlier night, reached fifty in 99 deliveries, his first Take a look at half-century since August final yr.

Duckett’s dismissal after the drinks break introduced Jonny Bairstow, England’s final recognised batter, to the crease — however Stokes’ mentality shifted dramatically after Alex Carey’s controversial stumping.

England captain Ben Stokes loses his bat. Photograph by Stu Forster/Getty PhotosSupply: Getty Photos


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Stokes, who was on 62 on the time, flipped a change after Bairstow’s departure. He absorbed the adrenaline and rage, funnelling it into his batting.

The 32-year-old threw his bat, actually, after trying to smack Cameron Inexperienced by the leg facet within the 54th over, having to sheepishly retrieve the willow from sq. leg. Unfazed by the blunder, he completed the over by muscling three pull photographs in direction of the boundary.

Stokes was formally in T20 mode — he reached his thirteenth Take a look at century with three consecutive sixes in opposition to Inexperienced, briefly acknowledging the raucous crowd earlier than taking his guard. There was nonetheless work to do.

Three 6’s straight see Stokes ton! | 00:29

Australia began panicking earlier than the lunch break — first a misfield from Josh Hazlewood, then a tough dropped probability from Starc at deep fantastic leg. The seventh-wicket partnership ticked previous fifty, of which Stuart Broad contributed one solitary run.

Stokes signalled his intent after lunch by slapping Hazlewood again over his head for six, arguably the shot of the match.

Finally, the error got here — within the 58th over, Stokes skied a Hazlewood bouncer in direction of deep sq. leg, with Smith settling below the regulation probability. But by some means, one of the vital dependable fielders in trendy cricket bottled the catch, gifting Stokes a life on 114.

“I used to be feeling it for some time there,” Smith mentioned of his missed probability.

“I didn’t decide it up initially — it’s fairly tough sq. of the wicket right here when he’s going laborious.”

Smith GIFTS Stokes a life with drop | 00:38

The Australians have been rattled — there was no variation from their bowlers and no initiative with their ways. They have been ready for Stokes to make a mistake moderately than actively manufacturing a breakthrough.

“The wheels are coming off right here for Australia,” former England captain Nasser Hussain mentioned on Sky Sports activities commentary.

“After Headingley 4 years in the past, they have been made to look at the final session once more … what have they learnt that they should do right here?”

9 fielders have been positioned on the boundary rope for Stokes, forcing the England captain to farm the strike and to maintain Broad on the non-striker’s finish. He was unfazed when Starc returned to the assault, creaming the left-hander over sq. leg for back-to-back sixes.

The tempo slowed as Australia’s fatigued bowlers adjusted their lengths, however Stokes and Broad continued chipping away on the deficit.

Stokes handed 150, the goal dropped below 100, the seventh-wicket partnership reached triple figures — each run was met with applause from the captivated crowd. Flashbacks of Headingley would have been flickering by the Australia group’s thoughts.

Australia’s Josh Hazlewood. Photograph by Ian Kington / AFPSupply: AFP

Nonetheless, England’s hopes have been crushed within the 73rd over when Stokes top-edged a size supply from Hazlewood, with Carey swallowing the skied probability. The Bendemeer Bullet threw his arms, closed his eyes and exhaled with aid.

Stokes sunk to his knees and dropped his head in frustration. He stayed there for a second, ruminating earlier than begrudgingly returning to his ft.

Smith was the primary to congratulate him, instantly adopted by Cummins. All the Lord’s crowd was already on their ft, applauding the warrior as he slowly trudged off the hallowed turf.

He couldn’t pull off Headingley 2.0, however Sunday’s belligerent knock will go down as one of many nice Ashes performances in a shedding trigger.

“(Stokes) is a freak of a participant, makes issues occur and writes his personal scripts, however I have a look at him extra as our captain, our chief,” England coach Brendon McCullum informed Sky Sports activities.

“The conviction he has on the journey we need to go on, his religion within the gamers, the flexibility to get the most effective out of them, and the methods he carries himself along with his morals, we’re so fortunate to have him.

“That’s why we head into the third Take a look at with an opportunity, due to his management.”

England captain Ben Stokes is consoled by Steve Smith. Photograph by Stu Forster/Getty PhotosSupply: Getty Photos

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Printed : 2023-07-02 17:30:00

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