English cricketer Ben Stokes conjured a stunning century against Australia to secure a one wicket victory in the third Ashes test overnight, with many fans, pundits, and newfound mortal enemies calling it one of the best test innings ever played.
Yes, even after Steve Smith’s inhuman century at the first test.
Facing a target of 359 runs to secure an unlikely victory from the visitors at Headingly, Stokes notched a solid 61 runs before he was joined by tailender Jack Leach.
Stokes then went insane, pinging sixes off the same bowling attack which pummelled England in the first innings.
It could have been so much different, too. Australia, which had used all of its reviews, was left without recourse after a likely LBW from spinner Nathan Lyon was ruled not out. Stokes was dropped in the outfield with 17 runs left to secure the win. Australia also cooked a chance to run-out Leach.
It just wasn’t to be.
One was really plumb. One was just a shambles of a run-out attempt. A total clusterf*** pic.twitter.com/P0I5KiS0As
— Jon Ralph (@RalphyHeraldSun) August 25, 2019
Stokes wound up scoring all but one of the runs in the Brits’ insane comeback, sealing his final score of 135 not out with a decisive stroke to the boundary.
AN INCREDIBLE MOMENT!!
AN ABSOLUTE WARRIOR!!
WHAT A MAN @benstokes38!!
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) August 25, 2019
The stats behind his achievement are staggering. Consider this: the final wicket partnership of 76 is the third highest in recorded top-flight test cricket.
But stats fall by the wayside when there’s praise from former England captain Alastair Cook, who told BBC’s Test Match Special that Stokes’ stand “the most extraordinary Test innings ever played by an England batsman.”
Former England captain Michael Vaughan echoed the sentiment, saying “I’ve never seen a better Test innings. Ever.”
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What a privilege to witness the Greatest Test innings I have seen @stokesy … but more so what a Week for Test cricket … Australia take a bow for your role in an amazing Test Match … The Yorkshire crowd created an atmosphere like no other & Andy Fogarty the groundsman produced the best Test Pitch I have seen for a long while … Test match cricket is the best #Fact #Ashes #1-1
The series is now tied 1-1. The sides face off once again at Old Trafford on September 4.
— Stuart Broad (@StuartBroad8) August 25, 2019
Image: Gareth Copley / Getty Images