In the last one and half months, Ben Stokes has managed to transcend himself, leave alone the rest of the cricketing world. He has been an apt example of how not to crumble under extreme pressure. The left-hander soaked in all the pressure in the World Cup Final, both in the mandatory overs and the one-over eliminator. A month later, he played one of the greatest fourth innings knocks in Tests.
He scored an unbeaten 135 and helped the Three Lions chase down 359 at the Headingley in Leeds. It was also the Brits’ highest-ever successful fourth-innings run chase. However, at the start of his knock, he was encountered with a minor scare. Stokes was on a couple at that stage with England still needing 204 runs with seven wickets in hand. He had skipper Joe Root for company.
He seemed to have edged the ball and Tim Paine, the Aussie skipper, was in a bit of dilemma regarding whether to use the Decision Review System (DRS) or not. The visitors only had one review left and they couldn’t have afforded to waste it. What Paine did then was something hilarious.
He went up to Stokes and asked the batsman whether the ball made any connection with the bat. “Did you hit that?” Paine asked. The 28-year-old Stokes was smart and he waited for the time given to a team for making the DRS decision, to end. Then the left-hander said, “No.”
Here is the video
Tim Paine – “Did you hit that?”
*Waits for DRS timer to hit zero*
Hero 😂 pic.twitter.com/n8fCwbrdeA
— Luke Elder (@Lukeelder13) August 26, 2019
Stokes produces absolute magic
Stokes came to bat after Josh Hazlewood bounced out Joe Denly, who scored a fifty. He put his head down to start and played out the overs at the fag end of Day three. On the next day, he lost Root early. Jonny Bairstow then, put on 36 runs for the fifth wicket to keep England in the hunt for the chase.
At a time when the home team lost their ninth wicket, 73 runs were needed to be achieved. Stokes didn’t give up the ghost and got to his century off 199 balls. He had Jack Leach as his last partner and he got the required support. Stokes finished things off with a scorching drive through the covers.
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