Hyderabad: England all-rounder Ben Stokes scored a match-winning 135(219)* as England scripted one of the most thrilling and exciting Test wins in history to level the Ashes 1-1 with 2 tests to go.
England won the toss and elected to bowl, as Australia readied to face Jofra Archer once again. David Warner displayed his form by scoring a 50 until he got out for 61. No other batsman except Marnus Labuschgane contributed, scoring a gutsy 74 with Australia being bowled out for 179, courtesy Archer’s maiden 5-wicket haul. He finished with the figures of 6-45.
England came out to bat and was looking to build a solid lead in their first innings, but things went the other way. England was bowled out for 67, their lowest team score since 1948 in Headingly as well as against Australia. Josh Hazelwood was the pick of the bowlers with 5 wickets.
Australia had a first-innings lead of 112 runs on which they set a target of 359 for England to win the test match. Australia was bowled out for 246 with Labuschgane again scoring 80 runs. Ben Stokes picked up 3 wickets.
England who were given a target of 359 under tough conditions with two-and-a-half days remaining, needed a miracle to chase this, as this was to be their highest successful run chase in test cricket. England had a slow start with early wickets as the openers fell cheaply. Australia was on top of their game, until England skipper Joe Root and batsman Joe Denly scored 77 and 50 respectively, keeping England alive in the test match. As Ben Stokes came in Joe Denly got out for 50.
At the end of day-3, England was well placed at 156/3 with 7 wickets in hand and 203 runs to win the test match.
Day-4 was the most crucial day. England needed 203 runs and Australia needed 7 wickets. It was game on. Joe Root could only add 3 runs to his overnight score of 74 as he got out to a fantastic catch at the slips by David Warner.
The responsibility was now on Ben Stokes. Wickets kept falling as Stokes kept fighting at the other.
England needed 73 with one wicket in hand as No.11 Jack Leach came out to bat. It was all on Ben stokes.
Given the pressure, Stokes kept his nerve and took England home with one wicket in hand as he scripted England’s most successful run-chase in Test cricket. Ben Stokes kept England’s Ashes hopes alive as this innings of his went down as one of the best in the history of test cricket.
The last two months have been nothing less than a dream for Stokes as he won the World cup for England and now this test match. He was adjudged the Man of the Match for his match-winning innings of 135(219)* which included 11 fours and 8 sixes.
With this, England level the Ashes 1-1 with the 4th test being played at the Old Trafford from September 4.