Did Ben Stokes have the magic wand in his hand? No, it was his bat. Wow! What an innings that was England’s superman Ben Stokes! He is having a magical 2019. After winning England a World Cup at Lord’s, the all-rounder was in the middle with the onus only on him to keep his team alive in the Ashes and yet again, he duly obliged. He scrapped early on for every run and at one stage had only scored 2 runs after facing 60 deliveries.
However, it was the calm before the storm. At lunch, England were 238/4 with Jonny Bairstow playing a decent knock and even then, Stokes was just looking to survive not scoring many. But as the second innings started, Australia stormed back in the match and soon were in a winning position having reduced the hosts to 386/9. Jack Leach, the number 11, joined Stokes in the middle and this is where it all started.
Ben Stokes shifted the gears amazingly farming more strike and at times, not even going for a single until the last ball of the over.
I don’t care if I get fined
The southpaw connected a couple of strokes and suddenly the 20,000 spectators at the stadium and the whole of England started to believe. Some outrageous shots including a switch-hit six followed which brought the target within touching distance. It was all about nerves as the required runs came down to single figures (2 runs to be precise) and Jack Leach, having survived 10 deliveries bravely, misjudged a single.
The Ashes was gone for England then. But there was drama in the middle. Nathan Lyon, Australia’s one of the best fielder, failed to collect the ball cleanly in order to run Leach out. Off the very next delivery, Ben Stokes went for the sweep and missed only for the ball to hit his back leg. The vociferous appeal followed and the batsman was plumb. But it was Stokes’ day. Joel Wilson didn’t raise his finger for some weird reasons and Australia had no reviews left.
The very next ball, he smacked a backfoot drive through covers to seal a record run-chase for England and the crowd went berserk. After the victory, Ben Stokes himself was in disbelief finding difficult to come to the terms with what he had just done. Also, the same amount of credit should go to Jack Leack for scoring a greatest ever unbeaten 1-run knock.
After soaking it all in, late on Sunday night, Ben Stokes took to his official Twitter to react for the first time after his heroics at Headingley. He duly credited Jack Leach for hanging out there with him during the record unbeaten 76-run stand and called him legend. “I fuc****(don’t care if I get fined) love Test Match Cricket and I love englandcricket #ashes @jackleach1991 is a legend,” Stokes wrote in his tweet.
Here’s his tweet:
I fucking(don’t care if I get fined) love Test Match Cricket and I love englandcricket #ashes @jackleach1991 is a legend https://t.co/sJAep39o22
— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) August 25, 2019
Here are some of the funny replies:
I’ve just uploaded your innings to pornhub xxx
— Saint Raymond (@Callum_SR) August 25, 2019
You were fucking fantastic. Also well done to @jackleach1991 for greatest 1 Not Out of all time!!
— Solidarityism Esq. (@solidarityism) August 25, 2019
— Isa Guha (@isaguha) August 25, 2019
That was ridic!! 👊👊👊
— Isa Guha (@isaguha) August 25, 2019
And we fucking love you.
— England's Barmy Army (@TheBarmyArmy) August 25, 2019
— mark butcher (@markbutcher72) August 25, 2019
I bet you don’t love test match cricket as much as the nation loves you
— AKA…Jofra Beesley (@beez_ltfc) August 25, 2019
And we love you mate.
— Neil Grainger (@GraingerNeil) August 25, 2019
I thought you could have taken a few more wickets to be honest. Work on your bowling for the next game.
By the way, you're fucking awesome and should have the freedom of the country for what is the best innings I've ever seen and am ever likely to see. 👍👍👍
— Tony McChrystal (@tonymac5) August 25, 2019
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