Cricketing fraternity salutes Ben Stokes for Ashes heroics
'Take a bow, Ben Stokes!'
These words have been doing the rounds ever since Ben Stokes beautifully cut a short delivery towards extra cover for a boundary, sealing a victory for England in the 3rd Ashes Test which will go down as one of the most legendary Test matches of all time.
Having been bowled out for just 67 in the first innings and then losing both openers in quick succession during the chase, the writing appeared to be on the wall for England, who had been set a whopping target of 359.
However, an unexpected fightback by England's middle order, led by their World Cup hero Ben Stokes, resulted in one of their most memorable Test victories of all time.
After losing their openers early once again, England were in deep trouble at 15/2. Out walked the skipper Joe Root to try and steady the ship. Showing great determination, Root began to stitch a vital partnership with Joe Denly, who contributed 50 crucial runs for his side in a valiant effort that frustrated the Australian bowlers.
The duo added 126 runs for the third wicket, raising hopes of an unlikely English victory. However, Josh Hazlewood soon got rid of Denly, and Nathan Lyon, on the following morning, dismissed Root, leaving England four down and 201 runs away.
Stokes The Finisher
A very cool and collected Ben Stokes, who had battled hard the previous evening to preserve his wicket, stitched a partnership of 76 runs with Jonny Bairstow. However, Bairstow was dismissed soon after which opened the floodgates.
When Jofra Archer was dismissed attempting an ugly hoick off the bowling of Nathan Lyon, England looked dead and buried. Stuart Broad's dismissal then brought Australia to within one wicket of retaining the Ashes.
However, Stokes, who received outstanding support from Jack Leach, began to open up and cart the Australian bowlers to all parts of the ground. Stokes struck some amazing boundaries, each shot raising England's hopes of winning the contest. The southpaw was at his innovative best, dismantling the Aussie bowlers with ramp shots and switch hits.
Stokes and Leach added 76 runs for the final wicket - Stokes managed 75 of them - to seal one of the finest comebacks in Test cricket history.
Tributes pour in
From present-day cricketers to legends of the game, applause poured in for Stokes from all over the world.
Also read - Ashes Highest Total chased