Ben Stokes was the star of the match for England in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 final and it is Stokes again who has done it for England and helped the hosts stitch an unbelievable comeback win by 1 wicket against Australia on Sunday to keep their chances of winning the Ashes alive.
Ben Stokes scored an unbeaten 135 and produced a match-winning 76 run partnership with number 11 batsman Jack Leach to register a memorable win for England as they chased down the target of 359 runs. What makes it more memorable for England is that they were able to win the match after being dismissed for just 67 runs in the first innings.
England were as many as 203 runs behind the target when play resumed on fourth day morning. Skipper Joe Root could add only two more runs to his overnight tally before getting dismissed for 77 runs. It was then that Ben Stokes took over the responsibility of finishing the match for England.
He added 86 runs with Jonny Bairstow for the fifth wicket. However, England then lost two wickets in quick succession in the form of Jonny Bairtsow and Jos Buttler. At one stage England were reduced to 261 for 7 and it seemed unlikely that they would be able to clinch the match.
However, Ben Stokes, was in no mood to give up. He single-handedly kept his team alive in the match. It is worth highlighting here that his 76 run partnership with Leach had only a single run contribution from Leach. Stokes scored 11 boundaries and eight sixes in arguably one of the best knocks by an England batsman in the fourth innings of a Test Match.
“I never gave up. When Jack Leach came in it was pretty clear what I had to do. I told him five and one, I’d take five balls and give him one,” Stokes said after being adjudged man-of-the-match for his performance which saw England register a memorable win.
“Leachy (Jack Leach) is our super-night watchman so I backed him knowing what we had to do. I couldn’t watch at the end. I couldn’t watch the balls going down,” he added.
The teams will now meet at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester for the fourth Test Match of the Ashes Series which starts on 4th September.