Cricketing fraternity stands in awe of Ben Stokes blinder at Headingley
The cricketing world was in for a special knock on Sunday.
The cricketing world was in for a special knock on Sunday. While the drama at the World Cup final a few weeks ago left hearts pumping out of chests with riveting ODI cricket, the just-concluded Ashes match at Headingley once again proved why Test cricket remains to be the game's greatest format.
A fantastic game of cricket that nearly lasted for five grueling days gave the fans plenty to cherish about. While it was the Australian supporters who were in for a good time for the majority of the game, fortunes turned upside down on the final day of the Test match in Leeds. Chasing a daunting target of 359 to keep their Ashes hopes alive, England put forth a fabulous effort in the fourth innings.
The chase picked off with skipper Joe Root and Joe Denly essaying gritty half centuries to bring England back into the game after losing their openers cheaply. The duo stitched a crucial 126 run partnership for the third wicket to ignite hopes of pulling off an unlikely win.
However, the team lost both the settled batsmen in quick succession before Jonny Bairstow joined hands with Ben Stokes to account for another important partnership in the middle.
The Aussies though did not allow things to slip away from hand and scalped five wickets in the space of 16 overs to leave England staring down the barrel. With just one wicket left in tank, the onus was upon Ben Stokes to score the bulk of the 73 runs required to register a memorable win for England.
While Stokes had remained rock solid and composed a patient knock for the best part of his innings, the all-rounder moved to top gear at the fall of the ninth wicket.
The southpaw unleashed himself upon the Aussie bowlers and belted them to all parts of the ground to keep the crowd hooked to their seats. With Jack Leach providing solace at the other end, Stokes scripted one of Test cricket's greatest knocks to leave the cricketing fraternity in disbelief.
The 28-year-old gave up at no stage of the game and stood tall with an incredible 135* to pull off a miracle for England in the third Test of the ongoing Ashes series.
The herculean effort has been fetching accolades from all around the globe. Here is what some of the game's most noted names had to say about Stokes' superb effort:
I've seen some remarkable cricket moments in my life but that is the best I've seen in over 50 years. @benstokes38 saved the Ashes and gave a magical inspirational innings. Even better than his World Cup performance.— Geoffrey Boycott (@GeoffreyBoycott) August 25, 2019
Well done @ECB_cricket
One of the great innings you will ever see. England won it as much as Australia lost it. There is no greater sport than test cricket. May it long survive.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) August 25, 2019
That was special from Ben Stokes. Single handedly winning the test match. Great viewing— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) August 25, 2019
I have no sister but if I did I'd want her to marry Ben Stokes.— Graeme Swann (@Swannyg66) August 25, 2019
Ben Stokes is one hell of a cricketer !!— Nasser Hussain (@nassercricket) August 25, 2019
Ben Stokes continues to prove that you can transfer baiting skills from format to format. If you can hold on long enough, "Joy cometh in the morning". Congratulations to England on a great run chase. Cricket in general is seeing some great moments in 2019.— ian bishop (@irbishi) August 25, 2019