LEEDS – AN unbeaten century by Ben Stokes allows England to keep the Ashes series alive against Australia.
Stokes ended on 135 not out. It was another thrilling finish just like England’s world cup win against New Zealand last month.
England chased a record 359 to win at Headingley. The home side still needed 73 when Stokes was joined by last man Jack Leach.
Like the innings he played six weeks ago at Lord’s, Stokes launched a stunning assault, including three sixes off spinner Nathan Lyon. This was followed up with hitting Josh Hazlewood for four, six and six in three consecutive balls to go pass 100.
Stokes was dropped by a diving Marcus Harris when England needed only 17 for victory.
From the next over, Leach should have been run out, only for Lyon to fumble the ball. Then from the very next delivery, Stokes could have been lbw, but Australia were out of reviews.
England captain Joe Root contributed with 77 and Joe Denly made exact 50.
The series is now level at one apiece with two matches to play. The fourth Test at Old Trafford begins on September 4.
England 67 (Hazlewood 5-30) and 362 for 9 (Stokes 135*, Root 77, Denly 50) beat Australia 179 (Labuschagne 74, Warner 61, Archer 6-45) and 246 (Labuschagne 80, Stokes 3-56) by one wicket.